Glow sticks


glow sticks, glow toys


Glow sticks: Sold as toys, decorations such as bracelets, necklaces and small or large wands used for illumination.

What is in it: Contains an oily liquid (dibutyl phthalate), dyes and an activator.

Is it toxic? Low order of toxicity but may cause irritation.

Health Effects:

Eyes: Possible stinging, burning sensation and tearing. Symptoms usually subside once the eye is rinsed.
Skin: Possible irritation and a burning sensation.
Ingestion: Possible burning sensation and a bad taste in the mouth if glow products are bitten into. Poisoning is not expected if swallowed but possible choking hazard.

What to do:

Eyes: Rinse eyes with lukewarm water with one 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 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 a child has swallowed more than just the liquid, contact the Poison Control Centre.

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

How can I prevent exposure?
Do not allow children to chew on glow products as they may break apart. Discard used glow sticks or jewelry.

Need more information:
Call the Poison Control Centre.


© 2010 BC Drug and Poison Information Centre