BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuWatercolor paints - swallowingPaint - watercolorsThis article discusses the health problems that might occur when someone swallows watercolor paints. This can happen by accident or on purpose.This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual poison exposure. If you or someone you are with has an exposure, call the local emergency number (such as 911), or the local poison control center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. Poisonous Ingredient The substances in watercolor paints that can be harmful are:Man-made or natural pigments (especially cadmium and cobalt) Gum arabic Note: Watercolor paints sold for home use are generally considered nonpoisonous. Symptoms A person would have to eat several tubes of watercolors before symptoms occur. Home Care Do not make the person throw up unless poison control or a health care provider tells you to.If the person swallowed the paint, give them water or milk right away, unless a provider tells you not to. Do not give anything to drink if the person has symptoms that make it hard to swallow. These include vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness.Use soap and water to wash any paint off skin and clothes. Before Calling Emergency Have this information ready:Person's age, weight, and condition Name of the product (ingredients, if known) Time it was swallowed Amount swallowed Poison Control Your local poison control center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.Poison control centerFor a POISON EMERGENCY call:1-800-222-1222ANYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATESThis national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. This ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article 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. What to Expect at the Emergency Room A trip to the emergency room is normally not necessary.However, if the person needs medical help, the provider will measure and monitor their vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated.The person may receive:Activated charcoal Blood and urine tests Breathing support, including a tube through the mouth into the lungs, and a breathing machine (ventilator) Chest x-ray ECG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing) Fluids through the veins (by IV) Laxatives Medicines to treat symptoms Outlook (Prognosis) Recovery is likely because watercolor paints are generally considered nonpoisonous.How well someone does depends on how much paint they swallowed and how quickly they receive treatment. The faster medical help is given, the better the chance for recovery.Open ReferencesReferencesMeehan TJ. Approach to the poisoned patient. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 139.Theobald JL, Kostic MA. Poisoning. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 77.AllVideoImagesTogRelated Information Review Date: 11/13/2021 Reviewed By: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. 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- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.