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close this bookManagement of Poisoning - A Handbook for Health Care Workers (ILO, WHO; 1997; 267 pages)
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgements
open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
open this folder and view contentsPart 1 - General Information on Poison and Poisoning
close this folderPart 2 - Information on specific poisons
open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
open this folder and view contentsPesticides
close this folderChemicals and chemical products used in the home and the workplace
View the documentAerosol sprays
View the documentAir-fresheners, deodorant blocks and moth-balls
View the documentBenzene, tetrachloroethylene, toluene, trichloroethane, trichloroethylene and xylene
View the documentBorax, boric acid, and sodium perborate
View the documentButton batteries
View the documentCarbon monoxide
View the documentCarbon tetrachloride
View the documentCaustic and corrosive chemicals
View the documentCosmetics and toiletries
View the documentCyanides
View the documentDisinfectants and antiseptics
View the documentEthanol and isopropanol
View the documentEthylene glycol and methanol
View the documentGlue
View the documentLead
View the documentPetroleum distillates
View the documentPhosgene
View the documentSoap and detergents
View the documentTobacco products
View the documentVolatile oils
View the documentProducts that are not usually harmful
open this folder and view contentsMedicines
open this folder and view contentsPlants, animals and natural toxins
View the documentWord list
 

Products that are not usually harmful

The following would not be expected to cause any ill-effects:

* Ink: ball-point pens, felt-tip pens, and fountain pens contain so little ink that there is not enough to cause poisoning if it is sucked from a pen. Some inks may cause soreness in the mouth. Large amounts of ink swallowed from a bottle could be irritant, but serious poisoning has not been reported.

* Pencils and wax crayons: "lead" pencil is not lead but graphite, which is harmless.

* Silica-gel drying crystals used to keep things dry by absorbing moisture.

* Thermometers: if the end is bitten off a glass thermometer and the contents swallowed the small amount of liquid will not cause poisoning. Metallic mercury will pass through the body unchanged. The broken glass may cause injury.


What to do

Give a cup of water. There is no need to do anything else.

If the patient has bitten a thermometer, check that there is no broken glass inside the mouth.

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