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Sorbic acid poisoning

Definition

Sorbic acid is a preservative, often found in food. It is extremely non-toxic (not harmful). Sorbic acid poisoning may occur if someone swallows a very large amount of the substance.

Poisonous Ingredient

Sorbic acid

Where Found

  • Skin protectants
  • Skin softeners
  • Some cosmetics
  • Preservatives
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.

Symptoms

Home Care

Skin cleansers are relatively nontoxic. Call Poison Control for further information about treatment.

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

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.

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

See: Poison control center - emergency number

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. The patient may receive supportive care, if needed.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Since these products are relatively nontoxic, recovery is very likely with proper treatment.


Review Date: 10/29/2007
Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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