Many brands of glass cleaners contain toxic ingredients, and if they are ingested in large enough quantities, it can lead to glass cleaner poisoning. If someone ingests glass cleaner, call poison control right away. Children are especially at risk of drinking glass cleaner, as many are blue in color and look like juice or a sports drinks. In addition, it is easier for children to operate a spray bottle than to open a cleaning bottle with a lid, which increases the risk. If you suspect a child or another individual has consumed glass cleaner, be aware of the symptoms the person might experience and the steps you can take to help.
Glass Cleaner Poisoning Symptoms
Each brand of glass cleaner has different formulations, and there are even different formulations within a brand, such as Windex. The toxic ingredients about which to be most concerned when it comes to glass cleaner or Windex poisoning include ammonia, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol and methanol. In addition, many formulations include coloring dyes and fragrances that can cause irritation.
Video of the Day
There is a low risk of dangerous glass cleaner poisoning, and symptoms related to drinking glass cleaner can be mild. Symptoms may include upset stomach, vomiting and irritation of the mouth and throat.
However, if large amounts are ingested, particularly of a type of glass cleaner with poisonous ingredients, there can be serious symptoms. More serious symptoms of poisoning include severe throat pain and swelling, damage to the esophagus, bloody vomit or stool, sudden low blood pressure, difficulty walking and coma.
First Aid and Treatment
Although symptoms of drinking glass cleaner are generally mild, it is best to call your local poison control center or the national Poison Help Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 right away, especially for children or if you don't know how much was consumed. If symptoms are severe, such as difficulty breathing or loss of consciousness, call 911.
The poison control center will want to know the ingredients of the glass cleaner that was consumed, the amount that was ingested, and the age and weight of the poisoned individual. You can have the person rinse out his mouth, and as long as the person is able to swallow without difficulty, you can offer a glass of water or milk. However, you should not attempt to induce vomiting or administer any other remedies unless directed to do so by a doctor.
Glass Cleaner Safety Considerations
Glass cleaner can also cause irritation and problems if it gets into the eyes or is inhaled. Rinse out the eyes right away with lukewarm water. If inhaled, move to a well-ventilated area with clean air. Call poison control and watch for additional symptoms, such as vision loss and dizziness.
Keep glass cleaner in a safe location that is inaccessible to children and pets. Switch the nozzle of the spray bottle to the off position when you store it. When using a glass cleaner, make sure the area is well ventilated and that food and drink are put away. Be sure to read all product labels for additional instructions and safety warnings.