Low aromatic fuel
In 2004, chemists at BP’s Kwinana refinery created a fuel with lower levels of the aromatic compounds associated with creating the 'high' experienced by petrol sniffers. This fuel is called Opal.
Prior to its launch in 2005, Opal fuel was assessed and compared to other fuels by an independent toxicologist. The tests concluded that all fuels are potentially toxic but in terms of chronic exposure, Opal is the least toxic of all the fuels assessed.
Opal is the least toxic of all the fuels assessed.
Although low in aromatics, Opal still contains some volatile substances and, as with other fuels, it shouldn't be inhaled as it can have adverse health effects and, in extreme cases, may cause suffocation and death.
The effect of polystyrene on Opal fuel
In addition, independent testing was conducted to test the chemical composition of Opal fuel after a polystyrene cup was added in order to test that this did not make Opal fuel intoxicating.
The results show that the addition of polystyrene to Opal fuel did not increase the toxicity of Opal fuel and will therefore not alter the toxicity of the fuel.
Opal fuel can only be made intoxicating through the addition of an already intoxicating compound.