Mothballs are considered as pesticides and an active component in some variants is naphthalene. If one is swallowed or ingested, naphthalene can harm the red blood cells resulting to kidney damage as well as other related issues. It can also affect how the body transports oxygen to the brain, heart and other vital organs. In some cases, it can also cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, seizures and even coma.
Inhaling the fumes from mothballs over a prolonged period can also lead to poisoning as well. In some mothballs, they contain paradichlorobenze which is minimally noxious but the mothballs and its fumes can still trigger irritation or even poisonous.
How to properly deal with mothballs
- Whether you are preparing winter clothes for the approaching winter season or packing boxes of mothballs, there are several safety measures that can avoid family members and pets from being exposed to the mothballs.
- Always make sure that any loose mothballs and boxes are stored in an area that is out of children’s reach.
- Make sure that the instructions on the labelling is carefully followed. Take note that these products can be legally used on and around clothing. Just remember not to use loose in the eaves, attic or even on the ground exterior in an attempt to repel animals.
- Clothing and bedding that came in contact with the mothballs before they are used.
- Mothballs and other forms of hazardous wastes must be properly discarded.
Once an individual is suspected to have swallowed mothballs, call for poison control right away. The specialist will provide you with instructions on what to do for an individual experiencing a reaction to the mothballs.
Close look on naphthalene
Naphthalene is produced from coal tar or crude oil. It is also produced when objects burn, thus it is also present in vehicle exhaust, cigarette smoke as well as smoke from forest fires. It has been utilized as a pest repellant and insecticide. Aside from mothballs, other products that contain naphthalene are solids that transform into noxious gas. This gas is capable of killing insects as well as repel animals.
When the fumes of naphthalene are inhaled, the body breaks it into other chemicals that readily react with the cells and impair the tissues. The manner on how it eliminates moths is not yet fully understood. Take note that the odor produced is believed to be undesirable enough to drive away animals when present in repellant products.