What are Antiknock Agents?

We’re back with another FAQ to answer – garage and auto body shop style! While you may be focused on the tools and machinery that pose risks to the workplace and its employees, it is a good idea to think about chemicals, too.

Whether you are an employer or employee in a garage and auto body shop, it is crucial to be aware of the chemicals that you are working with. You must have a clear understanding of its contents, the hazards and how to prevent injury/illness.  This week, we would like to zone in on antiknock agents.

What are antiknock agents?

In short, an antiknock agent is a gasoline additive. The main purpose of having antiknock agents in the shop is to reduce engine knocking and increase fuel octane rating. Sometimes, these are made up of the following:

  •  Methylpentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT)
    •    Ketone solvents (such as methyl isobutyl keton)

In plain words, these ingredients may be harmful to you and your employees, possibly causing eye irritation, breathing problems, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and more.

Being exposed to MMT on a daily basis may have harsh long-term effects, such as damaged kidneys and liver. The Manganese found in MMT is a potent neurotoxin, making it a cause for concern in the shop. Even fine particles in the air that contain manganese can be harmful. These toxins can be absorbed in an employees’ blood through the lungs and cause damage to the central nervous system.

It is also important to note that exposure to manganese may lead to a progressive neurological syndrome, called manganism. Symptoms are said to include:

  •  Impaired motor skills and coordination
    •    Hyper-irritability
    •    Nervousness
    •    Hallucinations
    •    and more…

If a mechanic in your shop is experiencing such things, he or she should see a doctor.

It is clear that antiknock agents are not worth messing around with! As an employer, it is your duty to educate employees on these gasoline additives and all chemicals that employees could be exposed to in the workplace. It’s also your job to make sure that all the necessary steps are taken to properly educate your staff on safety measures to help avoid the worst case scenarios.

At Wolpert Insurance, we understand that. We can hep! We realize that your goal may be to obtain comprehensive and affordable garage insurance solutions, so we take our services a step further. We enjoy educating garage owners in the state of Massachusetts by answering FAQs and more. Be sure to come back next week for another informative blog post!