What can cause chemical poisoning?
Common sources of chemical poisoning include:
- Household cleaners
- Laundry detergent
- Drain cleaners
- Agricultural products
- Industrial chemicals
Mixing chemicals can also result in a chemical poisoning. Identifying the type of poison involved is important to effectively treat the person.
What are the symptoms of a chemical poisoning?
Different chemicals will cause different symptoms. Common symptoms can include:
Severe throat pain
Burns on the lips or mouth
Sudden behavior changes, such as abnormal sleepiness, irritability, or jumpiness
Nausea or vomiting
Stomach cramps with no fever
Abnormal drooling or odd odor on the breath
Convulsions or unconsciousness (severe cases only)
What to do in case of chemical poisoning
The first action when a person has swallowed a toxic substance is to call Poison Control at 800-222-1222. This number will connect you to a local poison center that is free, confidential, and available 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
If a person has been poisoned, don't give them ipecac. Syrup of ipecac is an emetic. This is a chemical used to cause vomiting. It is made from the dried root of a plant grown in Brazil called ipecacuanha. Although ipecac was commonly used in the past, guidelines now say not to use it because it can cause more harm than good.