Steam iron cleaner poisoning
Steam iron cleaner is a substance used to clean steam irons. Poisoning occurs when someone swallows steam iron cleaner.
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.
- Chelating agents
- Hydroxyacetic acid
- Phosphoric acid
- Sodium hydroxide (dilute)
- Sulfuric acid
- Faultless Hot Iron Cleaner
- Lime Away
- Whink Steam Iron Cleaner
Note: This list does not include all steam iron cleaner products.
Eyes, ears, nose, and throat:
- Severe pain in the throat
- Severe pain in the mouth
- Severe abdominal pain
Heart and blood:
- Rapid drop in blood pressure
Lungs and airways:
- Breathing difficulty due to throat swelling
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.
If the chemical was swallowed, immediately give the person water or milk, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. Do NOT give water or milk if the patient 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:
- Patient's age, weight, and condition
- Name of the product (ingredients and strength, if known)
- Time it was swallowed
- Amount swallowed
Poison Control What to Expect at the Emergency Room
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.
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:
- Breathing support, including tube through the mouth and breathing machine (ventilator)
- Bronchoscopy - camera down the throat to see burns in the airways and lungs
- Chest x-ray
- EKG (heart tracing)
- Endoscopy - camera down the throat to see burns in the esophagus and stomach
- Fluids through a vein (by IV)
- Surgical removal of burned skin (skin debridement)
- Washing of the skin (irrigation) -- perhaps every few hours for several days
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.
It is possible to have extensive damage to the:
Wax PM, Yarema M. Corrosives. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 98.
Wax PM, Young A. Caustics. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al., eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 153.
|Review Date: 1/22/2014
Reviewed By: 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.