Chlorophyll

Definition

Chlorophyll is the chemical that makes plants green. Chlorophyll poisoning occurs when someone swallows a large amount of this substance.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Poisonous Ingredient

Chlorophyll

Where Found

  • Green plants
  • Plant foods
  • Some cosmetics
  • Natural supplements

Note: This list may not include all sources of chlorophyll.

Symptoms

Chlorophyll is considered nonpoisonous. Most people who swallow chlorophyll have no symptoms. In rare cases, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Diarrhea
  • Loose bowel movements (stools)
  • Stomach cramps

Home Treatment

Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the substance
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

See: Poison control center - emergency number

What to expect at the emergency room

The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate.

Note: You may not need to be seen in the emergency room.

Expectations (prognosis)

How well you do depends on the amount of the substance swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

Recovery is very likely because chlorophyll is relatively nonpoisonous.

Review Date:12/15/2011

Reviewed by:Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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