Many of the toxic gases sometimes found in containers have difficult names. See what each substance is and does, and what symptoms you can get if you inhale it.

Methyl bromide

  • Short-term inhalation of methyl bromide can cause dizziness, headache, nausea, stomach cramps and vomiting. It irritates and causes eye pain. Can be lethal even at low concentrations (depending on exposure time, 1,600 to 60,000 ppm). Contact with skin causes irritation, itching, followed by blistering and pain.

Sulfuryl fluoride

  • Sulfuryl fluoride is a toxic gas that weakens the central nervous system. Symptoms include nausea, stomach pain, dizziness or convulsions. Exposure to high concentrations can cause irritation or impairment of the respiratory system. Prolonged exposure can lead to fatal pulmonary edema.


  • Lethal pulmonary edema may occur with exposure to high concentrations. Symptoms with short-term exposure include: abdominal pain, coughing, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, nausea, sore throat, vomiting. Sometimes you may not experience symptoms for a while.


  • Ammonia is toxic when inhaled, can cause burns and is strongly irritating to eyes and mucous membranes.

Carbon dioxide

  • Higher concentrations can quickly cause circulatory disturbances. Symptoms include headache, nausea and vomiting. This can lead to unconsciousness.


  • Formaldehyde can irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Headaches and skin irritation may also occur. It is even possible to develop occupational asthma on this substance.


  • Phosphine, also known as hydrogen phosphide (PH3) is a phosphorus compound. The highly toxic gas is often used for pest control by fumigation. The gas itself is odourless, colourless, flammable and already deadly at fairly low c

1.2 dichloroethane

  • Inhalation of 1.2-dichloroethane can cause damage to the nervous system, liver, kidneys and lungs. Exposure of laboratory animals to 1.2-dichloroethane increases the risk of stomach, breast, liver and lung cancer.

Hydrocyanic acid

  • The acute toxicity of prussic acid is due to its ability to be rapidly absorbed into the blood by the lungs and transported to the tissues. The tissues most dependent on oxygen, brain cells, are damaged first. The lethal dose for adults would be about 150 mg. The vapor of prussic acid mixes well with air and easily forms explosive mixtures (explosive at 5.6 to 40% air).

Carbon monoxide

  • The gas is toxic because it binds much (200-300 times) more strongly to the protein hemoglobin than oxygen,. As a result, the blood can no longer transport oxygen to the tissues.
    Even at low concentrations of carbon monoxide in the ambient air, the hemoglobin soon contains a significant percentage of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning still kills people in the Netherlands and Belgium every year.