Camphor tar

Alternative names  
Moth balls; Moth flakes; Naphthalene

Poisoning from an overdose of naphthalene.

Poisonous Ingredient

Where Found

  • Moth repellent  
  • Toilet bowl deodorizers


  • Body as a whole       o Pain when urinating       o Low urine output (may stop completely)       o Hematuria (blood in the urine)       o Convulsions  
  • Respiratory       o Shortness of breath  
  • Cardiovascular       o Tachycardia (increased heart rate)       o Hypotension (low blood pressure)  
  • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o Yellow eyes  
  • Skin       o Yellow skin  
  • Gastrointestinal       o Abdominal pain       o Nausea or vomiting       o Diarrhea  
  • Nervous system       o Headache       o Drowsiness       o Confusion       o Coma

Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:

  • the patient’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, or a local emergency number
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control Centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room
Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:

  • Induce emesis  
  • Use gastric lavage  
  • Treat the symptoms

Expectations (prognosis)
If there is a rapid deterioration of the patient’s condition, progressing to convulsions and coma, the outlook for recovery is grim. If recovery occurs, it may take several weeks or longer to overcome some of the toxic effects.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Janet G. Derge, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.