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First Aid for Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning

Last updated March 1, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD MPH

Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning is the accidental or intentional intake of products containing plastic/synthetic resin hardeners.


What is Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning?

  • Plastic resin hardeners are polyurethane or epoxy-based hardeners that are generally used for anti-scratch, waterproof, and abrasion-resistant industrial floor and wall coatings
  • Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning is the accidental or intentional intake of products containing plastic/synthetic resin hardeners
  • 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)

Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning may be also referred to as the following:

  • Epoxy Resin Hardener Poisoning
  • Plastic Resin Hardener Toxicity
  • Polyurethane Resin Hardener Poisoning
  • Resin Hardener Poisoning
  • Synthetic Resin Hardener Poisoning

What are the Causes of Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning?

  • Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning is caused by the intake or ingestion of plastic resin hardener containing products
  • The exposure may also occur following skin or eye contact, or on inhalation of product fumes
  • This intake could be accidental, or in some cases intentional, to bring self-harm
  • The ingredients of plastic resin hardeners may include epoxy resins, polyurethane resins, etc. that are toxic. These hardeners are available in powder and liquid form

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 Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning?

The signs and symptoms of Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning can vary from one individual to another. It may be mild in some and severe in others. Several systems of the body, such as the digestive, respiratory, vascular, skin and ENT systems, may be affected

The signs and symptoms of Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning may include:

  • Burning and pain in the throat and food-pipe; it may also involve the ears, eyes, nose, and mouth (lips, tongue)
  • Swelling of the mouth and tongue; unable to speak or breathe clearly, when the throat is involved
  • Skin irritation, when the condition is mild
  • Severe skin burns may cause necrosis of the underlying tissue
  • Vision abnormalities and vision loss
  • Severe pain in the stomach and abdomen
  • Nausea, vomiting (blood in vomit)
  • Blood in stool
  • Breathing difficulties (on inhalation of compound vapors or fumes)
  • Irregular heart-rate
  • Sudden decrease in blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Collapse

How is First Aid administered for Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning?

First Aid tips for Plastic Resin Hardener 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
  • Carefully remove the individual from the exposure area
  • Confirm that the airways are protected; also, ensure breathing and the presence of pulse
  • Clean the mouth to remove any remaining compound; wipe mouth with a wet cloth
  • If eye exposure has occurred, then wash the eye thoroughly with copious amounts of water (for about 15 minutes)
  • 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:

  • Gastric lavage for elimination of the substance from the stomach (irrigation using special solutions)
  • Medically manage symptoms and provide breathing support, if necessary
  • 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
  • Following this, a suitable skin or eye ointment may be used to treat the exposure
  • Surgical treatment for skin burns including removal of burnt skin
  • Administer fluids by an intravenous drip line

Note: In severe cases, surgical removal and repair of the affected portions of the gastrointestinal tract and stomach may be necessary.

Who should administer First Aid for Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning?

First aid for Plastic Resin Hardener 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 Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning?

  • The prognosis of Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning is dependent on the amount 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 support, the outcome is better
  • Severe cases and treatment delays may lead to complications including perforation of the throat or gastrointestinal tract. Due to this, bleeding and infection can additionally worsen the prognosis
  • In some cases of compound ingestion, the damage may progress for weeks and months resulting in death

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 Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning be Prevented?

Plastic Resin Hardener Poisoning can be prevented by:

  • Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is useful in protecting the lungs, eyes, mucous membranes, and skin
  • Keeping any poisonous/hazardous chemicals and other materials out of children’s reach
  • Ensure that industrial safety regulations for exposure of such compounds is adhered to at workplaces
  • 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: Aug. 1, 2017
Last updated: March 1, 2018