Poisoning with phenol
All phenols are toxic and highly hazardous substances for humans. But in the whole world they produce and use millions of tons per year.
When ingested, these substances can cause severe poisoning. So let's find out in which industries phenol is used, how it gets into the human body, about its toxic properties and signs of poisoning, about first aid and treatment.
Characteristics of phenols
Phenol has the appearance of colorless crystals, which, rapidly oxidizing in air, acquire a pink color. The sharp specific smell of phenol is similar to the smell of gouache.
It is moderately soluble in water (1:20). It dissolves well in alcohol, alkalis, acetone, oils. But at a temperature above 700 ° C in water it dissolves in any ratio. With water vapor it acquires volatile properties. Easily adsorbed by products.
- hydroquinone and others.
Application of phenols
Anyone has the opportunity to face and even get poisoned by phenol in everyday life, given its widespread use. Where is it applied?
Chemical industry: manufacture of dyes, synthetic fibers (nylon and kapron), plastics, epoxy resins, cleaning and disinfecting solutions.
- Oil refining industry: selective cleaning of oils.
- Agriculture: in cattle breeding (for the disinfection of animals), in plant growing - is a part of fungicides and pesticides - to combat plant diseases and weeds.
- Wood industry: additive for wood and glue.
- Food industry: phenol derivatives provide preservative properties in smoke smoke.
- The pharmaceutical industry: the production of certain medicines ("Aspirin", "Oracept"), as a preservative in the production of vaccines.
- Medicine: as an antiseptic ("Xeroform") and drugs for the treatment of fungal skin diseases, genital warts, inflammation of the middle ear and other diseases; in the form of 3-5% solution for disinfection of patient discharge and care items, patient's linen; cleaning of premises.
- In cosmetology: deep peeling.
Toxicity of phenol
Phenol has a hazard class II - a highly hazardous substance. It can enter the body through the mucous membranes, respiratory organs and skin, and is released through the kidneys and lungs.
A solution of phenol, just like its dust and vapors, causes irritation and chemical burn of the skin, eyes, mucous respiratory tract. Poisoning with phenolic vapors can disrupt the functions of the nervous system up to the paralysis of the respiratory center.
Upon contact with the skin, the substance is quickly absorbed even through intact parts of the skin. A few minutes later, a toxic effect on the brain begins. The lethal dose of phenol with an internal intake for an adult varies from 1 gram to 10 grams, and for children - from 0.05 grams to 0.5 grams.
The poisoning effect on all cells occurs as a result of a change in the structure of protein molecules with a change in their properties and the precipitation of cellular proteins in the precipitate. As a result, necrosis (necrosis) of tissues can develop.
The toxic effect of phenols is also on the kidneys. They destroy erythrocytes in the blood, have an allergic effect on the body, cause dermatitis and other allergic reactions.
Causes of Poisoning
Poisoning by phenols can occur for the following reasons:
violation of safety procedures during the work with them;
- accidental use of a poisonous substance;
- suicide attempt;
- violation of dosages and rules for the use of medicinal products;
- violation of rules for storage of medicines, disinfectants and household chemicals in places accessible to children;
- the use of toys by children from plastics that do not comply with GOST (in recent years, children have been poisoned by puppets, even expensive ones made in China and Thailand).
Symptoms of phenol poisoning
Poisonings are acute and chronic. Symptoms of acute phenol poisoning can occur when a poisonous substance enters through the mouth, the respiratory tract, or when it enters the skin.
Acute inhalation poisoning with phenol is manifested by such symptoms:
- increased salivation;
- sneezing, coughing;
- protein, erythrocytes in the urine.
In the event of a substance falling on the skin, the pale and wrinkling at the affected area of the skin first appears, followed by reddening, the formation of blisters, followed by the development of necrosis. The appearance of numbness or tingling, lack of pain at first can cause delayed medical care.
With extensive lesions, a severe degree of poisoning develops with fever, respiratory, circulatory and nervous system disorders.
When phenol enters the body, characteristic manifestations of poisoning are:
- specific odor from the mouth;
- on the lips and mouth mucosa, white spots (chemical burn);
- severe pain in the pharynx and in the abdomen;
- vomiting, brown color and a characteristic smell of vomit;
- liquid bloody stools;
- severe pallor of the face;
- dilated pupils;
- copious cold sweat;
- a sharp drop in temperature;
- difficulty and irregular breathing rhythm;
- acute cardiovascular insufficiency (falling of arterial pressure, small pulse);
- in the urine, red blood cells and protein;
- confused consciousness, perhaps, the development of coma and seizures.
When the liver is affected, jaundice develops. Kidney damage is indicated by the termination of urination. When ingested concentrated solutions or large doses of substance, death occurs already in the first day.
For chronic poisoning are characteristic:
- increased fatigue;
- sleep disturbance;
- nausea and digestive disorders;
First aid and treatment
When poisoning phenol (even with the manifestation of minor symptoms), treatment must be done correctly from the first minutes, so as not to harm the victim.
What should I do for acute phenol poisoning? Urgently call an ambulance, since delay with emergency care and treatment is unacceptable!
When poisoning with phenol before the arrival of medical workers must provide first aid.
- When exposed to external poison - remove it from the skin surface by washing with water in large quantities. If the phenol solution has got on the skin through clothes, then it needs to be removed under the shower. Do not treat the burns with fat, ointment. You can take painkillers. If the substance splashes hit the eyes - wash them with water for at least 15 minutes.
- If the substance gets inside, immediately give the affected person water or milk and make the mouth rinse well. In this case, water and milk can not be swallowed, so as not to increase the amount of poison in the stomach.
- Do not induce vomiting, as the toxic substance in the vomit will repeatedly act, exacerbating the damage to the mucous (esophagus, oral cavity) and may even get into the respiratory tract with the development of suffocation, because the burned epiglottis may not perform its function.
- The victim is given a glass of water to reduce the concentration of the substance in the stomach, activated charcoal (10-15 tablets) or another sorbent: Polyphepan, Carbolen, Enterosgel.
- When inhaled, the affected person should be taken to fresh air. You can conduct alkaline inhalation.
In all cases of phenol poisoning, treatment is carried out in the toxicology department. Treatment may include:
- administration of antidote - calcium gluconate 10% solution inside or intravenously;
- detoxication therapy;
- heart drugs, antibiotics and other symptomatic therapy;
- if necessary, connect the artificial ventilation of the lungs;
- in extremely severe cases, an exchange blood transfusion or plasmapheresis is prescribed.
To avoid poisoning with phenol, you must strictly observe the safety procedures when working with it and ensure proper storage of funds at home. In the event of poisoning, only an immediate request for medical help can save lives.