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January 27, 2009

Winter Car Maintenance Can Result in Serious Poison Exposures

Poison_sign Cold weather car maintenance often requires the use of many products that can, unfortunately, have fatal consequences if ingested. Windshield cleaner fluid and antifreeze both contain substances that can be deadly if ingested in any way. 

American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) warns that windshield cleaner fluids typically contain methanol, which is extremely toxic if ingested, consequences can include blindness or death if even small amounts are digested.

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, a toxic liquid with a sweet taste. Following ingestion, the symptoms of ethylene glycol poisoning start with intoxication and vomiting and may end in kidney failure if treatment is not sought. The sweet taste of antifreeze increases the likelihood of large ingestions by young children and even pets, so even the smallest of spills should be cleaned up immediately. The AAPCC suggests the following precaution:

 
·    Keep potential poisons in their original containers.

·    DO NOT use food containers such as cups or bottles to store chemical products.

·    Keep all chemical products in a locked cupboard.

·    Never cover up or remove labels. Keep all safety information.

·    Make sure that child-resistant closures are working properly.

(Source: AAPCC)

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