Rubber cement poisoning

Rubber cement is an adhesive utilized in scenarios when its easy removal might be needed without causing damage to the materials involved. Due to this requirement, they are typically polymer-based liquid solvents.

Poisoning by rubber cement can occur by accident or intentionally via ingestion, inhalation and direct exposure of the skin or eyes.

What are the indications?

The indications of rubber cement poisoning might vary from one individual to another and range from minor to severe.

The general symptoms that might arise include the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Burning and discomfort in the mouth and throat
  • Swollen throat that causes difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Skin burns and irritation
    Rubber cement poisoning

    Swollen throat that causes difficulty breathing and swallowing.

  • Respiratory issues that can be severe if inhalation occurs and even lack of breathing
  • Headache
  • Low blood pressure
  • Changes in the blood pH levels that can affect different bodily organs
  • Individuals appears “drunk” or confused
  • Poorly coordinated movements and muscle spasms
  • Visual abnormalities including vision loss
  • Eye pain and irritation if exposed to rubber cement
  • Blurred vision
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness

Management of rubber cement poisoning

If the individual is suspected with rubber cement poisoning, call for emergency assistance or the poison control center.

  • Assess the individual if he/she is breathing and has a pulse rate.
  • If the eye or skin was exposed, wash thoroughly using large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Avoid inducing vomiting unless instructed to do so by a healthcare professional.
  • If the individual ingested rubber cement, provide milk or water to drink right away. If the individual is vomiting or has diminished level of alertness, do not provide anything by mouth.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on rubber cement poisoning is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.


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