Solder is a compound used to connect electric wires or other metal parts together. It can cause skin burns, or it can be extremely toxic if ingested in high amounts.
- mild acids
- ethylene glycol
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.
For acids found in solders:
- burns of mouth and throat
- body as a whole o metallic taste o skin paleness o tremor o twitching o Convulsions o paralysis o muscle aches o fatigue o weakness o Joint pain o excessive thirst o incoordination
- eyes, ears, nose, and throat o jaundice (eyes appear yellow) o vision abnormalities
- skin o yellow skin
- gastrointestinal o loss of appetite o Weight loss o Constipation o Vomiting o diarrhea o Abdominal pain
- heart and blood vessels o Low Blood pressure o High blood pressure
- nervous system o easily excitable o coma o hallucinations o lack of desire to do anything o irritable o uncooperative o headache o sleeping difficulty o confusion
For tin and zinc chloride:
- body as a whole o burns in the mouth and throat o Convulsions o collapse o blood in urine o decreased urine output o no urine output
- eyes, ears, nose, and throat o jaundice (eyes appear yellow)
- skin o yellow skin
- gastrointestinal o Vomiting o diarrhea
For ethylene glycol:
- the amount of ethylene glycol in solder is small, but the substance is extremely toxic
- renal o kidney failure
- blood o extreme disturbances in blood pH which can lead to multi-organ failure and death.
Wash from skin or eyes. For any ingestion, seek emergency medical care immediately. Do not induce Vomiting.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
- the patient’s age, weight, and condition
- the name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
- the time it was swallowed
- the amount swallowed
Poison Control, or a local emergency number
See Poison Control centers. Bring the poison container with you to the emergency room.
What to expect at the emergency room
- For swallowed poison o Immediate Hemodialysis may be required for survival o Placement of a tube down the nose and into the stomach (a nasogastric tube, or an NG tube) to wash out the stomach o Activated charcoal administration o Endoscopy - the placement of a camera down the throat to see the extent of burns to the esophagus and the stomach o Give IV fluids o Admission to the hospital o Give an antidote o Treat the symptoms
- For inhaled poisons o A breathing tube may need to be inserted o Oxygen o Admission to the hospital or to the intensive care unit o Bronchoscopy (inserting a camera down the throat into the airway to evaluate the extent of burns to the airway and lungs)
- For skin exposure o Irrigation (washing of the skin), perhaps every few hours for several days o Skin debridement (surgical removal of burned skin) o Admission or transfer to a hospital that specializes in burn care
- for lead o Complete recovery takes a year or more. o Many who do not die may suffer permanent brain damage.
- for tin and zinc o If the amount of zinc or tin is low, recovery should be within approximately 6 hours.
- for the acids o The length and extent of recovery depends on the extent of tissue damage that has occurred.
- for ethylene glycol o Ethylene glycol is extremely toxic. Survival and prognosis depend on the amount ingested and time to treatment.
by Levon Ter-Markosyan, D.M.D.
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.