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Definition Return to top
Cloth dyes are chemicals used to color cloth. Cloth dye poisoning occurs when someone swallows large amounts of these substances.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Poisonous Ingredient Return to top
Today it is rare to find this poisonous ingredient in most household cloth dyes.
Most common household cloth dyes are made from nonpoisonous substances, such as:
Although these substances are generally considered not dangerous, they can cause problems if swallowed in large amounts, especially in small children.
Where Found Return to top
Symptoms Return to top
Home Care Return to top
Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by Poison Control or a health care professional.
If the chemical was swallowed, immediately give the person water or milk, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. Do NOT give water or milk if the patient is having symptoms (such as vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness) that make it hard to swallow.
Before Calling Emergency Return to top
Determine the following information:
Poison Control Return to top
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
See: Poison control center - emergency number
What to Expect at the Emergency Room Return to top
The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.
If the poisoning involved a corrosive alkali, extensive damage may occur to the:
The outcome depends on the extent of this damage.
If you swallowed a nonpoisonous household dye, you should recover.Update Date: 2/12/2009 Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Stephen C. Acosta, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (2/27/2008).