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Alternative NamesPaint remover; Methyl alcohol; Alcohol - methyl; Methanol
Definition Return to top
Wood alcohol, also called methyl alcohol or methanol, is an extremely poisonous chemical found in paint remover.
Poisonous Ingredient Return to top
Where Found Return to top
Symptoms Return to top
After initial symptoms (which mostly affect the nervous system), a second set of symptoms occur about 10 - 30 hours later. The second set of symptoms are more severe and affect the eyes, blood, and respiratory system.
Home Care Return to top
Seek emergency medical care immediately. DO NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by Poison Control or a health care professional.If the chemical was swallowed, immediately give the person water, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. DO NOT give water if the patient is having symptoms (such as vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness) that make it hard to swallow.
Before Calling Emergency Return to top
Determine the following information:
Poison Control Return to top
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the U.S. use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
See National Poison Control center.
What to Expect at the Emergency Room Return to top
The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. The patient may receive:
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Methanol is extremely poisonous. As little as 2 TABLEspoonfuls can be deadly to a child, and 2 to 8 oz. can be deadly to an adult.
How well a patient does depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment was received. The faster a patient gets medical help, the better the chance for recovery.Update Date: 5/17/2006 Updated by: Janeen R. Azare, PhD, MSPH, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.