What is white gas?

Traces of white gas can be found in shoe polish.

More properly known as naphtha, white gas is a form of petroleum ether that is used for a number of different applications, primarily as a feedstock for creating high-octane gasoline products. With a petroleum base, white spirit or gaseous products are found in many manufacturing environments, as well as in many of the products that are used in the home. When used in small amounts, white gas is perfectly safe for users and the environment.

While white gas is safe when used as an ingredient in many different compounds and products, it is important to note that overexposure to the substance can cause health problems. There is some evidence that prolonged exposure to large amounts of the gas can increase the chances of developing certain types of cancer. However, it should be noted that there are strict guidelines for the use of this substance in the creation of industrial and household products, so the potential for overexposure is severely limited.

Many companies that use white gas in their product offerings have developed safety guidelines that address how and in what quantities the gas can be used. These guidelines are commonly referred to as material safety data sheets. Some of these guidelines are available on the Internet and also directly from the companies themselves. Well-known entities like Shell Ronsonol, Diggers Shellite and JT Baker maintain strict guidelines for the use of petroleum alcohol in their products.

White gas can be found in many common products. Many lighter fluids include it in the compound. Shoe polish also contains traces of gas, as do many types of oil paints. Even the olefin fiber used for upholstery and carpeting can contain a small amount of white gas. While this substance can be found in many everyday household items, it is important to keep in mind that the amount of gas included is extremely small and is highly unlikely to create health problems for people living in the house.

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