Western Gas Propane Recall Issued Over Lack Of Sufficient Odorant

A recall has been issued for nearly 46 million gallons of propane gas delivered to consumer’s storage tanks, or sold in portable cylinders nationwide, since it may lack of sufficient levels of odorant that is designed to help identify gas leaks. 

The Western Gas propane recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on December 28, after the manufacturer recognized propane used to fill stationary or portable holding tanks lacked sufficient levels of odorant to allow consumers to identify a gas leak.

While no injuries or incidents have been reported in relation to the gas recall, this could pose a serious and potentially life-threatening risk in homes nationwide.

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Propane gas is a colorless and odorless flammable gas that when breathed or swallowed can cause serious and potentially fatal adverse health consequences. When inhaled, propane gas takes the place of oxygen in the lungs and can result in asphyxiation and breathing difficulties that could be fatal if prolonged.

Side effects of propane poisoning may include nausea, vomiting, fever and headache, skin and throat irritation, respiratory difficulties, dizziness, burning of the mouth and throat, and in prolonged exposures may cause seizures.

Given the toxic effects of exposure to propane, distributors are required to add a non-harmful odor, typically ethyl mercaptan, which provides a distinct smell to alert individuals to the presence of a gas leak.

The recall includes 45.7 million gallons of under-odorized propane gas delivered to consumer’s storage tanks or sold at retail locations in portable cylinders for recreational vehicles, barbecues, stoves, and other appliances. According to Western Gas, all propane tanks that have been inspected for the level of odorant or have been refilled after November 2017 are not impacted by the recall.

The recalled propane was distributed by Western Gas Partners LP, of The Woodlands, Texas, to various retailers in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming from April 2015 through October 2017.

Customers are being asked not to test the propane themselves, and to immediately contact their supplier or Western Gas at 833-444-1451 or visit them online at www.propaneawareness.com to determine whether their propane is affected and arrange for a free inspection.

If the inspection confirms the propane contains insufficient levels of odorant, Western Gas will promptly arrange for additional odorization or replacement. Customers with portable cylinder tanks should contact their supplier to confirm if the propane used is included in the recall and return the tank to the retailer for a free replacement.

The CPSC is urging customers not to test the propane tanks themselves and to immediately vacate their home or area if they smell a faint odor of gas, and call 911 or their gas supplier from a neighbor’s phone.


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