Poisoning with boric acid
Boric acid and preparations based on it are used in medicine and cosmetology. In the pharmacy this powder can be bought completely freely, without any restrictions. At the same time, not all people who use this drug for household and medical purposes, know about some of its dangerous properties.
Let's talk about poisoning - is boric acid harmful to humans, and what kind of disturbances can it cause in the body?
Where boric acid and solutions based on it are used
This acid is chemically very weak, the solutions of which do not irritate the skin and mucous membranes. In its pure form it is a colorless, fine crystalline powder, odorless. To the touch, it is slightly greasy, readily soluble in water, glycerin and alcohol.
It is used in medicine as a poorly disinfectant and drying agent. An aqueous solution of boric acid is used in a concentration of 2-4% for washing the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth, in gynecological practice, with dermatitis and eczema.
A solution of boric acid in Russia is banned for use in children, pregnant and lactating women since 1987.
Also, on the basis of boric acid, various soaps, pastes, powders, lotions are produced, it is included in the solution for contact lenses.
In everyday life, the powder is used as a poison for cockroaches, mixing it with egg yolk or other insect-attractive product.
In industry, it is used in fertilizers, in foundries and in nuclear reactors, and in photography for the preparation of solutions. Boric acid is registered as a food supplement E284, but in Russia it is not included in the list of allowed for use.
The harm of boric acid for a person can appear due to ingestion of it or in large quantities on the skin. In order to have a violation of the body, usually requires repeated exposure to the drug in elevated doses (within 3-5 days).
Lethal doses for adults are 20-40 grams, for children 4-5 grams (0.5 g per kg of body weight). There is a difference in individual tolerability. Breast children are most susceptible to poisoning due to poorly developed mechanisms of toxin removal from the body.
What happens when boric acid is poisoned?
Poisoning with boric acid is rare and occurs more often in children in the following situations:
- the use by parents of ignorance of boric acid preparations, especially in infants;
- nursing mother's nipples;
- errors in the use of medicines by medical personnel;
- accidental swallowing of a child powder, poison for cockroaches on its basis, ingestion of boron-containing cosmetics.
Getting inside, boric acid is well absorbed from the intestine into the blood. Also, the resorption of the drug occurs from the skin and mucous membranes. In the blood, the substance is not neutralized, but circulates unchanged, is secreted by the liver with bile (about 10%) and kidneys (about 90%). From the intestine, the drug is drawn back into the blood. It is withdrawn quite slowly, the half-life is 24-36 hours.
The substance irritates the mucous membranes, destructively affects the kidneys and nerve cells of the brain.
In young children, boric acid can cause symptoms similar to inflammation of the meninges, which entails death and coma.
The consequences of poisoning with boric acid are reduced to disruption of the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Cases of death are not uncommon among children.
Symptoms of boric acid poisoning
When poisoning with boric acid, the symptoms appear in the following order:
- persistent vomiting, often with blood;
- lack of appetite, lethargy;
- diarrhea, which during heavy poisoning contains an admixture of blood;
- cramping in the abdomen;
- Sometimes vomitive and fecal masses are colored blue-green;
- characteristic reddening of the entire skin, especially on the palms, feet, buttocks;
- to the reddening is added a rash, which can be confused with scarlet fever or crustacean;
- 1-2 days after the appearance of redness, the skin begins to peel;
- develop symptoms of damage to the nervous system: muscle twitching, trembling, convulsive seizures;
- impaired kidney function: little or no urine;
- edema in the genital area;
- coma and death.
The kidney function is disrupted both due to the direct action of boric acid, and due to dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea.
When poisoning with boric acid, first aid is as follows.
- If a child ate a dangerous substance before your eyes, you should induce vomiting and rinse the stomach with plenty of water.
- To give activated carbon is ineffective, since boric acid is poorly adsorbed.
- Take a laxative: sodium sulfate, magnesium, lactulose.
- Drink more fluids, do not allow dehydration. You can apply rehydrating solutions: "Regidron", "Hydrovit".
If a small child is injured, then consult a doctor.
Treatment of poisoning
The difficulty of treating this type of poisoning is that often the symptoms are attributed to another disease: gastroenteritis, meningitis, skin diseases, infectious diseases in children. To confirm the diagnosis, a determination of boric acid in urine and blood is carried out.
To treat poisoning, gastric lavage, exchange blood transfusion or hemodialysis is prescribed, forced diuresis is applied, alkaline blood reserve is restored. Eliminate dehydration and normalize blood pressure.
Summarizing all of the above, we note that poisoning with boric acid and its drugs is observed more often in children with improper use of drugs or accidental ingestion of the poison inside. Develops vomiting with blood, diarrhea, in severe cases - redness of the skin and cramps. A child can die as a result of kidney and coma failure.
To prevent poisoning, you should know how to use boric acid. As a disinfectant, it is used only in adults in a solution concentration of 2-4%. If you use the drug for household or cosmetic purposes, keep the powder out of the reach of children.