Most household glues, such as Elmer's Glue-All, are not poisonous. However, household glue poisoning can occur when someone breathes in glue fumes on purpose in an attempt to get high. Industrial-strength glue is most dangerous.
This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual poison exposure. If you or someone you are with has an exposure, call your local emergency number (such as 911), or your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.
The harmful ingredients in glue are:
Household glues contain these substances. Other glues may contain other substances.
Symptoms of breathing in (sniffing) glue fumes may include:
Severe poisonings (swallowing large amounts) from swallowing glue may lead to blockage of the gastrointestinal tract (from stomach to intestines), which causes abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
Get medical help right away. DO NOT make the person throw up unless poison control or a health care provider tells you to. If the person breathed in glue fumes, move them to fresh air right away.
Have this information ready:
Your local poison control center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) 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.
Take the container to the hospital with you, if possible.
The provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.
Tests that may be done include:
In severe cases, treatment may include:
How well someone does depends on how severe the poisoning is and how quickly treatment is received. The faster medical help is given, the better the chance for recovery.
Because household glue is fairly nonpoisonous, recovery is likely. However, heart, kidney, brain, and liver damage are possible from long-term poisoning.
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Emeritus, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.