Health & Wellness

Mothball Poisoning Symptoms in Humans to Never Ignore!

If you are unaware of mothball poisoning symptoms in humans, then you should read this article. Like most people, you probably think of mothballs as harmless. But mothballs can be pretty dangerous if they get into your home. Mothballs are an effective way to store clothing, furniture, and other items, but be aware that they can be poisonous if ingested.

Mothball poisoning is a term used to describe the poisoning of humans and other animals due to exposure to the poisonous vapors emitted by mothballs. Symptoms of mothball poisoning can include nausea, vomiting, burning eyes and nose, chest pain, and trouble breathing. If you or someone you know suffers from any of these symptoms, it’s essential to get medical help as soon as possible.

In This Article

  1. What is Mothball Poisoning
  2. Symptoms of Mothball Poisoning in Humans
  3. Smelling Mothballs Symptoms
  4. Naphthalene Balls Eating Side Effects
  5. Mothballs and Naphthalene Balls are Same
  6. What to Do if Child Eats Naphthalene Balls
  7. How Many Naphthalene Balls cause Death
  8. How much Exposure to Mothballs is Dangerous
  9. How many Mothballs to use in a Room

What is Mothball Poisoning?

What is Mothball Poisoning

Mothballs are naphthalene-containing solid balls that release a harmful gas. The poisonous vapor destroys insects and repel moths. More than a dozen items containing naphthalene have been approved for use by the US Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).

Mothballs are a product of the chemical industry and are designed to repel insects. However, when mothballs come into contact with human skin or clothing, they can release toxic fumes that can cause serious health problems.

Mothball poisoning is a condition that results when a person ingests a large number of mothballs. The moth balls can act as an allergen and irritate the stomach, intestines, and lungs.

Symptoms of mothball poisoning can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing. If left untreated, mothball poisoning can lead to an allergic response that can cause skin rash, hives, and swelling of the face and throat.

Symptoms of Mothball Poisoning in Humans

If you’re feeling nauseous and vomiting, you likely have mothball poisoning. This is a condition caused by the accidental ingestion of mothballs, which are used to deter pests like moths from clothes and furniture. Symptoms typically develop within two to four hours after exposure and can progress to dehydration and even death if not treated quickly.

If you’ve been exposed to mothballs and are experiencing any of these symptoms, getting professional help as soon as possible is essential. Here is the list of mothballs harmful effects

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Muscle cramps
  4. Tremors
  5. Slurred speech
  6. Drowsiness
  7. Confusion
  8. Coma

Smelling Mothballs Symptoms

If you’re smelling mothballs, there might be a problem. Here are some of the most common symptoms –

  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Itching all over your body
  • A headache
  • Tiredness

These are the mothballs smell side effects.

Naphthalene Balls Eating Side Effects

Some common side effects that can be experienced by those who consume naphthalene balls include:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Blurred vision
  3. Dry mouth
  4. Itching
  5. Skin irritation

Mothballs and Naphthalene Balls are same

Mothballs and naphthalene balls are the same things. Mothballs are commonly made of naphthalene or para- dichlorobenzene, both of which are toxic to humans. They are both small balls of high-quality chemical pesticides and deodorant. They help kill moths and other fabric pests and are made with high-quality materials that keep the clothes fragrant.

What to do if Child Eats Naphthalene Balls

If your child consumes any naphthalene ball, the best thing to do is to take them to the hospital as quickly as possible. This is because naphthalene balls can be very dangerous and cause severe respiratory problems and several other health issues.

How many naphthalene balls cause death

The estimated lethal dose of naphthalene is 5-15 g for adults and 2-3 g for children. This means if adults consume around 15-30 naphthalene balls can cause death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that anyone who experiences breathing problems, skin irritation, or eye irritation after handling naphthalene balls should contact a doctor. Additionally, naphthalene balls can be a choking hazard, so children and pets need to be supervised when they are around.

How much exposure to mothballs is dangerous

The estimated lethal dose of naphthalene is 5-15 g for adults and 2-3 g for children. Ingesting even a small amount of this chemical can be deadly, so it’s essential to be careful when handling mothballs.

How many mothballs to use in a room

There’s no set rule, but one or two should be enough depending on the size of the room and the type of mothball you’re using.

It is essential to be aware of the risks associated with using these balls and exercise caution if you plan on using them.

In Closing

After reading about mothball poisoning symptoms in humans, it is now clear that mothball poisoning can be an extremely dangerous situation. The symptoms are severe and can lead to death if not treated promptly. 

It becomes vital for anyone who suspects they have come in contact with mothballs to visit a doctor as soon as possible.

If you suspect someone has been exposed to mothballs, don’t just shake them off – instead, encourage them to visit a hospital immediately!


  1. Naphthalene Mothballs: Emerging and Recurring Issues and their Relevance to Environmental Health
  2. Naphthalene Toxicity in Clinical Practice
  3. Naphthalene mothballs: A silent killer

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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