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Plastic casting resin poisoning

Definition

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.

Alternative Names

Epoxy poisoning; Resin poisoning

Poisonous Ingredient

Epoxy and resin can be poisonous if they are swallowed or their fumes are breathed in.

Where Found

Plastic casting resins are found in various plastic casting resin products.

Symptoms

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

  • Drooling
  • Loss of vision
  • Severe pain in the mouth and throat
  • Severe pain or burning in the nose, eyes, ears, lips, or tongue
  • Throat swelling (which may also cause breathing difficulty)
  • Voice changes, such as hoarseness or muffled voice

STOMACH AND INTESTINES

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting, or vomiting blood
  • Burns of the food pipe (esophagus)
  • Blood in the stool

HEART AND BLOOD VESSELS

  • Low blood pressure (develops rapidly)
  • Collapse

SKIN

  • Irritation
  • Burns
  • Holes in the skin or tissues under the skin

Home Care

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

Poison Control

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:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • Breathing support, including oxygen, a tube through the mouth into the throat, and a breathing machine
  • Chest x-ray
  • ECG (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 remove the resin if within 30 to 45 minutes after ingestion
  • Washing of the skin (irrigation), perhaps every few hours for several days

Outlook (Prognosis)

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. Perforation (holes) may develop in these organs, leading to serious bleeding and infection. Death may occur months later. Treatment may require removal of part of the esophagus and stomach.

References

Hoyte C. Caustics. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 148.

Pfau PR, Hancock SM. Foreign bodies, bezoars, and caustic ingestions. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 27.


Review Date: 7/9/2017
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Emeritus, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. 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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