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QUESTION: Is it safe to live next door to a petrol station? 10/08/09 Victoria, Australia

I want to know is it safe to have the property (house) next to petrol station, regards,


ANSWER: Aug 10 2009

A: not until fumes are controlled and soil contamination cleaned up

Dear Rohini,

generally it will not be safe to live next door to a petrol station, until petrol stations are forced to control petrol fumes. Until that happens, you don't want to live next door to a petrol station unless the wind is always going to be blowing the fumes away from your house and your house is far enough away from the petrol station that you're not affected by the fumes. You can research the hazardous nature of the various volatile products sold at petrol stations by searching for them eg unleaded petrol, in the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) Database at To Register for access please contact or Phone +61 3 9875 6900.

There is also the problem of the leaded petrol contamination in the soil which will invariably be there from the time when leaded petrol was sold (prior to 2002) and petrol station underground storage tanks typically leaked - this lead would be a concern if you were planning to grow vegetables or have a dog that digs, or a child that eats soil, or if you found that you could not grow grass or other groundcover plants on the soil (because of the petrol station soil contamination). A good grass layer is normally protective enough for most young children to avoid ingestion or inhalation of lead from soil, but if the soil is bare, the lead can be easily breathed in or eaten due to hand to mouth activities of young children. Some petrol companies have been forced to clean up the soil contamination in homes surrounding their service stations.

Good luck with that.

I hope this helps

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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