Fertilizer - for houseplants and backyard gardens (Does not include agricultural lime or fertilizer used in farming. These products may be corrosive. Contact the Poison Control Centre if you have been exposed.)

What is in it? Usually contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which are essential nutrients required by plants to live and grow. Labeled with a formula that indicates the percentage of each of these nutrients. For example: A formula of 20-10-10 indicates that it contains 20 % nitrogen, 10 % phosphoric acid and 10% potassium. Supplied in liquid or granular form. Dolomite lime contains calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate.

Is it toxic? Generally low order of toxicity. May cause irritation and upset stomach. Ingestion of large amounts may cause more serious poisoning.

Health Effects:
Eyes: May cause irritation. Granular products could "scratch" the cornea if they get trapped in the eye.
Skin: Prolonged exposure may cause irritation.
Ingestion: Ingestion of small amounts may result in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Large amounts would have to be ingested to cause poisoning - contact the Poison Control Centre if this occurs.

What to do:
Eyes: Rinse eyes with a gentle stream of lukewarm water for 5 minutes by any of the following methods:

  • Pour a gentle stream of water from a jug or clean teapot over the eye from the inside corner by the nose, across the eye, flowing out towards the ear.
  • Submerge eye in a container (bowl, sink) of lukewarm water. Have patient open and close eye.
  • Eye may be irrigated in the shower, if this can be accomplished without delay.
  • Young children may be wrapped like a mummy in a towel with arms at side and held over the sink or tub or laid on counter during flushing.

Skin: Wash skin with soap and water and rinse thoroughly.
Ingestion: Rinse out mouth and drink a glass of water or milk. If vomiting and diarrhea occurs ensure a good fluid intake to prevent dehydration.

Do not induce vomiting. If symptoms persist after first aid measures contact the Poison Control Centre.

How can I prevent exposure?
Keep products in their original container. Store products and food in a separate area. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

Need more information:
Call the Poison Control Centre.


© 2010 BC Drug and Poison Information Centre