Plastic casting resin poisoning
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Plastic casting resins are liquid plastics, such as epoxy. Poisoning can occur from swallowing plastic casting resin. Resin fumes may also be poisonous.
This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual poison exposure. If you or someone you are with has an exposure, call your local emergency number (such as 911), or your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.
Epoxy poisoning; Resin poisoning
Epoxy and resin can be poisonous if they are swallowed or their fumes are breathed in.
Plastic casting resins are found in various plastic casting resin products.
Below are symptoms of poisoning from plastic casting resin in different parts of the body.
Airways and lungs
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid breathing
Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
- Severe pain in the throat
- Severe pain or burning in the nose, eyes, ears, lips, or tongue
- Loss of vision
- Throat swelling (which may also cause breathing difficulty)
Stomach and intestines
- Severe abdominal pain
- Burns of the food pipe (esophagus)
- Vomiting blood
- Blood in the stool
Heart and blood vessels
- Low blood pressure (develops rapidly)
- Holes in the skin or tissues under the skin
Seek medical help right away. DO NOT make a person throw up unless poison control or a health care provider tells you to do so.
If the chemical is on the skin or in the eyes, flush with lots of water for at least 15 minutes.
Before Calling Emergency
Have this information ready:
- The person's age, weight, and condition
- Name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength, if known)
- The time it was swallowed
- The amount swallowed
Your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What to Expect at the Emergency Room
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
The provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. The person may receive:
- Activated charcoal
- Blood and urine tests
- Breathing support, including oxygen, a tube through the mouth into the throat, and a breathing machine
- Chest x-ray
- EKG (electrocardiogram or heart tracing)
- Breathing support
- Bronchoscopy, camera down the throat to see burns in the airways and lungs
- Endoscopy, camera down the throat to see the extent of burns to the esophagus and stomach
- Intravenous fluids (through a vein)
- Medicine to treat symptoms
- Surgery to remove burned skin (debridement)
- Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
- Washing of the skin (irrigation), perhaps every few hours for several days
How well a person does depends on the amount of poison they swallowed and how quickly they receive treatment. The faster a person gets medical help, the better the chance for recovery.
Swallowing such poisons can have severe effects on many parts of the body. Extensive damage to the mouth, throat, eyes, lungs, esophagus, nose, and stomach are possible. Their outcome depends on the amount of damage. Damage continues to occur to the esophagus and stomach for several weeks after swallowing the poison. Death may occur as long as a month later. Treatment may require removal of part of the esophagus and stomach.
Elijah IE, Sanford AP, Lee JO. Chemical burns. In: Herndon DN, Jones JH, eds. Total Burn Care. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 41.
Wax PM, Walls RM. Caustics. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 153.
- Last reviewed on 7/11/2015
- Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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