Can I poison myself with soda?
Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is available in every home. Used for making confectionery and baking. Someone tries to treat it or use it for cosmetic purposes. Most people do not even think about whether they can poison themselves with baking soda. In fact, poisoning is possible, and the consequences can be quite serious.
Sodium hydroxide - caustic soda, is known for its toxic properties. It is mainly used in industrial production. In the home, this substance is also used to remove strong contaminants and clean pipes from blockages. It is part of cleaning products. Therefore, poisoning with soda is important. You need to know how to avoid this and what to do if the trouble happens.
What is dangerous for baking soda?
Nutritional soda is often used to eliminate heartburn, although this method is very controversial, since it stimulates the production of even more gastric juice containing hydrochloric acid. A vicious circle is formed under the name of an acid ricochet, because of which heartburn returns with renewed vigor.
With a single use of sodium bicarbonate, the most innocuous thing that can happen is excessive formation of carbon dioxide accompanied by bloating. When ingested or on the mucous membrane of the eye, soda causes irritation and inflammation. With prolonged exposure to the skin, for example, as compresses, soda also causes a local reaction.
Some rashly use baking soda for the treatment of diseases and weight loss. The most dangerous consequence, caused by these actions poisoning the body with baking soda, is the development of metabolic alkalosis - the pH of the blood is shifted to the alkaline side. This contributes to the deterioration of the blood supply to the brain and heart, to a decrease in pressure. Increased transmission of impulses from the nerve cells to the muscles, which leads to the appearance of seizures. The motor activity of the intestine decreases and constipation appears. Oppresses the respiratory center.
Caustic soda is a colorless substance having a crystalline structure that actively absorbs moisture and dissolves well in water. Has the ability to corrode everything that it contacts. Affecting the skin or mucous membranes, sodium hydroxide causes deep burns.
If it gets into your eyes, irreversible changes on the part of the optic nerve will develop, which is the cause of blindness. When poisoning with sodium hydroxide, alkalosis also develops. There is a cardiovascular system, liver, kidneys. The edema of the lungs may develop. The lethal dose of caustic soda is 20 ml.
Symptoms of soda poisoning
From a single reception of baking soda poisoning can not be obtained. To poison you have to take it too much. But if due to frequent use of soda for self-medication or weight loss, metabolic alkalosis developed, the symptoms can be the following:
pale skin with a gray tinge;
- Sensitivity disorder of the limbs and face;
- irritability, anxiety;
- headache, dizziness, memory loss;
- thirst and lack of appetite;
- convulsive muscle contractions;
- depression of pressure and tachycardia;
- rare breathing;
- fast fatiguability.
Poisoning with caustic soda is much more difficult.
When swallowed, intolerable burning pains occur in the mouth, along the esophagus and in the stomach.
- As this is a corrosive substance, deep burns appear at the contact point. The stomach suffers less often, since the alkali is neutralized by the hydrochloric acid of the gastric juice.
- Burns can be so strong that a perforation (hole) can occur in the esophageal wall. As a result, tissues are damaged outside: mediastinitis, soft tissues around the esophagus (peri-esophagitis) and inflammation of the envelope surrounding the lungs (pleurisy) develop. Perhaps massive bleeding.
- An acute heart failure may develop with a significant decrease in blood pressure and the development of a collapse. The skin becomes pale and cold.
- There are signs of renal and hepatic insufficiency, pulmonary edema.
- Perforation of the stomach with the development of inflammation in the abdominal cavity (peritonitis) can result in death.
The cause of death due to caustic soda poisoning is pain shock, burn disease and complications such as severe bleeding, as well as aspiration pneumonia, when the contents of the stomach are thrown into the respiratory tract.
Probably, poisoning with caustic soda, especially at high concentrations in the air. If you get into your eyes, you get a lot of pain, you may lose sight. If the poison has got into the body through the respiratory tract, then the corresponding symptoms appear:
- a sore throat;
- paroxysmal cough;
- hoarseness of voice or total loss of voice;
- inflammation or pulmonary edema.
Contact with the skin is accompanied by the appearance of burns.
First pre-medical care and treatment
If a victim is found poisoned by caustic soda, first aid should be given to him.
- Call for an ambulance and call the brigade for yourself.
- Stop contact with toxic substance. Ventilate the room. In case of contact with alkali in the eyes or on the skin, wash with clean water for at least 15 minutes. If the poison gets inside, then you should drink milk or water to dilute the stomach contents, but not more than three glasses.
- If the victim is unconscious, then put him on his side and do not touch. In the absence of a pulse, an indirect massage of the heart and breathing of the mouth into the nose are carried out.
When poisoning with caustic soda, you should not wash the stomach yourself! Do not use the means to neutralize it, because as a result of the chemical interaction carbon dioxide is released, which leads to stretching of the stomach, while pain and bleeding increases. Do not give laxatives and drugs that cause vomiting.
All other actions are performed only by health workers:
- gastric lavage using a probe;
- injecting painkillers, including narcotic drugs, to combat pain shock;
- symptomatic therapy: stimulation of the respiratory center, control of cardiac activity and blood pressure level.
All victims are hospitalized in the intensive care unit.
The consequences of poisoning can be very heavy. If a person survives, he will most likely have a burn in the area of the esophagus, because of which later there will appear scars, leading to a narrowing of its lumen. This prevents the passage of food into the stomach and exhaustion, which requires surgical intervention.
Prevention of soda poisoning
The rules are very simple, but effective.
Do not use baking soda to treat digestive system diseases.
- When working with caustic soda, do not forget about rubber gloves, goggles and a respirator.
- The room where sodium hydroxide is used should be well ventilated.
- Keep alkali in a container that is tightly closed. Be sure to sign and keep away from children.
- Thoroughly flush off the debris after work.
Thus, knowing about whether you can poison yourself with soda, it is worthwhile once again to think about whether it is worth using sodium bicarbonate for other purposes. If you need to work with caustic soda, then be extremely careful, as carelessness can lead to disability and even death.