Coordinated Health


Glazes are products that add a shiny or glossy coating to a surface. Glaze poisoning occurs when someone swallows these substances.

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

  • Hydrocarbons (including basalt, borax frit, and zinc oxide)
  • Lead

Where Found

  • Various glazes (paint, ceramic)

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


  • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
    • Metallic taste
    • Visual problems
    • Yellow eyes
  • Kidneys and bladder
    • Decreased urine output
  • Stomach and intestines
    • Abdominal pain
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • Increased thirst
    • Loss of appetite
    • Vomiting
    • Weight loss
  • Heart and blood
    • Convulsions
    • Low blood pressure
    • High blood pressure
  • Muscles and joints
    • Fatigue
    • Joint pain
    • Muscle soreness
    • Paralysis
    • Weakness
  • Nervous system
    • Coma
    • Confusion
    • Easily excitable
    • Hallucinations
    • Headache
    • Inability to sleep
    • Irritability
    • Lack of desire to do anything
    • Tremor
    • Twitching
    • Uncooperativeness
    • Uncoordinated movements
  • Skin
    • Pale skin
    • Yellow skin

Note: These symptoms are generally seen only in poisonings that occur over a long period of time (chronic).

Home Treatment

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

If the person breathed in the poison, immediately move him or her to fresh air.

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, or a local emergency number

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
  • Endoscopy — camera down the throat to see burns in the esophagus and the stomach
  • Fluids through a vein (by IV)
  • Medicine (antidote) to reverse the effect of the poison
  • Oxygen
  • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
  • Surgical removal of burned skin (skin debridement)
  • Washing of the skin (irrigation) — perhaps every few hours for several days

Expectations (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.

Damage can continue to occur for several weeks after the poison was swallowed. There may be permanent brain damage.