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Ink Poisoning

Ink Poisoning

Ink poisoning is a condition that arises on consumption of large amounts of ink. Ink in general is relatively safe; however, consuming more than an ounce or a greater amount can conduce to poisoning.
Priya Johnson
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Ink used in fountain pens is non-poisonous, so what's all this about poisoning due to ink? It pertains to the ingestion of ink that conduces to poisoning symptoms. Ink basically comprises components, like solvents, pigments, dyes, and water. Often, chronic skin doodlers are concerned if their doodling habit leads to poisoning due to the ink.
Is Ink Poisoning Fatal?
» Ink is a relatively safe liquid, and ingestion of small amounts will not prove to be deleterious. Having said that, just because ink is relatively safe does not mean that you can go and drink it.
» Consumption of large amounts of ink (more than an ounce) can cause symptoms of poisoning. The best part is that even if you are tricked into drinking ink by some wacko classmates, it is not fatal!
» However, just after ink ingestion, one may experience the following symptoms:
  • Severe headache
  • Eye irritation
  • Skin and mucous membrane staining
What about Skin Doodling?
Do people who use ink pens to write and draw on their hands and palms face any kind of danger? Such people do not face an extreme danger due to this habit of theirs.
☛ They become vulnerable to any kind of poisoning only if they have any wounds, through which the ink can seep into the bloodstream.
☛ However, chronic doodling on skin can result in skin irritation and discoloration. The ink causes the natural oils of the skin to dry up, thereby leaving it without any protective lining.
☛ This makes the skin excessively sensitive and dry. So it's better to look for a sketch book to doodle on. Moreover, stabbing (hoping it's accidental!) by ink pens does not poison a person and is not a grave situation.
What about Printed Ink and Tattoo Ink?
» Printer cartridge ink contains a slightly toxic component called p-Anisidine, which gives the ink its color.
» Ingestion of this ink can result in poisoning. Ingestion of small doses of printer ink results in the above-mentioned symptoms, whereas large doses even have the capacity to damage the nervous system.
» People working in printer ink manufacturing companies are vulnerable to this kind of poisoning.
» As far as tattoo ink is concerned, it may be mildly irritative at times; however, it is non-toxic and safe to be etched onto the skin.
» Ingestion of tattoo ink is hazardous and must be avoided. People involved in the manufacturing of this ink are the ones who suffer the risk of inhaling or consuming this ink by accident.
» Workers exposed to excess ink can eventually end up being inflicted by dermatitis and other skin problems.
Treatment
☛ If you have consumed too much ink, seek medical aid immediately. You may not need to be admitted in a hospital to get treated.
☛ People residing in the United States can contact the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. This helpline number will provide the necessary instructions to deal with this issue.
☛ Some people induce vomiting to flush out the ingested ink; however, make sure you do not do this unless the medical practitioner has instructed you to do so.
☛ The speed of treatment depends on the amount of ink consumed and time lapsed since its consumption.
Ink found in pens is for the purpose of writing and not for consumption. If you are planning to play a prank on somebody, then scrap the idea of asking him/her to drink ink. We do not have the right to play with life. You never know when a silly prank can turn out to be fatal for someone else. So, be sensible and don't indulge in foolish activities.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.