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 – 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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