What is Chlorophyll Poisoning?
- Chlorophyll is a naturally-occurring green pigment found in plants and trees that is essential for photosynthesis (the process of making food)
- The substance is also found in plant products, food additives, chlorophyll juice, certain natural supplements, and cosmetic products
- Chlorophyll Poisoning is the accidental or intentional intake of the compound
- The condition is diagnosed based upon the clinical history, combination of signs and symptoms, and additional tests (that may include, in some cases, radiological studies and laboratory tests)
Chlorophyll Poisoning may be also referred to as Chlorophyll Toxicity.
What are the Causes of Chlorophyll Poisoning?
- Chlorophyll Poisoning is caused by the ingestion of chlorophyll in substantial quantities
- Chlorophyll may also get into the eye, resulting in eye-related symptoms
- This intake could be accidental, or in some cases intentional, to bring self-harm
Note: The compound can interact with other prescribed or non-prescribed medications in the body. Such interactions may enhance the therapeutic effects of other medications being taken, resulting in undesired side effects.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Chlorophyll Poisoning?
The signs and symptoms of Chlorophyll Poisoning can vary from one individual to another. It may be mild in some and severe in others. The signs and symptoms may include:
- If the substance gets in the eye, then eye irritation and pain; blurred vision
- Diarrhea or loose stools
- Greenish urine and stool
- Pain affecting the stomach or abdomen
- Skin rashes or itching on contact with chlorophyll
Note: It has been generally observed that the presentation of symptoms occurs only following consumption of significant quantities of the substance. Thus, in most individuals, no significant symptoms may be present.
How is First Aid administered for Chlorophyll Poisoning?
First Aid tips for Chlorophyll Poisoning:
- Call 911 or your local emergency help number, for emergency assistance
- Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 (or your local poison control center) for further instructions
- Provide them with information such as the compound taken, quantity and time of ingestion, age, weight and general health status of affected individual
- Confirm that the airways are protected; also, ensure breathing and the presence of pulse
- If exposure of the eye has occurred, then wash thoroughly with copious amounts of water. Any paint on skin may be washed away
- Unless instructed by a healthcare professional, DO NOT induce vomiting in the affected individual
- Take individual to emergency room (ER) for further treatment
- Always try to take the compound bottle/container to the ER
The emergency medical health professional might perform the following steps towards treating the condition:
- Medically manage symptoms and provide breathing support, if necessary
- Wash eyes repeatedly and thoroughly (irrigation), to eliminate any remaining compound
- Administer activated charcoal to avoid absorbance of the substance in the body
- Administer laxatives for elimination of the substance from the body
- Administer fluids by an intravenous drip line
Who should administer First Aid for Chlorophyll Poisoning?
First aid for Chlorophyll Poisoning is administered by healthcare professionals.
- The individual who is affected, or someone near, should call 911 for emergency assistance (or the local emergency number)
- They should also call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 (or the local poison control center) and follow instructions
What is the Prognosis of Chlorophyll Poisoning?
- The prognosis of Chlorophyll Poisoning is dependent on the amount of substance consumed, time between consumption and treatment, severity of the symptoms, as well as general health status of the patient
- If the individual can recover from the symptoms, with appropriate medication and early support, the outcome is generally good. Since, chlorophyll is generally a non-toxic compound, the condition is not very dangerous
In general, toxicities are common situations in the emergency departments. A majority of the cases are often not fatal, when appropriate treatment is given.
How can Chlorophyll Poisoning be Prevented?
Chlorophyll Poisoning can be prevented by:
- Always following instructions for usage of any household products
- Keeping cosmetics, medications, and other healthcare products out of reach of children in child-proof containers
- Being aware of basic first aid steps in case of an emergency (such as inadvertent poisoning)
What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?
- Call 911 (or your local emergency number) for emergency assistance, if symptoms are life-threatening
- Call Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 (or the local poison control center) and follow the recommend steps
- It would be helpful if the following information is readily available:
- Type, amount and time of consumption of the substance
- Age and weight of the individual
- And, the overall health status of the individual