Ammonia poisoning - symptoms and first aid
To date, a lot of industrial areas are located near the sleeping areas of cities. A considerable number of people also work in such plants, where they are faced daily with potentially dangerous chemicals. One of such unfavorable for the body is ammonia.
Many of us have heard about ammonia more than once in our life. But not everyone knows about its properties, scope and possible consequences due to non-compliance with banal rules of safety. It is because of the toxicity of ammonia and its widespread prevalence that it is necessary to know where it is stored, how it can enter the body, and what are the symptoms? And, most importantly, how to help with poisoning and what are the possible consequences?
What is ammonia and where is it used?
Ammonia is a colorless gas with a sharp suffocating smell. To mix up a smell of this substance with any other it is practically impossible. In liquid form, ammonia is sold in household chemical shops in the form of a solvent. More often is present in a concentration of 25%. The maximum concentration is 30%, the solution is used in cleaners and industrial solvents.
In its pure form, this gaseous substance is not used anywhere, due to its toxic effect on the body. But this gas belongs to one of the first important products of industrial activity. It is used for the preparation of paints and finishes (ammonia concentration - 20-30%). Also widely known is medical ammonia alcohol - 10% (more often used to "bring the patient to feel" or to stimulate the vomiting center). In medical practice, Liniment is also used, the main active ingredient of which is ammonia alcohol in the treatment of myositis and neurological disorders.
In addition, fertilizers for soil contain a certain concentration of ammonia. It is also used in the manufacture of refrigeration and freezing plants, the manufacture of explosives. In everyday life, it can be used to clean hard-to-remove stains (paint, varnish, greasy and oily stains, coffee, milk, mold), and also for gentle washing of floors, tiles and glass.
Despite the fact that an ordinary person does not constantly have to deal with ammonia in his daily life, care should be taken with preparations with his addition.
Symptoms of poisoning with ammonia
The main ways of penetration of ammonia into the body:
- contact (skin damage);
- through eye injury.
Since this gas belongs to substances with high destructive activity, the first symptoms of ammonia poisoning occur almost immediately. It should also be taken into account that even a short work with this substance can lead to severe poisoning.
The signs of acute poisoning include:
- rhinorrhea (runny nose);
- hoarseness of voice;
- hyperemia (overflow of blood) of visible mucous membranes;
- eye damage;
- increased salivation (salivation);
- Pershing and sore throat;
- the appearance of a feeling of pressure in the chest;
- paroxysmal dry cough;
- signs of suffocation;
- dyspeptic disorders (soreness in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, heartburn).
In the most severe cases, when the poisoning was caused by a highly concentrated solution of ammonia, there are observed:
- burns of the upper respiratory tract, which causes respiratory and circulatory disorders, pulmonary edema or pneumonia;
- in case of contact with skin, a chemical burn is possible, with the formation of specific crusts;
- with eye damage in most cases, the forecast is unfavorable, loss of vision is possible.
Due to ammonia damage to vital organs and systems (respiratory, cardiovascular, sight), a lethal outcome is possible. The prognosis of the disease depends on the concentration in which the substance was used, and during which time the first medical aid was provided for ammonia poisoning.
How to provide first aid for poisoning with ammonia
In order to prevent the development of severe consequences for ammonia poisoning, first aid must be provided immediately. Act in the following sequence.
- Call an ambulance.
- Bring the victim to the street for a breath of fresh air.
- Rinse the nasopharynx, the nasal cavity and mouth with a weak concentration of citric acid.
- Use a solution of Dicaine for instilling eyes, put on sunglasses.
- If the upper parts of the digestive tract are affected, the stomach should be rinsed with a weak saline solution;
- If the skin and visible mucous membranes are damaged, rinse thoroughly with running water and apply a bandage;
- When a specific smell arises in the room, it is necessary to protect the respiratory tract. But simply closing the face with a gauze bandage does not help - it must be applied wet. When poisoning with ammonia, you need to know what you need to wet the bandage - this is suitable for 2% solution of citric acid or acetic acid.
- The inhalation of vapors through a nebulizer (device for inhalation) can also alleviate the condition of the victim.
Consequences of poisoning with ammonia
It should be borne in mind that in addition to serious clinical signs, the long-term effects of ammonia poisoning can also arise. Among which:
- very often there are violations of the functioning of the nervous system - limb tremor, amnesia, decreased intelligence, disorientation, tics, imbalance, decreased sensitivity, dizziness;
- hearing loss - loss of hearing due to external or middle ear damage;
- decrease in visual acuity - with eye damage in pairs of ammonia, visual acuity decreases until complete blindness.
To avoid such cases, simple safety rules should be followed. When working with such dangerous chemicals, negligence is unacceptable, since in the event of an emergency, not one person may suffer, but many, even up to a lethal outcome. Therefore, first aid for poisoning with ammonia should be provided immediately. Caution has not harmed anyone yet, therefore, when working with hazardous chemicals, you must follow safety rules.