What Instructions Should Be Given to Patients Exposed to Carbon Tetrachloride?
Patients over-exposed to CCl4 need basic guidance on
- Self-care, so they can minimize further risks and avoid complications to the extent possible, and
- Potential health effects including symptoms and signs from exposure to carbon tetrachloride, so they understand when and why to return for further medical attention.
ATSDR has developed a patient education and care instruction sheet on CCl4. It can be found at https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/carbon_tetrachloride/docs/Carbon_Tetra_Patient_Ed_Sheet-508.pdf
Patients should be advised to avoid exposures or conditions that might further increase their risk for disease or worsen any existing condition.
Employers are required to provide labeling, SDSs (formerly called material safety data sheets [MSDSs]), and training as part of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard. Patients should be encouraged to protect themselves in the following ways.
- Use recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, masks, respirators, and other body protection specific to the type of work they do with CCl4.
- Refer to employer provided SDSs (formerly called MSDS) on products used at work.
- Follow safe workplace practices, including labeling all containers for chemical(s) used at work.
- Be attentive during employer provided training on how to safely use chemicals at work.
Patients should be encouraged to take steps such as the following to protect against the effects of CCl4 exposure.
- Check labels of imported consumer products for CCl4.
- Use safer alternatives to products with CCl4.
- department or poison control center for instructions and recommendations regarding respirators, gloves, and other necessary personal protective equipment.
- Avoid alcohol if exposure occurs.
- Discard any products that contain carbon tetrachloride at home, including products that may have been used in the past. Contact the local health department or poison center for instructions on disposal of these toxic substances.
- Store household chemicals out of the reach of children and in their original containers.
- Get well water tested if they live near an area contaminated with CCl4.
Because CCl4 is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, according to the National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [NTP 2016], periodic clinical assessments might be of value in detecting abnormalities at an early stage.
Advise patients to consult their physician if they develop any signs or symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) or other health changes, including those possibly related to the heart, liver, and kidney.
ATSDR’s patient education and care instruction sheet on CCl4 poisoning can be used as a job aid for patient education and follow-up care.
- Patients should be advised to avoid exposures and circumstances that might further increase their risk for adverse health effects from exposure to CCl4 or worsen an existing health condition.
- Advise patients to consult their physician if they develop any signs or symptoms of CNS or other health changes, including those possibly related to the heart, liver, and kidney.