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I was wondering if propane is harmful to inhale. I’ve used spray-on contact cement for my work, and the propellant is propane. If I am working in an enclosed area, the propane gets so thick in the room that it feels like the air is being ripped out of my lungs and it gets hard to breathe. So I am wondering if this is dangerous and if I should take precautions while spraying propane-propelled products.

— KH, via email

Hey, man…hey…wake up! Hey, KH! Open your eyes, man. Put down that cement can. Hey, you’re drooling all over the place. Wake up, KH! Dang. You scared us silly. Let’s get out here on the patio.

So, KH, when you feel like the air is being ripped out of your lungs, you begin to suspect something’s not right, eh? Yes, something is very, very not right! Breathing in a room full of stuff you use to broil a steak — does this sound like a good plan? Once your little room is full of propane gas, you inhale that, not oxygen, and the propane replaces oxygen in your lungs and blood. Nothing in your body can run on propane. Stay in that room long enough and you’re a dead man.

By any chance, did you read the label on the can? Betcha somewhere it says to use the product in a well-ventilated area and to wear a breathing apparatus of some type. Do it! Immediately! Well, you still have enough brain cells left to send an email, so maybe there’s not too much damage done. Good luck, KH.

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