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Ontario Poison Centre




Antifreeze, or coolant, is used to help regulate a vehicle’s engine during extreme temperatures. Its common base chemical is called ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic and can damage the kidneys even if swallowed in small amounts. Ethylene glycol can be absorbed in minimal amounts from skin contact or inhalation, however it is most toxic when ingested.

Poisoning Risk

High: dangerous in small amounts (more than a taste or a lick).

Expected Symptoms

  • Early symptoms may include drowsiness, drunk behaviour and upset stomach.
  • Can lead to kidney failure and death in severe toxicity.

Home Treatment

  • Call the Poison Centre right away for assistance.
  • If more than a mouthful has been ingested, go to nearest emergency department for assessment.
  • For eye exposures, rinse eyes for at least 15 minutes with lukewarm water, then call the Poison Centre for further advice.



  • This product should be locked up and out of sight with all of your other household hazards.
  • Always keep this product in its original container.
  • Every case is different. OPC is available 24hrs/day to provide information for your individual situation. Call 1-800-268-9017 (Toll-free) or 416-813-5900 (Local).



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