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J Med Toxicol. 2009 Sep;5(3):125-9.

Pulmonary toxicity following exposure to waterproofing grout sealer.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis, Medical Center, Sacramento Division, California Poison Control System, Sacramento, California 59817, USA. patrick.daubert@ucdmc.ucdavis.du



We report a large number of cases of pulmonary toxicity from 6 regional poison control centers associated with the use of a waterproofing-grout sealer. The identification of this illness occurred by means of the poison control center (PCC) national automated toxicosurveillance.


This is a retrospective case review of all cases of pulmonary toxicity following exposure to a waterproofing grout sealer from 6 regional PCCs including Michigan, Kentucky, Utah, Maine, Arizona, and Nebraska. The study period extended from June 1, 2005 to December 1, 2005.


The vast majority of patients used the product at home (80%). Over half the patients presented within 3 hours of exposure. The most common presenting symptoms were shortness of breath (63%), cough (60%), and chest pain (44%). Wheezing (33%) and rales (23%) were the most common signs of clinical toxicity. One patient required endotracheal intubation. Thirty-seven percent of patients had signs of acute pneumonitis on initial chest x-ray. The mean presenting oxygen saturation was 89.5%. The most common treatment measures used were supplemental oxygen, bronchodilator therapy, oral steroids, and antibiotics. Over half of the study group required hospital admission.


The majority of patients in this study were adults using the product at home. Over one-third of patients had an abnormal x-ray upon presentation. Over half of the study group required hospital admission following exposure to this product. Medical professionals should be aware of the potential for pulmonary toxicity due to waterproofing aerosols.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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