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Health Library : Non-Traumatic Emergencies

 

Chemical Poisoning

The danger of chemical poisoning

Common sources of chemical poisoning include household products, agricultural products, plants, and industrial chemicals. Identifying the poison is critical to successful treatment of poisonings.

What are the symptoms of a chemical poisoning?

 The following are common symptoms of chemical poisoning. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Severe throat pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Burns on the lips or mouth
  • Sudden behavior changes, such as unusual sleepiness, irritability, or jumpiness
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach cramps without fever
  • Unusual drooling or odd odor on the breath
  • Unexplained stains on the clothing
  • Convulsions or unconsciousness (in very serious cases only)

The first action when a person has ingested a toxic substance is to call Poison Help at 800-222-1222 to get connected to a local poison center.

What is syrup of ipecac?

Syrup of ipecac is an emetic (an agent used to cause vomiting) made from the dried root of a plant grown in Brazil called ipecacuanha.

New guidelines on ipecac

Although ipecac was commonly used in the past, guidelines now state that you should not use it.

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