St. Luke's Hospital
Located in Chesterfield, MO
Main Number: 314-434-1500
Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia


    Solder poisoning

    Solder is used to connect electric wires or other metal parts together. Solder poisoning occurs when someone swallows solder in large amounts. It can also cause burns to 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.

    Poisonous Ingredient

    • Antimony
    • Bismuth
    • Cadmium
    • Copper
    • Ethylene glycol
    • Lead
    • Mild acids
    • Silver
    • Tin
    • Zinc

    Where Found

    • Solder

    Note: This list may not include all sources of solder.


    Symptoms for lead:

    • Bladder and kidneys
      • Kidney damage
    • Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and throat
      • Metallic taste
      • Vision problems
      • Yellow eyes (jaundice)
    • Gastrointestinal
      • Abdominal pain
      • Constipation
      • Diarrhea
      • Excessive thirst
      • Loss of appetite
      • Vomiting
      • Weight loss
    • Heart and blood
      • Collapse
      • Convulsions
      • High blood pressure
      • Low blood pressure
    • Muscles and joints
      • Paralysis
      • Muscle aches
      • Fatigue
      • Weakness
      • Joint pain
    • Nervous system
      • Coma
      • Confusion
      • Excitability
      • Hallucinations
      • Headache
      • Irritability
      • Lack of desire to do anything
      • Sleeping difficulty
      • Tremor
      • Twitching
      • Uncoordinated movements
    • Skin
      • Pale skin
      • Yellow skin

    Symptoms for tin and zinc chloride:

    • Bladder and kidneys
      • Decreased urine output
      • No urine output
    • Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and throat
      • Burns in mouth and throat
      • Yellow eyes (jaundice)
    • Gastrointestinal
      • Diarrhea
      • Vomiting
    • Skin
      • Yellow skin

    Symptoms for ethylene glycol:

    • Disturbance in the acid balance of the blood (can lead to failure of many organs)
    • Kidney failure

    Symptoms for cadmium:

    • Kidney damage
    • Reduced brain function or intelligence
    • Reduced lung function
    • Softening of the bones and kidney failure (itai-itai disease)

    Symptoms for bismuth:

    • Diarrhea
    • Eye irritation
    • Gingivitis
    • Kidney damage
    • Metallic taste
    • Skin irritation

    Symptoms for silver:

    • Greyish-black staining of the skin and mucus membranes (argyria)
    • Silver deposits in the eyes (argyrosis)

    Symptoms for antimony:

    • Chemical burns
    • Depression
    • Dizziness
    • Eczema
    • Headache
    • Irritation of mucous membranes
    • Stomach problems

    Symptoms for copper:

    • Fever

    Home Care

    Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.

    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, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. Do NOT give water if the patient is having symptoms (such as vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness) that make it hard to swallow.

    Before Calling Emergency

    Determine the following information:

    • Patient's age, weight, and condition
    • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
    • Time it was swallowed
    • Amount swallowed

    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. You may receive:

    • Activated charcoal
    • Breathing tube
    • Bronchoscopy -- camera down the throat to see burns in the airways and lungs
    • Dialysis
    • Endoscopy -- camera down the throat to see burns in the esophagus and the stomach
    • Fluids by IV
    • Medicine (antidote) to reverse the effect of the poison
    • Oxygen
    • Surgical removal of burned skin (skin debridement)
    • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
    • Washing of the skin (irrigation) -- perhaps every few hours for several days

    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.

    Outcomes depend on the type of poison swallowed:

    • Ethylene glycol is extremely poisonous.
    • Complete recovery from lead poisoning takes a year or more. It may cause permanent brain damage.
    • If the amount of zinc or tin swallowed is low, recovery should occur within approximately 6 hours.
    • Skin color changes due to silver poisoning are permanent.
    • Long-term poisoning with antimony and cadmium may lead to lung cancer.
    • Recovery from acid poisoning depends on how much tissue has been damaged.


    Jacobsen D, Hovda KE. Methanol, ethylene glycol, and other toxic alcohols. 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 32.

    Hall AH, Shannon MW. Other heavy metals. 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 75.


          Self Care

            Tests for Solder poisoning

              Review Date: 2/28/2012

              Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

              The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

              A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.

              Back  |  Top
              About Us
              Contact Us
              Locations & Directions
              Quality Reports
              Annual Reports
              Honors & Awards
              Community Health Needs

              Brain & Spine
              Sleep Medicine
              Urgent Care
              Women's Services
              All Services
              Patients & Visitors
              Locations & Directions
              Find a Physician
              Tour St. Luke's
              Patient & Visitor Information
              Contact Us
              Payment Options
              Financial Assistance
              Send a Card
              Mammogram Appointments
              Health Tools
              My Personal Health
              Spirit of Women
              Health Information & Tools
              Clinical Trials
              Employer Programs -
              Passport to Wellness

              Classes & Events
              Classes & Events
              Spirit of Women
              Donate & Volunteer
              Giving Opportunities
              Physicians & Employees
              For Physicians
              Remote Access
              Medical Residency Information
              Pharmacy Residency Information
              Physician CPOE Training
              St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
              Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Notice of Privacy Practices PDF  |  Patient Rights PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile