In industrial waste poisoning, quick treatment is necessary to prevent serious outcomes. In some cases, when the irritant affects the skin, the area should be immediately washed to prevent chemical burns. If a toxic substance has been inhaled, medical personnel will generally support and help the person breathe. If there is an antidote to the toxin, it should be administered quickly, but only if the person who has been poisoned is displaying severe symptoms, which may include respiratory distress, nausea, vomiting, or if the person is unconscious. Sometimes more than one dose of an antidote is necessary.
In some poisoning cases, vapors may irritate the mucous linings of the throat, trachea, and lungs. If left untreated, fluid can build up in the lungs and the person may experience life-threatening symptoms. For example, if someone has inhaled benzene vapors, there is no antidote. Treatment options involve supporting respiration and heart function and hospitalization until the symptoms are gone.