Signs and Symptoms of Paradichlorobenzene Poisoning

Paradichlorobenzene is a solid white chemical that is found in things like moth repellant and toilet bowl deodorizers. It has a very strong odor and can be poisonous if ingested. If you suspect a poisoning, call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you are in the United States. Have the patient’s information handy and anything you can tell them about the poison swallowed, when it was taken, and the amount if you know it.


Signs of a paradichlorobenzene poisoning include burning in the mouth, shallow breathing, coughing, changes in their alertness, breathing problems (including painful breaths, slow breathing, or rapid breathing), headache, weakness, speech that is slurred, jaundiced or yellowed skin, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain.

While Still at Home

Call poison control and get emergency treatment. Do not make the person vomit unless specifically told to do so. Do not give water or milk if they are unconscious, but do ask poison control about giving milk to the patient. Flush the chemical off any skin surface with water for at least 15 minutes.


After the vital signs begin to be monitored, they will start to treat the symptoms. This may include giving a laxative, IV fluids, activated charcoal, medications, or a gastric lavage. A gastric lavage is a tube that is put through the mouth into the stomach. It is to wash out the stomach and its contents.

This is usually not a life threatening poisoning. The doctors will monitor the patient and make sure that their symptoms are treated and watch for any complications. They will keep the patient comfortable and release them when they feel that there will be no complications or further symptoms from the poisoning.

Source: A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia

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