Acetone, also called propanone, is a chemical used to make many nail polish removers. It is also found in other household products such as varnishes, varnishes, and paint removers. Although found in many of the products we use, acetone can be harmful with prolonged or overexposure.
What is acetone?
Our body produces a small amount of acetone during the metabolic process. When metabolism breaks down food and converts it to glucose for energy, insulin transports glucose to cells in the bloodstream. If the body does not get enough carbohydrates, the amount of glucose is limited, forcing the body to use fat stores for fuel. When the liver breaks down fat, it creates chemicals known as ketones. Acetone is the main ketone produced in this process.
Acetone can be found in trees, plants, volcanoes, wildfires, landfills, tobacco, and automobile exhaust. It is also found in some fruits and vegetables.
How is acetone used?
One of the most notable uses for acetone is as nail polish remover. Acetone is a solvent and can destroy nail polish, making it easier to remove with a cotton swab. It is commonly used because it mixes easily with water and evaporates quickly. Its ability to quickly dissolve substances, such as paint, glue, and other stains, is why it is also commonly used in industrial and household cleaning products.
Other uses for acetone include:
- Removal of gum, oil and other sticky substances from wool and silk.
- Provide a protective layer for furniture and car decoration.
- Styrofoam dissolution
- Drug production
Effects on the skin
Acetone can enter the body through the nose, mouth, or skin. It then enters the bloodstream and travels through the body to the organs. The effect it produces will depend on the amount of acetone in the body. If you ingest a small amount of the chemical, as is often the case when the skin is exposed to it through the use of cleaning products or nail polish remover, the liver will naturally filter it out and break it down into harmless chemicals that are can use. as energy.
In the event of severe exposure, acetone poisoning can occur and cause symptoms such as:
- Irritation of eyes, lungs, throat and nose.
- Incrise of cardiac frecuency
- Nausea and vomiting
- Eat (in rare and severe cases)
These effects are generally felt when acetone is inhaled in large amounts over a short period of time. Nose, throat, and eye irritation can occur with the inhalation of acetone in concentrations ranging from 100 to 900 ppm, while the more serious side effects, such as headaches and confusion, are generally experienced at levels as high as 12,000 ppm.
When acetone comes in contact with the skin, it can become red, dry, and cracked, which is called dermatitis. Although prolonged use of acetone on the skin can lead to dermatitis, it is generally safe to use it in moderation.
Generally, the amount absorbed by nail polish remover and household products is very small and does not cause any health problems with moderate use.
When to see a doctor
Although acetone poisoning is rare, it can still cause serious health problems. If you think you have been overexposed to acetone and are experiencing symptoms such as lethargy, slurred speech, headache, or a sweet taste in your mouth, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
How to prevent skin problems.
To avoid overexposure to acetone, you can limit how often you use products that contain this chemical. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands when using cleaners with acetone.
If you are more likely to be exposed to acetone while staining your nails, limit the amount of varnish and remover you use, and do not immerse your nails in a liquid that contains acetone. To completely avoid the effects of acetone on your skin, you can opt for an acetone-free nail polish remover.
For heavily spilled products containing acetone, wash the affected area with soap and water for at least 15 minutes as soon as possible and apply a moisturizer to prevent drying. Clothes or shoes that have acetone should also be removed.
Get the word of drug information
Since acetone is a naturally occurring chemical found in the body, it is not as dangerous as you might think, as long as the exposure is small. It can still cause health problems if you are exposed to large amounts of acetone or if you use acetone for a long time. Skin contact with acetone can cause dermatitis. You do not need to stop using all acetone products, but it is important to remember that inhaling or contacting large amounts of acetone on your skin can be dangerous. Use the product in moderation and you will likely avoid the harmful side effects of acetone.