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    Chemical Poisoning 

    What can cause chemical poisoning?

    Common sources of chemical poisoning include:

    • Household cleaners

    • Laundry detergent

    • Drain cleaners

    • Varnishes

    • Agricultural products

    • Plants

    • Industrial chemicals

    Identifying the type of poison is important to treat the poisoning.

    What are the symptoms of a chemical poisoning?

    Different chemicals will cause different symptoms. Common symptoms can include:

    • Severe throat pain

    • Trouble breathing

    • Burns on the lips or mouth

    • Sudden behavior changes, such as unusual sleepiness, irritability, or jumpiness

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Stomach cramps with no fever

    • Unusual 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 will connect you to a local poison center.

    If a person has been poisoned, do not 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 that you should not use it. 

    Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRC
    Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
    Online Medical Reviewer: Eric Perez MD
    Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2019
    © 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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