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 Armen E. Martirosyan, 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.