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Carbolic acid is a sweet-smelling clear liquid that is added to many different products. Carbolic acid poisoning occurs when someone touches or swallows this chemical.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
- Alternative Names
Phenol; Phenylic acid; Hydroxybenzene; Phenic acid; Benzenol
- Poisonous Ingredient
- Where Found
- Adhesive dyes
- Lubricating oils
- Various antiseptics
- Various disinfectants
- Various germicides
Note: This list may not include all products containing carbolic acid.
- Bladder and kidneys
- Blue- or green-colored urine
- Decreased urine output
- No urine output
- Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and throat
- Severe burns in the mouth and windpipe (esophagus)
- Yellow eyes
- Stomach pain
- Heart and blood
- Drop in blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Deep, rapid breathing
- Nervous system
- Whole body
- Excessive thirst
- Heavy sweating
- Bladder and kidneys
- Home Treatment
Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by Poison Control or a health care professional.
If the chemical is on the skin or in the eyes, flush with lots of water for at least 15 minutes.
- Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
- Patient's age, weight, and condition
- Name of product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
- Time it was swallowed
- Amount swallowed
- Poison Control, or a local emergency number
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. 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
The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:
- Endoscopy -- camera down the throat to see burns in the esophagus and the stomach
- Medicines to relieve pain
- Skin creams to treat burns
- Expectations (prognosis)
How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.
Review Date: 2/17/2009
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Stephen C. Acosta, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (2/27/2008).