[Inquiries to the Norwegian Poisons Information Centre on acute exposures to chemicals and chemical products].

The Poisons Information Centre receives many inquiries about acute exposures to chemical products. Our aim was to characterise the frequency and severity of such exposures and to raise awareness of chemicals that rarely cause poisoning, but may lead to serious systemic toxicity even in small amounts.
Data were collected from inquiries to the Poisons Information Centre in the period 2004-2006 and from the Product Register on the use of selected chemicals.
In 2004-2006, the Poisons Information Centre received 35,802 inquiries regarding acute exposures to chemicals or chemical products. Most of the exposures (72%) were assessed as non-toxic or involving risk of minor poisoning, while only 7.8% were assessed as involving risk of severe poisoning. The substances most frequently involved were cleaning agents, cosmetics/personal care products and hydrocarbon fuels, whereas risk of severe poisoning is related to alkali and hydrocarbon exposures. Poisonings with hydrofluoric acid and glycols/glycol ethers are rare, but the outcome is often severe. As many as 84% of the hydrofluoric acid exposures and 36% of the ingestions of ethylene glycol by children were assessed as involving risk of moderate or severe poisoning.
Exposure to chemicals or chemical products is frequent, but rarely leads to severe poisonings. Data from inquiries to the Poisons Information Centre are representative of the chemical exposure conditions. It is important to have detailed product information readily available to assure correct treatment after exposure incidents.
AuthorsJan Borgeraas, Ragnhild Lindqvist
JournalTidsskrift for den Norske lægeforening : tidsskrift for praktisk medicin, ny række (Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen) Vol. 128 Issue 8 Pg. 924-8 (Apr 17 2008) ISSN: 0807-7096 [Electronic] Norway
Vernacular TitleHenvendelser til Giftinformasjonen om akutte eksponeringer for kjemiske produkter.
PMID18431415 (Publication Type: English Abstract, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Glycols
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fossil Fuels (poisoning)
  • Glycols (poisoning)
  • Hazardous Substances (poisoning)
  • Household Products (poisoning)
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway (epidemiology)
  • Occupational Exposure (adverse effects)
  • Poison Control Centers (statistics & numerical data)
  • Poisoning (epidemiology, etiology, prevention & control)
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors

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