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First Aid for Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning

Last updated March 1, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning is the accidental or intentional intake of the substance or products containing Paradichlorobenzene.


What is Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning?

  • Paradichlorobenzene is an organic compound in the form of colorless or white crystals with a distinctive mothball-like odor. It may form the main component of mothballs
  • Paradichlorobenzene is used in the manufacturing of dyes and pigments and insecticides. It also helps control the growth of fungal mold and mildew
  • Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning is the accidental or intentional intake of the substance or products containing Paradichlorobenzene
  • 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)

Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning may be also referred to variously as the following:

  • 1,4-Dichlorobenzene Poisoning
  • Dichlorocide Poisoning
  • Para Crystals Poisoning
  • Paracide Poisoning
  • Para-Dichlorobenzene Toxicity
  • Paramoth Poisoning
  • PDB Poisoning
  • p-DCB Poisoning
  • p-Dichlorobenzene Poisoning

What are the Causes of Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning?

  • Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning is caused by intake of paradichlorobenzene containing compounds. The substance may be orally ingested, or it can cause symptoms via skin and eye exposure (direct contact)
  • This intake could be accidental, or in some cases intentional, to bring self-harm
  • Paradichlorobenzene is a toxic substance that is present in moth repellents, lavatory deodorizers, and many industrial compounds

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 Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning?

The signs and symptoms of Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning can vary from one individual to another. It may be mild in some and severe in others. Several systems of the body may be affected.

The signs and symptoms of Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning may include:

  • Headache
  • Burning sensation in the mouth and throat
  • Cough
  • Breathing difficulties, which may be painful and shallow
  • Difficulty in speaking, mumbling
  • Stomach symptoms may be observed that include:
    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Stomach pain
  • Skin turns pale and yellow
  • Feeling weak, low response level

How is First Aid administered for Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning?

First Aid tips for Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning:

  • If the individual with Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning is experiencing life-threatening symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency help number) immediately
  • 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 eye exposure has occurred, then wash the eye thoroughly with copious amounts of water (for about 15 minutes)
  • Unless instructed by a healthcare professional, DO NOT induce vomiting in the affected individual
  • Following an ingestion of the substance, immediately give milk or water to drink
  • In case of symptoms that indicate difficulty in swallowing including vomiting or decreased alertness, do not give anything by way of mouth
  • 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
  • Gastric lavage for elimination of the substance from the stomach (irrigation using special solutions)
  • Administer activated charcoal to avoid absorbance of the substance in the body
  • Administer laxatives for elimination of the substance from the body
  • Wash skin and eyes repeatedly and thoroughly (irrigation), to eliminate any remaining hazardous compound
  • Administer fluids by an intravenous drip line

Who should administer First Aid for Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning?

First aid for Paradichlorobenzene 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 Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning?

  • The prognosis of Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning is dependent on the amount of substance consumed, time between overdose 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 prompt medical support, the outcome can be good. In many cases, the outcome is good and the situation is not considered to be life-threatening
  • In case of severe symptoms, due to significant amount of the substance being swallowed, the prognoses vary based on whether the affected individual is a child or adult

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 Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning be Prevented?

Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning can be prevented by:

  • Keeping any poisonous/hazardous chemicals and other materials out of children’s reach
  • Wearing appropriate protective wear when working with such chemicals
  • Keep all poisons correctly labeled and in suitable storage locations
  • 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

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: July 31, 2017
Last updated: March 1, 2018