Glow sticks can pose serious health threats

By: Emily Lunardo | Health News | Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 10:50 AM

glow-sticks-post-health-threatAlthough glow sticks can be fun for people of all ages, they can pose a serious health risk if they end up breaking. Glow sticks are generally safer than sparklers, but the plastic that surrounds the glowing inside can be easily broken, which can lead to skin and eye irritation.

Some glow sticks contain a chemical known as dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which can cause immediate burning and stinging of the mouth and eyes.

Last year, the poison center received 321 calls related to glow sticks.

Experts have come up with some helpful tips to ensuring you are well protected against glow sticks:

  • If ingested, the bitter-tasting chemical will likely cause brief discomfort in the mouth. Thorough rinsing should help.
  • If the liquid gets on the skin, wash it off immediately to prevent the child from rubbing the chemical into the eyes.
  • If the chemical gets in the eyes, it will cause redness and burning. Prompt irrigation is necessary.
  • Exposure to DBP may cause serious symptoms in pets, like drooling, gagging, and vomiting, according to the poison control center.

Ensure this summer you keep yourself and your family safe from the potential harm of glow sticks and play responsibly.


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