Although the smell of fuel can be repulsive to many people, there is a group who find its aroma appealing. These are some hypotheses that science uses to explain it.
Are you one of those people who, when in a gas station Do you roll down the window to enjoy the smell of the air? If your answer is yes, you are part of the group that oddly loves the smell of the 150 chemicals mixed in gasoline.
And for many other people, he smell fuel can be disgusting and unbearable.
However, There are at least three hypotheses scientist which explains why some people are attracted to this particular aroma.
Why do some people like the smell of gasoline?
The pleasure of smelling gasoline could have chemical, physiological and psychological reasons, As explained by various researchers from University of Liverpool .
In this line, The first theory is the Proust phenomenon, according to which the taste of the smell of gasoline can be linked to a positive memory that we have in our mind, like a road trip. And the olfactory system is closely linked to the control of emotions and memory.
The second is that gasoline contains a chemical called benzene. -which serves to improve engine performance- which has a sweet aroma which can be very pleasant for those with a more sensitive sense of smell.
Typically, people who like the smell of nail polish or paint (which are products containing benzene) may also develop a taste for the smell of benzine. However, inhaling this product is very dangerous, as it is a toxin that can impair memory, cause attention problems and even migraines.
The third theory is the mesolimbic pathway. This is a channel in the brain that produces pleasant sensations and is studied by the neurobiology of addictions. The “pleasure triggers” it produces are generally video games, sex, drugs and, also, gasoline.
The negative effects of the smell of gasoline
Exposure to gasoline -even sniffing out the car window- can cause serious health risks.
According to U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR for its acronym in English), Mild effects of the smell of gasoline can be:
However, The greater the exposure, the more serious the effects will be. These could be:
- Irritation of the lungs.
- Irritation of the stomach lining (if swallowed).
- Skin irritation.
- Conditions in the nervous system.