Oxalic acid

Poisoning from exposure to oxalic acid.

Poisonous Ingredient

Oxalic acid

Where Found 

  • Some bleaches  
  • Some anti-rust products  
  • Some metal cleaners  
  • Rhubarb leaves

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • Body as a whole       o Pain in the mouth       o Tremors       o Convulsions       o Collapse       o Shock  
  • Pain in the throat  
  • Kidney damage  
  • Gastrointestinal       o Abdominal pain       o Vomiting  
  • Heart and blood vessels       o Weak pulse       o Low Blood pressure

Home Treatment 
Call Poison Control. DO NOT INDUCE Vomiting. Give milk or water immediately, preferably water.

Before Calling Emergency 

Determine the following:

  • The patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • The name of the product (and ingredients and strengths, if known)  
  • The time it was swallowed  
  • The amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number 

The Poison Control or local emergency telephone representative 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:

  • Support of the patient’s airway and breathing  
  • Administration of IV or oral antidote.  
  • Treatment of the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis) 
The extent of injury is determined by the amount of acid ingested and the time to treatment. Severe ulceration of the mouth, GI tract, or airway may occur and can be rapidly fatal if not treated.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 5, 2012
by Potos A. Aagen, 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.