• Mothballs can create opportunities for poisoning when scattered around the house for use as pest control or as a deodorizer.
  • Mothballs usually contain NAPHTHALENE or PARADICHLOROBENZENE and some may contain CAMPHOR. All types can be toxic if enough is ingested.
  • For some types, as little as half of one mothball can be dangerous if swallowed. Infants wearing clothes or swaddled in blankets that have been stored with mothballs can even absorb the toxins through their skin.
  • Mothballs should not be scattered in basements and crawl spaces as the fumes can drift throughout the home through heating and air ducts.
  • Mothballs are NOT effective at keeping snakes away.

Ingestion of mothballs may cause:

  • vomiting
  • drowsiness
  • tremors
  • blood in the urine
  • anemia
  • kidney damage

Inhalation of mothballs may cause:

  • headaches
  • eye irritation
  • breathing problems
  • nausea

Call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 with questions about an exposure or for more information.