Several workers at a cold drink manufacturing unit on the outskirts Kolkata fell ill due to gas leak (Representative image)
New Delhi: Several workers at a cold drink manufacturing unit in the Kamalgazi region of Kolkata’s southern outskirts fell ill on Monday (November 21) evening, due to a poisonous gas leak, PTI reported citing official sources.
According to police, two firefighters who went there to rescue the workers also became ill.
“We evacuated the workers of the factory and people of the nearby locality and tried to spot what the problem is. Going by the pungent smell of the gas it seems to be Ammonia. We have a team of doctors with us,” a police official was quoted by PTI.
Is ammonia poisonous?
According to the National Library of Medicine, ammonia is one of the main components of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and is an irritant and corrosive.
Health experts say high levels of ammonia in the air induce acute burning of the nose, throat, and respiratory system, resulting in bronchiolar and alveolar oedema, as well as airway damage and respiratory distress.
According to scientists, ammonia is a natural by-product in the human body as an intermediate in several metabolic reactions primarily involving amino acid synthesis.
It also gets produced in the human gut as a result of various enzymatic actions of bacteria. However, as a result of the highly toxic nature of ammonia, it is quickly metabolized into urea in the liver by the urea cycle and excreted by the kidneys
Ammonia toxicity can occur when susceptible individuals suffer exposure to external sources of ammonia via ingestion, inhalation, direct contact with skin, or contact with the eye.
Side effects of ammonia inhalation
Ammonia toxicity also has various harmful and damaging chronic effects on patients. This activity describes the role of an interprofessional team in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of patients presenting with signs and symptoms of ammonia poisoning.
Symptoms of ammonia poisoning
Chronic coughSevere chest pain Tightness in the chest Breathlessness Rapid breathing Wheezing High fever Burning and redness in the eyes Blurry or loss of vision Severe throat pain Swelling on the face Weak pulse Rapid heart rate Confusion and lack of coordination Difficulty walking Dizziness and nausea Vomiting Severe burns if contact is longer than a few minutes
How to give first aid?
According to doctors, while giving first aid to an affected person, make sure to not make them throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional. Seek immediate medical help. If the chemical is on the skin or in the eyes, flush with lots of water for at least 15 minutes. If the chemical was swallowed, immediately give the person water or milk, unless told otherwise by a health care provider. Do not give them water or milk if the person is having symptoms like vomiting or nausea
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.