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How to deal with watusi, piccolo poisoning 

by Leila Salaverria

HEALTH and safety officials keep on reminding people to steer clear of firecrackers so that they can welcome the New Year safely.

They said the use of these items should be limited to fireworks displays in common areas to protect lives and property.  

The Philippine National Police has also released a list of banned firecrackers to remind people about what they should avoid.

But there are still those who can’t help but get their hands on these items, and these could end up causing harm, especially to children who may ingest them.

Watusi and piccolo, which are among the banned fireworks, had harmed kids in the past because these are small and come in attractive packaging. 

The Department of Health has some tips on how to recognize and deal with watusi and piccolo poisoning.

Watusi poisoning 

This happens if watusi, which is made up of extremely poisonous and toxic chemicals, is ingested.

The signs and symptoms of this are the following:

  • Burns
  • Burning pain in the throat and garlic odor from breath
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Shock
  • Severe pain on contact
  • Perforation of the gastrointestinal tract

How to handle it

The DOH said that if Watusi is ingested, people should not induce vomiting. Instead, children may be given 6 to 8 raw egg whites, while adults may be given 8 to 12 raw egg whites.

They must then be brought to the nearest hospital. 

If the skin is exposed to the chemicals in watusi, the patient must be bathed using alkaline soap, such as Perla.

Piccolo poisoning

The DOH said piccolo is very poisonous because it contains yellow phosphorous. The estimated lethal dose for humans is 50 to 100 milligrams.

The signs and symptoms of piccolo poisoning are burns and vomiting.

How to handle it

If piccolo is swallowed, the DOH warns against inducing vomiting. Instead, the affected individual may be given raw egg whites. Children may be given 6 to 8 raw egg whites, while adults may be given 8 to 12 raw egg whites.

If the piccolo gets in the eye, the area must be washed immediately with water for at least 15 minutes. The eyelids must be kept open as well.

If the skin is affected, the affected area must be washed with plenty of water. The contaminated clothing must be removed.

If the chemicals are inhaled, the affected individual should be allowed to breathe fresh air and must be kept comfortable and warm. 

In all cases, the affected individual must seek medical assistance immediately. 

Banner photo credit: PNA



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