Is propane harmful?

Propane is a byproduct of crude oil and natural gas production. It is a source of energy for millions of American homes. Not only is it convenient because propane is stored directly in large propane tanks on your property but it is safe, non-toxic and environmentally-friendly.

Propane is non-toxic for humans

Whether in its liquid or gas form, propane is non-toxic for humans. Because it boils at a very low temperature (-44°F) is can cause frostbite if it comes into contact with human skin as a liquid. However, if you inhale propane no particular illness will follow.

Propane is odorless in its natural state but a chemical is added systematically to give it a smell of rotten eggs. This is not because you should not inhale it. The odor is added to ensure you are able to better detect a propane leak. Although propane is non-toxic it is flammable and leaks remain dangerous – but not because of toxicity.

Propane is non-toxic for the environment

Just as it is not toxic for humans, propane is not toxic for the environment. Although if released into the environment in its liquid form propane may freeze vegetation (its boiling point is -44°F) and if ignited in its vapor form it might burn the surrounding area, this is not truly damaging to an ecosystem.

Therefore, propane will not harm plants or the soil if released from a propane tank. Similarly, propane does not affect water quality and will not harm drinking water supplies. Basically, it does not affect the ecosystem around your home.

Propane is a clean fuel

In terms of pollution, propane is a clean burning alternative fuel. Listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the 1992 National Energy Policy act, it is an approved clean fuel, which implies that propane installations do not fall under Environmental Protection Agency control.

Furthermore, propane releases fewer emissions of carbon dioxide per million BTU (used to measure an energy source’s performance) than its competitors (coal, fuel oil, diesel, kerosene, gasoline or ethanol).

Propane Education & Research Council statistics illustrate that propane accounts for less than its share of total greenhouse gas emissions and that of energy-related GHG emissions (1%) when compared to its share of total energy supply in the United States (2%).