New Research Shows the Dangers of Plastic Gas Cans


NBC News Investigations recently reported on the dangers of those red plastic gas cans. Gas explosions and burn injuries of any kind can be incredibly devastating for victims. Surviving victims often face painful rehabilitation, multiple reconstructive surgeries, skin grafting and long-term pain. According to the Federal Government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 11 reported deaths and 1,200 emergency room visits have been linked with gas can explosions during the pouring of gasoline since 1998. Investigative reporters and advocates are calling for safety measures that will make gas cans safer for consumer use.

The Research

The research was conducted at Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s combustion lab. It was previously thought that when gas cans exploded, there was some degree of user-error involved. The tests have shown that under certain conditions, not related to user-error, “flashback” explosions can occur. According to NBC News Investigations, Worcester Polytechnic’s tests were actually supported by the gas can industry too. Other independent tests have been conducted that have found similar results.

The Danger

Most people know not to pour gas in hot engines or on campfires, but as it turns out, there’s a new danger in pouring gas that most people are completely unfamiliar with. The results of the research found that under certain conditions, gas cans can explode. These conditions occur when there is very little gasoline left in a can. The vapor escaping the can might contact a spark or flame and ignite. The flame will then “flash back” into the gas can. If the air/gas vapor mixture is at a particular concentration, the gas container will explode. The spark can even happen from static electricity. Where safety is concerned, advocates are calling for ‘flame arrestors’ on every gas can. These little metal discs are already on some gas cans.

After a Burn Injury

If you or a loved one has been burned in some type of gas explosion, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Victims are often in the hospital for an extended period of time following a burn injury, leaving them out of work. Let a skilled attorney help you get the compensation you deserve to cover medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. Contact the experienced team at Weldon & Rothman, PL today for a free consultation.

Legal Disclaimer: The above guidelines are educational in nature and do not create an attorney/client relationship. It is highly recommended that all Florida accident victims contact an experienced local Florida personal injury attorney to assist them with specific facts and circumstances regarding their motor vehicle accident. If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident in Florida, then feel free to contact Attorney Weldon toll free at (877) 730-5180 or via e-mail

Richard L. Weldon, II is an experienced Florida personal injury attorney who has obtained the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell. He is the managing attorney of Weldon & Rothman, PL – a Southwest Florida law firm with offices in Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota.

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