Health hazards are found almost everywhere. This fact makes all of us very cautious in what we eat, touch or even smell. However, keeping our health in tip top condition is one of the hardest things for us to do. Nowadays, more and more people are becoming victims of different diseases and health problems. This unfortunate condition could be associated or linked with our poor knowledge and information with regards to the different illnesses. A perfect example of this is the antifreeze poisoning in humans. What is antifreeze poisoning and what are its important details?
Antifreeze is otherwise known as radiator fluid that is used to decrease the heat buildup in most car engines. This fluid usually contains a compound called ethylene glycol and as well as methanol or isopropyl alcohol. Unfortunately, these components could basically cause harmful effects in our body, thus leading to poisoning. Most cases of antifreeze poisoning are considered accidental, however, there are still some that are considered intentional. The usual route of antifreeze poisoning in humans is through ingestion of the hazardous material. In fact, antifreeze liquids do have a sweet taste, which can instantly attract even our house pets. Humans may also find it hard to distinguish antifreeze taste from other types of liquids.
Just like arsenic poisoning, antifreeze poisoning could also cause great danger to our health, which also has a high possibility of death. This is in fact used in a lot of murder cases wherein the liquid is combined with other drinks or beverages since its sweet taste can cover up its presence. This is the reason why new regulations in some countries particularly the United States have issued antifreeze manufacturers or makers to include ingredients and additives that could alter its sweet taste to something bitter. However, the poisoning is not directly linked to the presence of ethylene glycol but rather due to the breakdown products of ethylene glycol, which are the metabolites. This occurs due to the presence of the enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase or ADH in the lining of the stomach, which is responsible for the ethylene glycol.
Some of the signs and symptoms of this type of poisoning include vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness, frequent and painful urination, shortness of breath, difficulty of breathing or dyspnea, and kidney pain. Some of the more severe types or effects of this poisoning include blindness, seizures, metabolic imbalances, pancreatitis, paralysis, muscles spasms, diminished reflexes, and electrolyte imbalances.
Based on these symptoms, we can definitely tell that antifreeze poisoning is something that we should never take lightly. As we all know, having the right knowledge and the proper education is still the number one weapon against these unfortunate instances in our health.