Rat poison - a lethal dose to humans, symptoms and effects of poisoning
Rats and mice are the eternal companions of man. To combat them, it is best to use biological methods: catching or scaring away, keeping cats and other animal rats in the house. However, with a large population size, the use of more radical means, namely, rat poisons is required. Their use must be carried out in compliance with safety regulations, despite the fact that poisoning a person with rat poison does not happen so often.
A person who is not associated with the production of drugs and baits for rodents is much more likely to become a victim of foodborne infection in the nearest eatery. And yet there are cases of ingestion of poisons to kill rodents. How does this happen, what is the lethal dose and what to do in such situations? Let's figure it out.
When human poisoning with rat poison is possible
In Russia, lethal cases in case of poisoning with baits against rodents have not been recorded over the past decades. According to press reports, group poisoning of children occurred in 2007 and 2011. In all cases, the children received timely medical care, little patients fully recovered. So, in 2007, 15 children aged 3-4 years were poisoned in Vladimir. Left unattended, they ate peas with rat poison. In 2011, group poisoning of 6–11-year-old schoolchildren was recorded in the Tyumen region. Children also ate pickled seeds. There are reports that the child in front of his parents bit off or swallowed pills from rodents.
Can a man die from rat poison? In China in 2002–2011, cases of deliberate poisoning with rat poison banned for sale were repeatedly recorded. The attackers poured it into the food. Also known cases of poisoning when eating shish kebab (presumably from the meat of dead rats and foxes). In some cases, about 10% of the number of affected people died.
The degree of damage to the body and the possibility of death in the first place depends on what substance is contained in the bait.
Types of rat poison and its effect on the human body
Rat poison is called "rodenticide" - it is a means for the destruction of rodents. It belongs to the group of pesticides and is widely used in agriculture and in everyday life. There are several types of rodenticides that differ in the effects of rat poison on animals, including humans.
- Rat (naphthylthiocarbamide) and zinc phosphide are currently limited in use due to their high toxicity. They belong to the means of acute action and cause 100% death of rodents within a few hours after eating the bait. Apply under strict control in areas where other poisons are no longer valid.
- Obsolete poisons prohibited for use: arsenic and lead compounds, thallium sulfate, yellow or white phosphorus, strychnine.
- Almost all commercially available anti-rat and mouse products contain zoo coumarins. These are substances that violate blood clotting. As a result of eating such poisons, rodents die from internal bleeding. First generation anticoagulants: Warfarin (Zoocoumarin), Ratindan, Izoindan, Ethylphenacin and others. They do not accumulate in the body, act slowly and are excreted by the kidneys within 3-4 days. Some rodent populations over time develop resistance to the anticoagulants of this group. Therefore, more potent drugs were invented. The second-generation anticoagulants are more toxic, act faster and accumulate in the body, that is, they have a cumulative (accumulative) effect. This group includes: Brodifacoum, Bromadiolone, Flocoumafen, Difenacum and others.
When consumed inside the rat poison, the lethal dose for a person will depend on the active substance and the state of health, especially the liver. It is the liver that synthesizes the factors necessary for normal blood clotting. And anticoagulant poisons destroy these substances. For warfarin, the lethal dose (LD50) is 60 mg / kg body weight, and for bromadiolone, it is 300 mg / kg.
Accidentally take a large amount of rat poison is difficult. To obtain a lethal dose will require repeated ingestion of anticoagulants in the body. Rats, in order to die, must eat the bait for a week. In addition, in the final form of rat poison contains, as a rule, from 0.1 to 2% of the active substance. To prepare the bait, the preparation is mixed with grain, minced meat or other food that is attractive to rodents. The rat poison, which contains zookumarins, contains about 2-3% of the drug in the ready-to-use mixture, which, on pure poison, is on average 0.02%. Thus, if an adult needs to eat 3-4 grams of pure poison for death, then in terms of the sales form it will be about 150 grams. In soft briquettes - tablets from rats, so popular today, contain 0.005% poison. Even a child needs to swallow a rather large piece to get a serious poisoning.
It should be noted that some poisons from rats can penetrate the skin. Those who are working on the preparation of baits should observe the precautions.
Symptoms of poisoning with rat poison in humans
When a person is poisoned with rat poison, the symptoms do not develop immediately, but 3-4 days after the poison enters the body. The disease is characterized by a chronic course. In rare cases, due to taking a large dose of a potent drug, perhaps, the development of signs of impaired blood clotting after 12-24 hours.
At victims it is noted:
- nausea, loss of appetite;
- the appearance of bleeding gums, hemorrhages on the mucous membranes;
- less often, symptoms of poisoning by rat poison in humans are manifested by diarrhea, blood admixture in fecal masses, nose bleeds, pain in the abdomen, and bloody spots on the body.
First aid for human poisoning with rat poison
In case of accidental poison in the stomach should:
- induce vomiting;
- drink 3 liters of liquid;
- take activated carbon;
- drink saline laxative.
If rat poison gets on human skin, wash it off with warm water and soap; on the mucous membranes of the eyes and mouth - rinse thoroughly with running water.
Depending on what dose the victim received, and how the rat poison acts on the person, hospitalization may be necessary. Inpatient treatment is based on the introduction within 15–30 days of an antidote - vitamin K1 (Fitmenadione) and maintenance therapy: hepatoprotectors, forced diuresis. In severe cases, blood plasma transfusions may be required to quickly replace clotting factor. Recovery is monitored by examining the prothrombin index, a laboratory indicator for assessing blood clotting.
Consequences of human poisoning with rat poison
In the case of poisoning a person with rat poison, the consequences can be remote. Therefore, a timely request for medical care is required. The doctor will conduct the necessary laboratory tests and prescribe treatment. Even with a mild lesion, a long-term intake of vitamin K will be required. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the liver to restore normal blood clotting, various manifestations of hemophilia syndrome are possible:
- bleeding gums;
- heavy bleeding with wound injuries;
- internal hemorrhages.
Let's summarize how to act in case of poisoning a person with rat poison. If rat poison is inadvertently in the stomach, it is necessary to induce vomiting, drink plenty of fluids and take activated charcoal. If the poisoning is chronic, it does not make sense to induce vomiting and flush the stomach.
In all cases of poisoning should consult a doctor for medical treatment.