Chudoku kenkyu : Chudoku Kenkyukai jun kikanshi = The Japanese journal of toxicology

[Case of dyspnea due to toilet cleaner containing nitric acid for household use].

PMID 24224389


A 40-year-old male tried to clean a urinal at his home storing 900 mL of a toilet cleaner containing 9.8% nitric acid to remove calcium deposit, and clean the toilet floor for twenty minutes. Immediately after using the cleaner, he experienced eye irritation. He washed out the toilet cleaner. However, he thereafter experienced dyspnea, a compressive sensation in his chest, and chest and back pain about 40 minutes after the cleaning the toilet. He monitored his symptoms overnight and found them to gradually improve. However, the symptoms still remained the next morning and therefore he came to our department on foot. He had no particular past or family history. On arrival, his physiological findings and chest computed tomography scan were negative for any abnormalities. His arterial blood gas analysis revealed a mild abnormality of oxygenation. Observation without any drugs revealed that a complete remission of his symptoms occurred after approximately 4 weeks. Based on the results of the experiments, contact with the mucosal membrane and nitric acid gas produced by any accidentally coexisting metals or contact with moisture, including nitric acid produced by a reaction between CaCO3 and cleaner, may have been the mechanism of occurrence for the symptoms observed in this case. This is the first reported case of nitric acid poisoning due to the use of a toilet cleanser intended for household use.