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Information on first aid and treatment of accidents

Involving cyano-acrylate adhesives (instant adhesives)


Introduction

Cyano-acrylate adhesives are very rapid bonding, very adhesive products, marketed as instant adhesives (brand names Schnellkleber, Super Kleber, Super Glue, Power Glue, Magic Glue, NASA-Kleber, etc).

Cyano-acrylate adhesives set very quickly in the presence of moisture (in the air, on the skin, perspiration, sebum, tears, saliva).

They are capable of bonding human tissue, including skin and eyes, in seconds.

Experience has shown that dealing with accidents properly usually makes surgical treatment unnecessary, as long as the following procedures and instructions are observed.

Even if nothing is done, cyano-acrylate adhesives automatically lose their adhesiveness to skin, eyes and mouth in due course under the effect of moisture on the skin, perspiration, tears or saliva.


Skin stuck together

Skin on skin

Start by softening stuck areas of skin in warm, soapy water or in a 1% solution of bicarbonate of soda, then carefully slide a pair of tweezers, a spatula, cotton-wool stick or pencil between the stuck areas and separate them by using small, gentle movements.

Any remnants of adhesive can be removed from the skin with soap and water and/or a greasy skincare ointment or oil.

Drops of acetone can be used to release small areas of stuck skin. Apply the acetone carefully to the edges of the stuck area to dissolve the adhesive (repeat as necessary).

Acetone should not be used over large areas; it should not be used near the eyes, mucous membranes, or on broken skin.

Once the adhesive has been removed, clean the skin with plain water and apply a greasy skincare ointment or oil.

Never rip the adhesive off the skin, as particles of skin may be removed as well.


On the scalp, in the hair

Wash the head/hair and apply a generous quantity of skincare oil to the affected area(s); leave on for some time (overnight, for instance).

Repeat as necessary.

The adhesive will wear off the scalp in duecourse.


Skin to other materials

See instructions for treating "skin on skin".


Eyes

Should the eyes become stuck an immediate thorough rinsing with (warm) water is essential to minimise the eye's reactions.

Never attempt to force open eyes that have become stuck.

Eyelid stuck to eyelid, eyeball or eyelashes.

Rinse thoroughly with warm water immediately and cover with a moist gauze compress, eye compress or swab.

If necessary, moisten the compress or swab repeatedly.

The eye will usually open without any further treatment after between one and four days.

There is unlikely to be any lasting damage.

If the eye should become stuck, consult the local emergency hospital or an ophthalmologist.


Adhesive on the eyeball

No treatment is normally required.

In the eye, cyano-acrylate adhesives bond with the protein layer of the eye and loosen after a variable time, normally one or two days.

Until the adhesive loosens and the remnants have been removed, the eye will produce more tears than usual.

Double vision can also occur, in conjunction with the increased flow of tears.

These are normal reactions.

The adhesive normally loosens within one or two days, except in particularly severe cases.

Please note – to avoid the risk of inhaling, the conscious person should lie with the head and shoulders in as upright a position as possible.


Mouth

Should the lips become stuck together accidentally, they should be rinsed with plenty of warm water from the outside and saliva should be pressed up against the area on the inside of the mouth to maintain maximum contact with moisture.

Moving the lips and mouth usually loosens the adhesive hold.

Any remnants of adhesive can be removed using water and a greasy skincare ointment or oil.

Never attempt to force open lips that have been stuck together.

It is very unlikely that cyano-acrylate adhesives would be swallowed, as the adhesive sets instantly and can stick to the mouth, producing a white-coloured coating or agglomerate.

No treatment is normally necessary.

Saliva removes the adhesive from the inside of the mouth usually within half a day and two days.

Should a large quantity of agglomerate form in the mouth, the patient should be positioned in such a way that it cannot be swallowed once it comes loose.

Make sure that the windpipe is not obstructed.


Burns

Cyano-acrylate adhesives release heat as they set.

Very occasionally the quantity of adhesive used may be sufficient to increase the surrounding temperature enough to cause a burn.

Burns caused by cyano-acrylate adhesives should be treated in the same way as any other burns.

Before treating the burn, the adhesive and/or the article stuck on (a work glove, for example) should be carefully removed, if possible (see page 2).


Surgical treatment

Skin stuck together accidentally should never be separated surgically.

Even if nothing is done, cyano-acrylate adhesives come off skin, eyes or mouth of their own accord in due course under the effect of moisture in the skin, perspiration, tears or saliva.


A specialist should always be consulted in the event any of the above happens.

The notes and information in this information page correspond to the best of our knowledge to the most up-to-date technology.

They are given for information and are not compulsory. We do not assume any liability for following the procedures indicated above.