While it is very seldom one hears of a case of chemical poisoning, and the chances are not so great as when the photographer mixed most of his own chemical solutions, still it is well to know what to do in a case of emergency, so we are publishing a list of the poisonous chemicals most commonly used in photographic work, the symptoms of poisoning from some and the most certain antidotes.

The very first thing to do if there is any reason whatever to believe a person has by any mistake, taken poison, or a drink from a glass or graduate that has contained poison, is to Call A Doctor.

Then while awaiting his arrival a life may be saved by trying one of the following suggestions:

Symptoms Of Poisoning By Photographic Chemicals And Antidotes For Same




Acetic Acid

Internally. Local inflammation. Smothering due to closing of throat.

Drink chalk or magnesia in water.

Externally. Strong caustic.

Carbolic Acid

Internally. Rapid poison causing nausea, marked pallor of skin, stupor, insensibility.

Olive or castor oil. Saccharated lime.

Externally. Powerful irritant causing whitening of skin.

Fluoric Acid

Internally. Strong irritant producing spasms of the throat.

Wash out stomach. No good reliable chemical antidote.

Externally. Caustic causing deep burns.

Nitric Acid

Internally. Strong poison producing nausea, depressed pulse, extreme thirst.

Drink magnesia or chalk in water. Olive or castor oil.

Externally. Caustic coloring the skin yellow.

Oxalic Acid

Nausea, languor, great debility.

Drink large amount of chalk in water.

Sulphuric Acid

Burning of throat and stomach, nausea. Difficulty in breathing; convulsions.

Drink chalk or magnesia in water; flour and water; or mucilage and water.

Sulphurous Acid

Irritant to mucous membrane. Difficulty in breathing.

Drink chalk or magnesia in water.

Gold Chloride

Depressant to heart action.

Strong emetic, like mustard and lukewarm water.


Constriction of throat, vomiting, colic.

Milk, white of egg.

Lead Salts

Irritant poison producing burning of throat and stomach. Vomiting, acute colic.

Saleratus or baking soda. Epsom salts.

Mercuric Chloride

Burningof the throatand stomach. Severe pain, colic, convulsions.

Milk, thin flour paste, white of egg, stomach pump.

Pot. Bichromate

Violent irritant, causing vomiting, lack of circulation, heart failure.

Warm soap solution, bi-carbonate soda or baking soda, magnesia.

Pot. Cyanide

Spasms of jaws, difficult breathing, insensibility.

No sure antidote. Wash stomach with 30% peroxide of hydrogen. Take very strong coffee. Smelling salts.

Pot. Ferricyanide

When pure not poisonous.

Pot. Oxalate

Same as Oxalic Acid.

Same as Oxalic Acid.

Pyro Gallol

Severe pain in stomach, vomiting. Lips pale; skin greenish hue or jaundiced.

Strong emetic, like mustard and warm water. White of egg.

Silver Salts

Strong irritant, interfering with respiration, convulsions.

Common salt solution, warm soap solution, baking soda.

Wood Alcohol

In large quantities causes muscular relaxation, stupor, collapse.

Wash out stomach; strong emetic, like mustard and warm water.


Internally. Caustic irritant making respiration difficult.

Inhale diluted acetic acid or vinegar. Drink thin flour paste or mucilage in water.

Externally. Caustic causing hot burning sensation.


Headache, giddiness, vomiting, peculiar intoxication and appearance of hysteria.

Emetics, like mustard and warm water; stimulants, like aromatic spirits of ammonia. Artificial respiration.


Powerful depressant to heart causing loss of consciousness. Muscular relaxation.

Artificial respiration. Inhale nitrate of amyl.

Methyl Alcohol

Dilation of pupil of eye, contraction of field of vision. Total blindness.

No satisfactory treatment. Best is to eliminate alcohol and products formed by free sweating and administer large quantities bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and water.

Platinum Salts

Internally. Irritates the mucous membrane of stomach and occasions violent headaches.

Wash out stomach and eliminate from system as fast as possible by use of cathartics.

Externally. Concentrated solution produces violent itching.