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Mothballs in gas tank... DANGER!!!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by irishpol, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. irishpol
    Joined: Jul 18, 2006
    Posts: 330

    from Texas

    We all know about the old timers trick of putting mothballs in your gas tank and the edge it gives you when racing, but be carefull how you handle them! both my self and my wife Kathy (Krazy Kate)became extreamly ill after handleing them. Kathy remains ill, her white blood cell count has become very low and she has flu like symptoms. The doctors say that there is NO treatment for this and only there is a small chance of her condition improving. I saw several racers using mothballs at the day of the drags... I would not wish this condition on anybody!!
  2. oldchevyseller
    Joined: May 30, 2004
    Posts: 1,853

    from mankato mn


    knew a couple of people that wanted to clean out the attic from critters and ended up in the hospital

    steroids and

    mostly blood transfusions , get the bad blood gasses out and new blood in that
    cleared them up

    hope the docs at least try that pretty common thing mothball poisoning

    along with being sick for 6 months
    just horrible

    yet you can by the stuff at most any store
  3. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,431

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    wow! dam!..i never knew this..havent ever messed with them, but thanks for the heads up!
  4. skumbag
    Joined: Feb 16, 2005
    Posts: 688


    whaty edge does it give you?:confused: i've never heard of this...

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  5. 31whitey
    Joined: Jan 2, 2007
    Posts: 2,214


    been ill myself recently.
    just bought an old ladys house.
    all closets had mothballs in them.
    Joined: Apr 17, 2001
    Posts: 6,190


    Holly Crap ... Found this ............. ;-(

    Moth balls are made from naphthalene, a hydrocarbon derived from coal tar that easily sublimates, or exudes gas acting as a fumigant. However these gases must build to high concentrations to be effective.

    Moth balls made with naphthalene are toxic and high levels of exposure can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the urine and jaundice, a yellow appearance to the skin. Naphthalene can also kill red blood cells. Though your body can replace them, in the interim the condition is referred to as hemolytic anemia. Hospitals have reported a high incidence of hemolytic anemia in newborns and small children who were dressed in clothing or wrapped in blankets that had been stored in naphthalene moth balls. In pregnant women, naphthalene can transfer from the mother's bloodstream into the bloodstream of her unborn baby. The toxin has also been detected in breast milk, though not in quantities that are thought to be of concern. Naphthalene has also been linked to nasal cancer.

    Moth balls look like gumballs or candy and therefore can be a danger to both children and pets, in which they can be fatal if swallowed. If using naphthalene moth balls, it's safest to store clothing in an air tight container along with the moth balls. All clothing should be fully aired out or washed before wearing.

    Moth crystals are made from paradichlorobenzene (PDB), which is considered more toxic than naphthalene. PDB also sublimates easily and clothes should again be kept in a sealed container along with the PDB. Again, all goods should be fully aired or washed before wearing or using. Prolonged exposure of PDB vapors on plastics may melt them, affecting some sweater boxes and other types of plastic. It is therefore not recommended to use on clothes with plastic buttons or decorations. The effects on humans of PDB are not well-known, but related compounds do have associated health risks and PDB is a suspected human carcinogen, causing cancer in animals. Therefore minimum exposure is recommended when using moth crystals.
  7. Sawracer
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,315

    from socal

    good to know, thanks and sorry to you.
  8. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,431

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    sounds like this shit should have an MSDS sheet to come with it when you buy it..or does it and people dont read up on it?
  9. Cword
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 729



    6.20 Can mothballs increase octane?

    The legend of mothballs as an octane enhancer arose well before WWII when
    naphthalene was used as the active ingredient. Today, the majority of
    mothballs use para-dichlorobenzene in place of naphthalene, so choose
    carefully if you wish to experiment :). There have been some concerns about
    the toxicity of para-dichlorobenzene, and naphthalene mothballs have again
    become popular. In the 1920s, typical gasoline octane ratings were 40-60
    [11], and during the 1930s and 40s, the ratings increased by approximately 20
    units as alkyl leads and improved refining processes became widespread [12].

    Naphthalene has a blending motor octane number of 90 [52], so the addition of
    a significant amount of mothballs could increase the octane, and they were
    soluble in gasoline. The amount usually required to appreciably increase the
    octane also had some adverse effects. The most obvious was due to the high
    melting point ( 80C ), when the fuel evaporated the naphthalene would
    precipitate out, blocking jets and filters. With modern gasolines,
    naphthalene is more likely to reduce the octane rating, and the amount
    required for low octane fuels will also create operational and emissions

    The scary part is here

    Newer mothballs are PARADICHLOROBENZENE - Vapor irritates skin, eyes and respiratory tract; large doses can cause injury to liver; suspected carcinogen
  10. loggy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2006
    Posts: 282


    Wow,you certainly learn something new every day huh,the other half's got a box of vintage coats sealed up with mothballs in it,will be careful when handling that lot now......all the best irishpol,hope things improve for you guys:)
  11. irishpol
    Joined: Jul 18, 2006
    Posts: 330

    from Texas

    Thanks for your replys and kind thoughts. At a time of confusion and despair the HAMB comes through! now we have some idear of what's going on and some hope....
  12. SaltCityCustoms
    Joined: Jun 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,208


    Wow I never new mothballs were so dangerous, I always thought they were just meant to stink bad not kill people. I think there needs to be a better warning on the packaging as i have never heard of any of this and I use mothballs all the time in a building I store cars in.
  13. garvinzoom
    Joined: Sep 21, 2007
    Posts: 1,169


    Goof information to have. Thanks!
  14. Dirty2
    Joined: Jun 13, 2004
    Posts: 8,904


    Sorry to hear this and Prayers are up for yall. Now who was useing mothballs at the drags ??
  15. Brewton
    Joined: Jun 24, 2005
    Posts: 884


    Damn, this news is scary! I'll just pay the $ for high octane race won't make you sick - or will it?
  16. Dirty2
    Joined: Jun 13, 2004
    Posts: 8,904


    It smells better also !!
  17. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,511

    from Garner, NC

    Mothballs in gas is a bunch of bull... just google it and you'll see...
  18. Section 8
    Joined: Mar 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,050

    Section 8
    from AZ

    I've never smelled a moth's balls.
    A bee's balls do smell like honey, however.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  19. Bassfire
    Joined: Nov 17, 2006
    Posts: 468

    from Mart, Tx.

    I have used moth balls to run a skunk out of a building. Seems it makes them sick. I will be leery of using it again though.
  20. Casey
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 3,294

    Member Emeritus

    I was one ! dam sorry to here this , pol and kate . love to you both !
    I hope it wears off quick .
  21. Dirty2
    Joined: Jun 13, 2004
    Posts: 8,904


    You was the one :eek: . You are now dqed . You have to do reverse do nuts aka moth nuts ! Any updates on Kathy ?
  22. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,927

    gas pumper

    Damn, I keep a mothball in each drawer of my machinist tool boxes, the vapor stops rust from forming.
    From the box::eek:
    Made by ENOZ. Active ingredient: Naphthalene 99.95% Made in the USA. Hazards to Humans and Domestic Animals. WARNING: May be fatal if inhaled. Do not breath Vapors....

    Wow, never read this. This is some bad stuff.
  23. Absolutely,gasoline fumes can make you sick.

    And just about any fuel additive that might improve performance is dangerous.The bigger the improvement,the bigger the health risk.

    More than one "name" racer has died a painful death related to exposure to fuel.
    Joined: Apr 21, 2001
    Posts: 1,605


    sorry to hear this pol hope kathy gets better. billy
  25. 40chev
    Joined: May 28, 2002
    Posts: 209


    I just woke my wife up and told her that she has to read this since her mom's house smells like a mothball box...She has them things all over...I hate going there and rarely do because the smell is sickening....She has them in the furniture, closets ect.....Her mom constantly has sinus problems, sick alot...Hmmmm makes me wonder....

    I hope you and your wife get better, a prayer will be sent......
  26. irishpol
    Joined: Jul 18, 2006
    Posts: 330

    from Texas

    Now I find out that I can't even throw the damm things away without commiting a crime... they're that bad!! To leagally dispose off them I have to employ a licensed hazardous waste contractor... as if I was not pissed off enough already.
    Thankyou all for your kind thoughts & prayers. I hope that my original post has saved fellow hambers from a similar fate.
  27. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    I always joke about "everything is bad for us" but it seems like every time I say it, something really IS really bad for us.

    Race fuel...yeah. Suffice to say if handled improperly, it can suck all the paint off your house and give you a permanant Day Glo orange Afro. Don't wash parts with it, clean up with it, let it sit open...etc,etc. it goes from the Jug to the Tank, end of story. if you get it on you, wash it off, don't wait for it to dry up. if you don't...well, they're YOUR kidneys, and if you are anything like me, you punish them enough already.
  28. irishpol
    Joined: Jul 18, 2006
    Posts: 330

    from Texas

    Kathy is begining to feel a bit better now, but we will not know for sure until the next round of tests later this week. Thank you for all your calls & emails.
  29. Mike Rouse
    Joined: Aug 12, 2004
    Posts: 308

    Mike Rouse

    I hope things continue to improve.
  30. 29 sedanman
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,282

    29 sedanman
    from Indy

    You cant digest them, enhale them or even throw them away but you can buy them at any grocery store in america! Go Figure.

    I used to but them in my bass boat when I stored it for the winter to keep mice out. It usually took a couple trips to get rid of the smell.

    I hope you and your wife are better soon. Sorry to hear of your misfortune.

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