Is Toluidine Blue Harmful – Formula – Health Risks

What is Toluidine blue?

Toluidine blue is a basic thiazine metachromatic dye. It has a high affinity for acidic tissue components, as a result it stains tissues that are rich in DNA and RNA. Toluidine blue also referred as several names, like Tolonium chloride or TBO. Toluidine blue is used for histology, forensic examination, renal pathology, and neuropathology.

Toluidine blue stain is especially useful as an Aceto-orcein stain replacement for staining chromosomes in plant and animal tissues. It is also used for clinical uses to help surgeons highlighting the areas of mucosal dysplasia in premalignant lesions.

Is Toluidine blue harmful?

Toluidine may be useful at times, but it may also bring harm if it is not handled carefully. Toluidine blue’s harmful effects may affect us or other organisms through direct contact or ingestion. The side effects on human may vary depending on how long and how much you are exposed to the toluidine blue. Several effects may only occur after intravenous dosage. Some of the effects can be seen as listed below.

  • Irritation in the skin
  • Irritation in the eyes
  • Hazardous: Toluidine blue may be slightly hazardous if it is inhaled or ingested
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Convulsions
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspnea (a breathing difficulty)
  • Bluish tint of the skin
  • Acute renal failure
  • Hematuria
  • Problems in the cardiovascular system: Toluidine blue is reported to have side effects on the cardiovascular system, like hypertension and dysrthymia.
  • Effects on the blood: Toluidine blue is also known to cause several blood-related problems, such as hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, and methemoglobinemia.
  • Urination problems: Toluidine blue is reported to cause burning on urination. It is also reported to make the urine color changes to dark blue or green depending on the concentration of toluidine blue in the urine.
  • Mutagenic effects: Toluidine blue is known to have an effect for bacteria and yeast

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First aid measure

Effects of toluidine blue may be dangerous for some. First aid measure can be very helpful to treat those effects. First aid measure of toluidine blue can be seen as listed below.

  • Eye contact: If you happen to wear contact lenses, remove it. Immediately after your eyes get contact with toluidine blue, flush your eyes for at least 15 minutes. You may want to use cold water. If further irritation occurs, seek for medical attention immediately.
  • Skin contacts: If skin contact occurs wash it thoroughly with soap and water for at least 15 minutes. Cold water may be more preferred. Cover your irritated skins with an emollient. If the irritation develops, get an immediate medical attention.
  • Inhalation: If you happen to inhale toluidine blue, move to a place with fresh air. Use oxygen if you have breathing difficulty. Seek for medical attention immediately.
  • Ingestion: Do not induce vomiting soon after you ingest toluidine blue unless you are directed to do so by medical personnel. If large quantities of toluidine blue are swallowed, call a physician immediately.