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Cyanoacrylates

Cyanoacrylate is a sticky substance found in many glues. Cyanoacrylate poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance or gets it on the skin.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Alternative Names

Glue; Super Glue; Crazy Glue

Poisonous Ingredient

Cyanoacrylates

Symptoms


  • Skin tissue sticks together 

Home Care

Wash exposed areas with warm water immediately. If the glue gets on the eyelids, try to keep the eyelids separated. If the eye becomes glued shut, get emergency medical care right away. If the eye is partially open, flush with cool water for 15 minutes.

Do not try to peel off the glue -- sweat will build up under it and lift it off. If fingers or other skin surfaces are stuck together, use a gentle rolling motion to try to separate them.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Person's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed or touched the skin
  • Part of the body affected

Poison Control

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

See: Poison control center - emergency number

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate.

Outlook (Prognosis)

How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

It should be possible to separate the skin that is stuck together, as long as the material was not swallowed. Most eyelids separate on their own in 1 to 4 days.

If this substance is stuck to the eyeball itself (not the eyelids), you can damage the surface of the eye if it is not removed by an experienced eye doctor. Corneal ulcers and permanent vision problems have been reported.

References

Anderson AC. Ocular toxicology. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 15.

Updated: 2/1/2014

Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


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