Hydrocarbon pneumonia

Pneumonia - hydrocarbon

Hydrocarbon pneumonia is caused by drinking or breathing in gasoline, kerosene, furniture polish, paint thinner, or other oily materials or solvents. Many of these hydrocarbons are thin liquids. If you drank one of these hydrocarbons, it is likely some will slip down your windpipe and into your lungs (aspiration) rather than going down your food pipe (esophagus) and into your stomach. This can easily happen if you try to siphon gas out of a gas tank with a hose and your mouth.

Hydrocarbons may be inhaled intentionally for intoxication, especially by adolescents. This is referred to as “huffing.”

These products cause fairly rapid changes in the lungs, including inflammation, swelling, and bleeding.


The major features of the lungs include the bronchi, the bronchioles and the alveoli. The alveoli are the microscopic blood vessel-lined sacks in which oxygen and carbon dioxide gas are exchanged.


Exams and Tests


Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional