Forums > Technical Discussion > Inhaled fuel droplets and spinning off freshly lit fire staves

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97 posts
Location: Brisbane, Queensland

I've been thinking about the fine fuel drops that linger unburned in the air after spinning off a freshly lit fire staff.. Do these exist in sufficient amounts to pose an accute or chronic health risk if inhaled.
If so, is exhaling for about 10 seconds while using the heat of the flame to cary the finer droplets into the air and allowing the heavier ones to fall to the ground while moving upwind of their desent path adequate to provide protection. Alternatively is it best to abstain from this activity altogether unless wearing a mask resistant to fine particles and organic vapours (not a real good look, or easy to breath in iether).

Does anyone know the inhaled dose of fuel needed to cause delayed pulmonary oedema, permanant lung damage or instant suffocation in the event of a fire breathing mistake. I am 100% against performing this activity in the future, but any details of mistakes made by those who lived to tell the tale will no doubt convince me further as to the wisdom of such a descision.

Thanks for your help.

colemanSILVER Member
big and good and broken
7,330 posts
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kingdom

that's an amazingly astute question that i don't think has been asked here before.

the staff spinners that i know are very careful to observe wind direction before they execute spinoffs but there is always the cahnce of a change of wind and burnoffs near head level sound just about as dangerous as aspirated fuel from your mouth.

i guess we might need to measure the difference in droplet size between mouth-aspirated fuel and staff spinoff fuel to be sure about the answer the first part of this question...

cole. x

"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

328 posts
Location: uk



Langlow products, generally the brand I use.

Product name parafin,

Composition, aliphatic hydrocarbons

OEL (occupational exposure limits) based upon Langlow MSDS sheet,

100 ppm over a 8 hour period, over exposure likely to irritating to the eyes, and respiratory system, excess concerntrations may produce effects on the central nervous system, including drowsiness, extreme exposure losses in conscoiusness may occur,

long term exposure to vapour concertrations in excess of the OELs may result in adverse health effects.

So yes all of the above.

The lamp oil that I use for fire breathing recomended exposure limits for oil mists must be kept below 4mg/m3

hope this is usefull


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