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Household glue poisoning
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Household glue poisoning

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Glue poisoning

Most household glues, such as Elmer's glue, are not poisonous. However, household glue poisoning can occur when someone intentionally breathes in glue fumes in an attempt to get "high."

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.

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • Poisonous Ingredient

    • Ethanol
    • Xylene
    • Light aliphatic naphtha
    • N-hexane
    • Toluene
  • Where Found

    • Glue

    Note: This list may not include all sources of household glue.

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms of breathing in ("sniffing") glue fumes may include:

    • Anxiety
    • Convulsions (from breathing in large amounts)
    • Drunk, dazed, or dizzy appearance
    • Excitability
    • Headache
    • Irritability
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea
    • Red, runny nose

    Severe poisonings caused by swallowing glue may cause:

    • Gastric outlet obstruction
    • Intestinal obstruction with abdominal pain
  • 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 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

    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

  • What to Expect at the Emergency Room

    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.

  • 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.

    Because household glue is relatively nonpoisonous, you should recover. However, heart, kidney, brain, and liver damage are possible from long-term poisoning.

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.

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Review Date: 2/28/2012  

Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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