Naphthalene is an organic compound with formula C10H8.  It is best known as the main ingredient of traditional Mothballs.

Naphthalene, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) present in mothballs and petroleum products, and is a white crystalline solid with a characteristic odor that is detectable at concentrations as low as 0.08 ppm by mass. As aromatic hydrocarbon naphthalene’s structure consist of a fused pair of Benzene rings.

Fatal dose

  1. For Adult- 5 to 15 gm.               2.  For Children- 2 to 3 gm.

Fatal period

24 hours to 2-3 days.

Medico Legal importance

Exposure to large amount of naphthalene may damage or destroy red blood cells, most commonly in people with an underlying G6PD (Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase) deficiency. Human, in particular children, have developed this condition, known as hemolytic anemia, after ingesting moth balls or deodorant blocks containing Naphthalene.

Sign and Symptoms

  1. After inhalation ‚Äď Headache, Loss of appetite, Nausea, Vomiting, fatigue, etc.
  2. Dermal Jaundice, Hemolysis, pale of skin, etc.
  3. Ocular exposure Eye irritation, Corneal Damage, Lens Opacities, etc.
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