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Safe Use of Gun Bluing, Solvents and Powder

There are many products used to keep firearms in good shape. Gun bluing protects a gun from rust and corrosion, but it may be fatal to a small child who might mistake this liquid for a soft drink. Gun bluing contains a variety of acids and other chemicals which can cause serious burns if the label instructions are not followed about wearing protective gloves. The chemicals are very toxic and rapidly absorbed if it is accidentally splashed or swallowed. Death can occur even in an adult.

Do not waste minutes searching the Internet for answers. If it is accidentally splashed or swallowed, immediately call your poison center at 1-800-222-1222 for specific instructions. Store bluing and other rust and corrosion prevention chemicals in a locked cabinet and out of a child’s reach.

Keep children away from gun powder solvents and gun lubricants. These products contain alcohols and petroleum distillates. There is a risk of getting the petroleum products in the lungs which can cause pneumonia if the child chokes on the chemical. Another danger is gun powder and gun powder pellets which contain nitrates and other toxic chemicals. Remember that children are curious by nature and that these products are toxic and dangerous if they get in little hands and are swallowed. Store gun powder solvents, gun lubricants, gun powder and pellets in a locked cabinet and out of a child’s reach. Remember also to secure the gun itself with a trigger lock or store it in a locked cabinet.

Carbon Monoxide

Let’s not forget the invisible killer, carbon monoxide, which is a major cause for hunter’s deaths each year. Hunters who camp and use heating devices in enclosed spaces or who go back to their vehicles to warm up and accidentally fall asleep with their motors running are at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

To prevent carbon monoxide deaths:

  • Don’t burn heaters in tents or unventilated spaces.
  • Don’t warm hands and feet at the vehicle’s exhaust pipe.
  • Remember that fresh air is the best treatment for carbon monoxide.

Insect Repellents

The use of insect repellant helps prevent bug bites and reduces exposure to viruses transmitted by mosquitoes such as the West Nile Virus and the Zika Virus. Use insect repellants when going outdoors, whether or not you can see mosquitoes. Most mosquitoes bite between dusk and dawn, but they may bite at any time of the day or night. DEET is the active ingredient in many insect repellant products. It is one of the most effective insect repellants available to prevent mosquito and tick bites. The concentration of DEET in products varies from less than 10% up to 90%. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend using DEET on children under 2 months of age.

Use the following safety tips when applying insect repellant:

  • Follow the directions on the repellant label.
  • Apply insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing when you go outdoors.
  • Do not apply repellent on skin under clothing.
  • Do not apply on cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
  • Do not apply to the hands of young children, or near the mouth or the eyes.
  • Do not spray directly on the face.
  • Do not allow young children to apply the repellent.
  • Do not over-apply the product.
  • Do not spray in enclosed areas or near food.
  • Wash treated skin after returning indoors.


What would you do if someone you know accidentally swallowed something dangerous? Anytime something that might be dangerous is swallowed, gets on the skin, or in the eye call for help right away. Whether you have a poisoning emergency or just a question, don’t guess—be sure:

Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222. A nurse or pharmacist will answer your call right away and give you the help you need.

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