Oil-based paint poisoning
Oil-based paint poisoning occurs when large amounts of oil-based paint get into your stomach or lungs. It may also occur if the poison gets into your eyes or touches your skin.
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.
Paint - oil-based - poisoning
Hydrocarbons are the primary poisonous ingredient in oil paints.
Some oil paints have heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cobalt, and barium added as pigment. These heavy metals can cause additional poisoning if swallowed in large amounts.
These ingredients are found in various oil-based paints.
Poisoning symptoms can affect many parts of the body.
EYES, EARS, NOSE, AND THROAT
STOMACH AND INTESTINES
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 was swallowed, immediately give the person a small amount of water or milk to stop the burning, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. DO NOT give water or milk if the person is having symptoms (such as vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness) that make it hard to swallow.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
However, DO NOT delay calling for help if this information is not immediately available.
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. 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.
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
What to Expect at the Emergency Room
The provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Blood and urine tests will be done.
Symptoms will be treated as needed. The person may receive:
Survival past 48 hours is usually a good sign that the person will recover. If any damage to the kidneys or lungs has occurred, it may take several months to heal. Some organ damage may be permanent. Death may occur in serious poisonings.
Meehan TJ. Approach to the poisoned patient. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 139.
Marcdante KJ, Kliegman RM. Poisoning. In: Marcdante KJ, Kliegman RM, eds. Nelson Essentials of Pediatrics. 8th ed. Elsevier; 2019:chap 45.
Wang GS, Buchanan JA. Hydrocarbons. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 152.
Review Date: 10/11/2018
Reviewed By: Jesse Borke, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Attending Physician at FDR Medical Services/Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Buffalo, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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