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Anti-rust product poisoning
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Anti-rust product poisoning

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Anti-rust product poisoning occurs when someone breathes in or swallows anti-rust products. These products may be accidentally breathed in (inhaled) if they are used in a small, poorly ventilated area, such as a garage.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Anti-rust agents contain different poisonous substances, including:

  • Chelating agents
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Nitrites
  • Oxalic acid
  • Phosphoric acid

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • Poisonous Ingredient

    Anti-rust agents contain different poisonous substances, including:

    • Chelating agents
    • Hydrocarbons
    • Hydrochloric acid
    • Nitrites
    • Oxalic acid
    • Phosphoric acid
  • Where Found

    Various anti-rust products

  • Symptoms

    Eyes, ears, nose, and throat:

    • Loss of vision
    • Severe pain in the throat
    • Severe pain or burning in the nose, eyes, ears, lips, or tongue

    Gastrointestinal:

    • Blood in the stool
    • Burns of the throat (esophagus)
    • Severe abdominal pain
    • Vomiting
    • Vomiting blood

    Heart and blood:

    • Collapse
    • Low blood pressure
    • Methemoglobinemia (very dark blood from abnormal red blood cells)
    • Too much or too little acid in the blood, which leads to damage in all of the body organs

    Kidneys:

    • Kidney failure

    Lungs and airways:

    • Breathing difficulty
    • Throat swelling (may also cause breathing difficulty)

    Skin:

    • Burns
    • Irritation
    • Holes (necrosis) in the skin or tissues underneath
  • Home Care

    Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.

    If the chemical was swallowed, immediately give the person water or milk, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. Do NOT give water or milk if the patient is having symptoms (such as vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness) that make it hard to swallow.

    If the person breathed in the poison, immediately move him or her to fresh air.

  • Before Calling Emergency

    Determine the following information:

    • Patient's age, weight, and condition
    • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
    • Time it was swallowed
    • Amount swallowed
  • Poison Control What to Expect at the Emergency Room

    The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

    This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    See: Poison control center - emergency number

  • The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:

    • Breathing support, including a tube through the mouth and into the lungs, connected to a breathing machine (ventilator)
    • Bronchoscopy -- a small camera down the throat to see burns in the airways and lungs
    • Chest x-ray
    • EKG (heart tracing)
    • Endoscopy -- a small camera down the throat to see burns in the esophagus and the stomach
    • Fluids through the vein (by IV)
    • Methylene blue -- a medicine to reverse the effect of the poison
    • Surgical removal of burned skin (skin debridement)
    • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
    • Washing of the skin (irrigation) -- perhaps every few hours for several days
  • Outlook (Prognosis)

    How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

    Swallowing such poisons can have severe effects on many parts of the body. Damage continues to occur to the kidneys, liver, esophagus, and stomach for several weeks after the substance was swallowed. The outcome depends on this damage.

Related Information

     

References

Mirkin DB. Benzene and related aromatic hydrocarbons. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 94.

Wax PM, Yarema M. Corrosives. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 98.

Wax PM, Young A. Caustics. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al., eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 153.

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Review Date: 1/24/2014  

Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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