Chlorinated lime poisoning
Chlorinated lime is a white powder used for bleaching or disinfecting. Chlorinated lime poisoning occurs when someone swallows chlorinated lime.
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.
- Calcium hydroxide
- Calcium hypochlorite
- Used in a number of manufacturing processes
Note: This list may not include all sources of chlorinated lime.
- Severe change in the acid level in the blood (pH balance), which leads to damage in all of the body organs
Eyes, ears, nose, and throat:
- Loss of vision
- Severe pain in the throat
- Severe pain or burning in the nose, eyes, ears, lips, or tongue
- Blood in the stool
- Burns and possible holes in the throat (esophagus)
- Severe abdominal pain
- Vomiting blood
Heart and circulatory system:
- Low blood pressure that develops rapidly
Lungs and airways:
- Breathing difficulty (from breathing in the chlorinated lime)
- Throat swelling (which may also cause breathing difficulty)
- Holes (necrosis) in the skin or tissues underneath
Seek medical help right away. 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.
If the person breathed in the poison, immediately move him or her to fresh air.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
- Patient's age, weight, and condition
- Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, 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. The patient may receive:
- Breathing support, including a tube through the mouth into the lungs, and a 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 the stomach
- Fluids through a vein (by IV)
- Pain medicine
- 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
- Surgical removal of burned skin (skin debridement)
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.
This type of poison can cause severe burns inside the entire gastrointestinal tract.
Perez A, McKay C. Halogens (bromine, iodine, and chlorine compounds). In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2007:chap 96.
Sioris LJ, Schuller HK. Soaps, detergents, and bleaches. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2007:chap 102.
|Review Date: 1/26/2014
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Olgivie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.