Water colors

Poisoning caused by an overdose of water colors.

Poisonous Ingredient  
Water colors are generally considered non-toxic.

Where Found 

  • Various water color products

Note: This list is not inclusive of brand names.

Several tubes of the artist’s water colors would need to be consumed to see any toxic affects from the aniline.

Home Treatment 
If swallowed: For gum cambogia, give milk or water to decrease possible harm to the stomach and intestinal tract. This also delays its absorption.

If on skin or clothing:

  • Remove clothes.  
  • Wash with soap and water.

Before Calling Emergency 
Determine the following information:

  • The patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • The name of the 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. Bring the poison container with you to the emergency room. A trip to the emergency room will normally not be necessary.

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

  • For home water colors:       o Observe the patient.       o Treat the symptoms.  
  • For aniline:       o Induce vomiting.       o Administer activated charcoal.       o Use gastric lavage.       o Maintain breathing.       o Treat the symptoms.  
  • For gum cambogia:       o Give fluids.       o Use gastric lavage.       o Induce vomiting.       o Administer a cathartic (bowel evacuator).       o Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis) 

  • For home water colors - Recovery very likely.  
  • For aniline - Recovery is normally very likely if patient can survive the first 24 hours.  
  • For gum cambogia - Survival past 48 hours usually indicates recovery will occur.


Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 7, 2012
by Sharon M. Smith, 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.