Acetone is an organic liquid with a characteristic scent. It is utilized as a cleaning solvent, paint thinner and various pharmaceutical and chemical applications.
It is important to note that acetone poisoning can occur unintentionally or deliberately by swallowing, inhaling or direct contact with any product that contains acetone.
The toxic component present in acetone and acetone-based industrial and domestic compounds include dimethyl ketone, dimethyl formaldehyde and acetone/propanone.
What are the indications?
The indications of acetone poisoning that might manifest typically range from mild to severe.
The usual signs that might arise include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Breath with a fruity scent
- Increased frequency of urination
- Sweetness in the mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Dizziness or poorly coordinated movements
- Stomach pain
- Individual appears “drunk” or confused
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diminished level of alertness
Management of acetone poisoning
If an individual is suspected with acetone poisoning, call for emergency assistance right away or the poison control center.
- The initial step is to check if the individual is breathing and has a pulse rate.
- In case the skin or eyes were exposed to products containing acetone, it should be thoroughly washed using large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.
- Do not attempt to induce vomiting unless instructed by a healthcare professional to do so.
Once the individual is taken to the nearest emergency department, further measures can be carried out. If possible, bring the bottle or container of the substance along.
What is the outlook?
In most cases, an individual can recover from the symptoms of acetone poisoning within 1-2 days with proper care and early supportive measures.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on acetone poisoning is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn how it is managed, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.