Ammonia poisoning - symptoms and first aid
Today, a lot of industrial areas are located close to the sleeping areas of cities. A considerable number of people also work in such factories, where they are confronted daily with potentially dangerous chemicals. One of these adverse substances for the body is ammonia.
Many of us have heard about ammonia more than once in our lives. But not everyone knows about its properties, scope and possible consequences due to non-compliance with the banal safety rules. It is precisely because of the toxicity of ammonia and its widespread distribution that it is necessary to know where it is contained, how it can get into the body, and what symptoms do it cause? And, most importantly, how to help with poisoning and what are possible consequences?
What is ammonia and where is it used
Ammonia is a colorless gas with a sharp, suffocating odor. To confuse the smell of this substance with any other is almost impossible. In liquid form, ammonia is sold in household chemical stores as a solvent. Most often represented in a concentration of 25%. The maximum concentration is 30%, the solution is used in cleaners and industrial solvents.
In its pure form, such a gaseous substance is not used anywhere, due to its toxic effect on the body. But this gas is one of the first major products of industrial activity. It is used for the preparation of paints and varnishes and finishing materials (concentration of ammonia - 20-30%). Medical ammonia is also widely known - 10% (most often used to “bring the victim to life” or to stimulate the emetic center). In medical practice, liniment is also used, the main active ingredient of which is ammonia in the treatment of myositis and neurological disorders.
In addition, fertilizers for soil contain a certain concentration of ammonia. It is used in the production of refrigerators and freezers, the manufacture of explosives. In everyday life, it is needed to clean difficult to remove stains (paint, varnish, greasy and oily stains, coffee, milk, mold), as well as for gentle washing of floors, tiles and glass.
Despite the fact that an ordinary person in everyday life does not have to constantly deal with ammonia vapors, one should still use drugs with its addition with caution.
Symptoms of ammonia poisoning
The main ways of penetration of ammonia into the body:
- contact (skin lesion);
- through eye damage.
Since this gas belongs to substances with high destructive activity, the first symptoms of ammonia poisoning occur almost immediately. It should also be borne in mind that even a short work with this substance can lead to severe poisoning.
Signs of acute poisoning include:
- rhinorrhea (runny nose);
- hyperemia (overflow with blood) of visible mucous membranes;
- eye damage;
- increased salivation (salivation);
- sore throat and sore throat;
- the emergence of a feeling of pressure in the chest;
- paroxysmal dry cough;
- signs of choking;
- dyspeptic disorders (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, heartburn).
In the most severe cases, when the poisoning was caused by a highly concentrated solution of ammonia are observed:
- burns of the upper respiratory tract, resulting in respiratory and circulatory disorders, pulmonary edema or pneumonia;
- skin contact may cause chemical burn with the formation of specific peels in the future;
- in case of eye damage, in most cases the prognosis is unfavorable, loss of vision is possible.
Due to ammonia damage of vital organs and systems (respiratory, cardiovascular, organs of vision), death is possible. The prognosis of the disease depends on the concentration at which the substance was used, and for how long the first medical aid was provided for ammonia poisoning.
How to give first aid in ammonia poisoning
In order to prevent the development of serious consequences in case of ammonia poisoning, first aid should be provided immediately. It is necessary to act in the following sequence.
- Call the ambulance brigade.
- Take the victim outside to get some fresh air.
- Rinse the nasopharynx, nasal cavity and mouth with a weak concentration of citric acid.
- Use the solution Dikaina for instillation of eyes, wear sunglasses.
- If the upper digestive tract is affected, the stomach should be washed with a weak saline solution;
- If the skin and visible mucous membranes are damaged, rinse thoroughly with running water and apply a bandage;
- If a specific odor occurs in the room, it is necessary to protect the respiratory tract. But simply covering the face with a gauze bandage does not help - it must be applied wet. In case of poisoning with ammonia, you need to know what to wet the dressing with - a 2% solution of citric or acetic acid is suitable for this.
- Inhalation of vapor through a nebulizer (device for inhalation) can also alleviate the condition of the victim.
Consequences of ammonia poisoning
It should be borne in mind that in addition to serious clinical signs, there may be long-term effects of ammonia poisoning. Among which:
- very often there are disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system - tremor of the extremities, amnesia, decreased intelligence, disorientation, tics, imbalance, decreased sensitivity, dizziness;
- hearing loss - due to damage to the outer or middle ear, hearing loss is possible;
- reduction of vision vigilance - if the eye is damaged by ammonia vapor, visual acuity decreases to complete blindness.
To avoid such cases, follow the simple safety guidelines. When dealing with such hazardous chemicals, negligence is unacceptable, since in the event of an emergency not one person but many may suffer, even death. Therefore, first aid for ammonia poisoning should be provided immediately. Caution has not hurt anyone, so when working with hazardous chemicals, you need to follow safety regulations.