Ingestion for chemical accidents, Science

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Ingestion : The standard treatment for this type of poisoning is as follows:

(1) Tell the casualty to spit out as much of the material as possible and then wash the mouth thoroughly a number of times with water. Do not let the victim swallow.

(2) If the substance has been swallowed, give large drinks of water or milk to' dilute the chemical in the stomach.

(3) Do not induce vomiting as this may result in further damage to the delicate tissues of the upper food passages, if the substance is corrosive.

(4) Transport the casualty to hospital. Wherever possible, the following information should accompany the casualty:

(a) the identity of the poison,

(b) the approximate amount and concentration of the chemical consumed, and

(c) brief details of the treatment already given.

Experiments with cyanides and other highly toxic substances should never be carried out without having sufficient amounts of the specific antidote immediately available (amyl nitrite), and a specially trained first-aider.

Safe laboratory practice, e.g. never pipetting by mouth, never eating in the lab, always washing after working with chemicals, etc. should minimise ingestion accidents.

This route of toxic substances into the body is the most dangerous. It requires the most immediate response. Most poisonous gases, such as chlorine, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide, are detectable by their odour or by their irritating effect on the nose, throat, etc. Do nest ignore these initial warning signs as the nose quickly becomes insensitive to shall. For example, hydrogen sulphide is almost as toxic as hydrogen cyanide because of the paralysing effect of the gas, it seems to be odourless when highly concentrated.

Remember also that poisoning by inhalation does not just happen with gases - it can happen with vapours and dusts, e.g. phosphorus pentacholi. Other substances, like dust and spores, e.g. some of those encountered biology lab. May produce severe allergic reactions which require the same a Treatment gas hazards.

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