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Exposed to fumes. Stomach discomfort, shaking, migraine. Is there harm done?

Dec 2014
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Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 4770 Questions
I opened our childcare Centre at 6 am this morning to find all the furniture moved to the cot room or outside as the vinyl had been stripped and sealed after the Centre closed last night. The building stunk of fumes as I tried to move the nursery furniture back into place before the babies arrived at 6;30. I went home around 8am feeling very sick in the stomach, trembling and I have a migraine. what was I exposed to and is there harm done. What about the babies crawling on the floor. I opened the glass slide door to let some air in and had to use a roll of paper towel to mop up the cloudy liquid in the door tracks
Posted Sat, 6 Apr 2013 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi 2 hours later
Welcome to Health Care Magic

Vinyl is an inhalant substance. It is a stimulant substance. While you were moving furniture, you have inhaled vinyl. Inhalants may cause intoxication if inhaled for prolonged duration. The intoxication is characterized by ataxia, tremors, restlessness, akathesia, epigastric distress, slurred voice, sneezing, and headache etc symptoms. It mimics features of alcoholism. Severe anxiety is a feature.

Now how to treat headache. As it occurred with fumes so best medicines to treat is NSAID medicines like ibuprofen or Paracetamol. Both are non sedating and will help to treat headache. Don't take medicines with sedation as side effect.
For anxiety conventional anti anxiety medicines are not given as they will increase the risk of complications. Medicine like Propranolol will help to calm you.
If you are having restless and confusion then you should visit ER. Medicines like low dose antipsychotics as Haloperidol appears to be effective in inhalant intoxication.

Opening the windows and glass doors is good idea as it will help to clear out fumes. If you are able to tolerate the symptoms then there is no need to go to doctor. The symptoms will resolve in 6-8 hrs spontaneously. Taking thyroid medicines will not increase the risk of anxiety in significant amounts. Don't let babies crawl on floor if it is not properly mopped because it may cause serious toxicity in them as babies tend to put everything in mouth.

Hope I cleared your doubt. If you have more questions, then you can ask again.

Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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