Tar remover: Is it poisonous?

Tar remover is considered as a heavy-duty chemical cleaner utilized to remove tar. It is important to note that tar is a highly-viscous, black petroleum-based product. It can also be used to remove asphalt, grease and certain forms of vehicular oil stains.

Poisoning from the substance can occur by accidental or intentional ingestion of any product that contains tar remover compounds.

What are the indications?

The indications of tar remover poisoning might vary for every individual. Generally, it is mild but can be severe in some instances. Take note that several body systems can be affected once poisoning occurs.

The usual signs of this type of poisoning include:

  • Discomfort and burning sensation in the throat and esophagus.
  • Swollen tongue and mouth in which the individual could not speak in a clear manner
  • Serious skin burns that can lead to the necrosis of the underlying tissues
  • Intense abdominal or stomach pain
  • Visual irregularities and vision loss
  • Blood-streaked stool
    tar remover

    Swollen tongue and mouth in which the individual could not speak in a clear manner.

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Inability to walk normally or poorly coordinated movements
  • Dizziness or disorientation
  • Agitation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low response level
  • Seizures
  • Weakness and depression
  • Collapse

Management of tar remover poisoning

Always call for emergency assistance if poisoning due to tar remover is suspected. Once the poison control center is called, instructions on what to do are provided.

  • The individual must be transferred away from the site of exposure, preferably an area with fresh air.
  • Examine the airway of the individual. Make sure that he/she is breathing and has a pulse rate.
  • Induced vomiting must be avoided unless instructed by a healthcare professional. In some cases, milk to drink is given after ingestion of the substance. Remember though not to provide anything by mouth if the individual is vomiting or has reduced alertness level.
  • The mouth of the individual must be cleaned to get rid of any leftover compound using a wet cloth.
  • If the eyes were exposed, it should be washed thoroughly with flowing water for up to 15 minutes.

Once the individual is taken to the nearest emergency department, try to bring the container of the tar remover along.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on tar remover poisoning is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the indications, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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