Naphthalene

CAS RN: 91-20-3

Laboratory

A) In patients with a glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency or ingestions involving more than a single mothball, obtain a baseline CBC, electrolytes, G6PD level, liver enzymes and renal function tests, urinalysis and urine dipstick test for hemoglobinuria, and a type and screen.
B) Measurement of urinary metabolites (1-naphthol or mercapturic acid) may help to confirm the diagnosis but are not widely available or useful for chemical management. Urinary naphthol levels may be used to monitor industrial creosote exposure (naphthalene is the most abundant compound found in creosote vapor).
C) Abdominal radiographs may help differentiate between mothballs or other products which contain paradichlorobenzene (PDB) (densely radiopaque) from those which contain naphthalene (radiolucent or faintly radiopaque). Another distinguishing feature between naphthalene and PDB is that naphthalene will float in a saturated salt water solution while PDB will sink in a saturated salt water solution.
D) Ingestions of more than a single mothball should be followed for several days to rule out delayed hemolysis.
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