Inhalation poisoning with palytoxin from aquarium coral: case description and safety advice
Palythoa spp. corals and some other marine organisms contain one of the most poisonous substances ever known – palytoxin (PTX). Due to their modest life requirements and ease of breeding, these corals are popular in home aquariums. Here we refer to a case of PTX poisoning of a middle-aged woman who inhaled poisonous vapours while brushing the corals from live rock and compare it with the available literature. As the case revealed that the symptoms of PTX poisoning are not specific and neither is treatment, our aim was to give a brief tabulated review of the symptoms that may indicate such poisoning. Cases of palytoxin poisoning have been reported worldwide, and severe ones (mostly due to ingestion of contaminated sea food) can end in death. As it appears, most (if not all) poisonings result from unawareness of the risk and reckless handling by aquarists. This is one of the first articles which provides some practical advice about the use of personal protection equipment, including gloves, masks, eyewear, and other clothing during any coral manipulation to minimise the risk. We also draw attention to the lack of marketing/trading regulations for dangerous coral species and/or regulations or instructions dealing with their removal and health protection.
Copyright (c) 2019 Aleksandra Łoś, Michał Schulz, Aneta Strachecka, Aleksandra Szabelak
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