Preventing paraffin-related injury


  • David C. Schwebel Department of Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Dehran Swart The Paraffin Safety Association of Southern Africa, Cape Town


Paraffin, Injury, Safety


Paraffin (called kerosene in North America and other parts of the world) is the most commonly used fuel in ‎non-electrified dwellings worldwide.  It is especially popular in Africa and South Asia.   Although paraffin ‎offers many advantages – especially its comparatively low cost to produce – it poses two major risks of ‎injury.  First, paraffin poisoning is common, either through ingestion or through inhalation of smoke and ‎fumes.  Second, paraffin is highly flammable, and poses fire risk through multiple causes.  This commentary ‎discusses strategies to prevent paraffin-related injury.  Prevention of paraffin-related injury must be through ‎multiple strategies, and should include policy-oriented change, changes to the safety of home environments, ‎and behavioral changes targeting how individuals store and use paraffin and paraffin appliances.  We review ‎successful prevention strategies in each of these domains and discuss appropriate research and community ‎initiatives that should be implemented to improve paraffin safety among at-risk populations.



How to Cite

Schwebel, D. C., & Swart, D. (2009). Preventing paraffin-related injury. Journal of Injury and Violence Research, 1(1), 3–5. Retrieved from




Most read articles by the same author(s)