OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Cases of gasoline poisoning in Oklahoma on the rise and are on a record pace for the year, officials from the Oklahoma Poison Control Center say.
Gasoline poisoning can occur when a person tries to siphon gas from one container or vehicle to another. During June and July, the poison control center has dealt with cases involving people ranging in age from 2 to 80.
``For every case we hear about, 10 more cases aren't reported,'' said Lee McGoodwin, the center's managing director.
The poison control center has answered more than 220 calls this year concerning gasoline poisoning.
``We must get people to stop doing stupid things with gasoline,'' she said.
The national Electronic Injury Surveillance System said cases of gasoline poisoning have jumped 500 percent this summer, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said that people have been storing and transferring gasoline without thinking about safety.
William Banner, a Tulsa toxicologist and the medical director at The Children's Hospital at St. Francis, attributes many cases of gasoline poisoning to attempts by young people to steal fuel.
Just one-half ounce of gasoline is enough to be fatal to a child, McGoodwin said. Large amounts of gasoline in adults can lead to vomiting, vertigo, drowsiness and confusion, loss of consciousness, convulsions, hemorrhaging of the lungs and other internal organs and death, she said.