Poisoning with solvent
In everyday life, it is customary to call organic chemicals organic solvents used to dissolve solids resistant to water. To this group of solids are: paints, varnishes, plastics, rubber, rubber and other industrial materials. Substances affecting them are volatile liquids classified by chemical classification as hydrocarbons (petroleum products and by-product coke). They are widely used both in industry and in everyday life.
Poisoning with a solvent occurs quite often. How to avoid the sad consequences and correctly provide first aid to the victim? What safety measures should be observed when working with a hazardous substance?
First of all, we will understand what kinds of solvents are used in everyday life, and consider the degree of their danger to human health.
Types of solvents
Solvents are usually divided according to the degree of volatility. This parameter determines the rate of evaporation of the liquid. The higher the volatility, the more likely it is to poison organic solvents through the respiratory tract while working with the substance, even if it is slightly toxic. Conversely, it is easier to save from a solvent with a high degree of toxicity if it is a non-volatile liquid.
- Light volatile solvents: acetone, chloroform, gasoline, carbon tetrachloride, diethyl ether, ethyl alcohol and methyl (ethanol), toluene, benzene, ethers, trichlorethylene, dichloroethane.
- Low volatility: tricresyl phosphate, nitroparaffins, tetralin, decalin.
- Nonvolatile: butyl alcohol (butanol), solvent naphtha, chlorobenzene, xylene.
Harm of solvents lies in their effect on the skin, mucous membranes, on the internal organs when absorbed into the blood. Most organic solvents perfectly dissolve lipids - fats, of which the envelope of a living cell consists. The nervous system, lungs, liver and kidneys react most strongly.
The danger of volatile organic compounds also consists in the fact that they are easily ignited and, when burning, release toxic gases, and when a certain concentration of vapors in the air accumulates, they can become explosive.
From a domestic point of view, solvents are classified by toxicity in this way:
- highly toxic, not recommended for use in everyday life - carbon tetrachloride and gasoline;
- substances that can be used only if there is good exhaust ventilation - chloroform, toluene, dimethylformamide, diethyl ether, dichloroethane, trichlorethylene;
- compounds that, with all precautions, can be considered as slightly toxic substances - acetone, ethyl alcohol.
Based on the chemical classification, ethers, ketones, alcohols and petroleum products are classified as moderately hazardous substances. Chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons are considered to be highly toxic compounds.
Symptoms of poisoning with a solvent
Most organic solvents penetrate into the lungs in the form of vapors, can be absorbed into the blood through the skin, irritatingly affects the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and respiratory tract. Almost all of them have a narcotic effect.
In case of poisoning with a solvent, the symptoms are as follows:
- when exposed to vapors - irritation of the conjunctiva of the eyes, nasal mucosa, coughing and sneezing;
- when getting into the stomach - pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, salivation, vomiting with an admixture of blood;
- impaired coordination, unsteadiness of gait;
2-3 days after severe poisoning serious diseases of the liver and kidneys develop, manifested by pain in the area of the affected organs, jaundice, violation of urination. Poisoning with a solvent vapor can lead to the development of bronchitis and pneumonia.
When inhaled vapors of carbon tetrachloride and dichloroethane develop severe lesions of the nervous, cardiovascular system, liver and kidneys. Death can occur within three days after poisoning.
If you notice signs of poisoning with a solvent, immediate first aid should be started.
- Remove the victim to fresh air, provide him with access to oxygen.
- When poisoning with a solvent through the skin, first aid is to remove the poison - it must be washed off with warm water and soap.
- When poisoning with petroleum products, vomiting can not be caused, in other cases, if the poison is ingested, provoke vomiting and rinse the stomach.
- Give the affected person a strong sweet tea, in no case give milk and vegetable oils - they increase the rate of absorption.
- Accept any adsorbent - activated carbon, "Polysorb MP", "Enterosorb" and others.
- If toxic liquid enters the eye - rinse with running water, apply a sterile bandage and consult a doctor.
- In case of violation of consciousness, put the victim on his back, turn his head to one side; make sure that the language does not stagnate.
At the slightest signs of poisoning the nervous system - convulsions, impaired coordination, a state of intoxication - to call an ambulance! Also it is necessary to consult a doctor when the solvent gets inside - a lethal dose of the substance is small and can be 20-100 ml.
The consequences of poisoning with a solvent can be very diverse. In mild cases, all the symptoms pass in a few days without a trace. But when large doses of these highly toxic compounds get into the body, severe diseases develop: toxic hepatitis, acute interstitial nephritis, nephrosis, bronchitis, pneumonia.
Treatment of poisoning with a solvent depends on the degree of damage to the internal organs.
Measures to remove poison from the body: gastric lavage through the probe, forced diuresis, hemodialysis.
- Recovery of acid-base balance (control of acidosis) - intravenous infusions of glucose and sodium bicarbonate.
- Hepatoprotective measures - diet, methionine and cysteine injections, vitamins, glucose with insulin.
- In case of violations of the cardiovascular system - anti-shock treatment.
- When agitation and convulsions are prescribed neuroleptics - "Aminazine" and "Barbabil".
- Oxygen therapy.
Safety precautions for use with solvents
To prevent intoxication with solvents, it is necessary to strictly observe safety precautions.
- Do not use highly toxic liquids in everyday life.
- Work outdoors or indoors with good ventilation.
Use gloves that are resistant to chemicals.
- Close the container after use.
- Keep a wet cloth nearby to wipe the spilled liquid immediately.
- Work at arm's length, do not hold the jar close to your face.
- Keep solvents out of the reach of children, away from sources of naked flame, in a dark and cool place.
- Do not pour solvents into non-factory containers. If the label on the bottle erases, mark the container again to avoid mistakes.
Let's sum up the above. Solvents can be of three degrees of toxicity: low, medium and high. Avoid working with highly toxic compounds. Signs of intoxication are headache, reddening of the mucous membranes of the eyes and irritation of the respiratory tract, a state of intoxication (drowsiness or increased excitability, gait disturbance, loss of consciousness). If the solvent enters the gastrointestinal tract, there will be diarrhea, vomiting with blood, and stomach pain.
What should I do if I get poisoned with a solvent? If the poison has got inside, it is necessary to cause a vomiting, to accept an adsorbent and laxative. When poisoned by vapors, the victim is taken out of the infected area and provides him with access to fresh air, give a drink of strong sweet tea. If there is a suspicion of severe poisoning, you should see a doctor, since the symptoms of internal organs damage may appear only 1-2 days after exposure to the toxin.