Woman dies drinking lamp oil; 5 poisoned

July 2, 2008 3:42:03 PM PDT
A handful of New Jersey residents have become sick after accidentally drinking tiki torch fuel. The latest case ended with the death of an 84-year-old Burlington County woman. Six people in the Garden State mistakenly drank the oil thinking it was apple juice. Three of those people were hospitalized and they include an 8-year-old girl in critical condition with life-long lung damage.

"We're saddened by the tragedy must be difficult for the people involved in this," said Bob Gogats from Burlington County Public Health.

When you look at the two bottles it isn't hard to see how someone could confuse tiki torch oil with apple juice. The colors of the fluids are almost identical and to a child who can't read or an older person who can't see well the two bottles could be easy to confuse.

Health officials have advice for consumers.

"Store lamp oils in locked cabinets and store all hazardous materials in locked areas and away from children," Gogats said.

There are other poisonous products that look like juice and come in containers resembling the packaging of popular drinks. So educate your family on the dangers of these look-a-like products.

For pictures of dangerous look-a-likes, go to www.njpies.org.

And if you suspect a poisoning call 9-1-1 immediately but if you have questions about a potentially poisonous substance call 1-800-222-1222 for the poison control center.

And one more tip- never re-use food containers to store non-edible substances, particularly hazardous products.

The 84-year-old died Monday.

Officials urge people to store lamp oil away from foods and common areas, and to call a poison center immediately if oil is ingested. --------------

Some information taken from AP.

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