Signs & Symptoms of Creosote Damage

Creosote is a mixture of several chemicals that are used as pesticides, wood preservatives and herbal remedies for skin conditions like psoriasis. While it is effective for various purposes, creosote is a toxic substance.

Inhalation of fumes or smoke from burnt creosote treated items, drinking from a groundwater supply contaminated by creosote or ingestion or skin contact with the chemicals can cause creosote poisoning. This can result in a variety of health issues. Knowing the symptoms of creosote poisoning can help you identify this condition if you have been exposed to it.

Difficulty Breathing

When creosote is inhaled or ingested it can lead to breathing issues. Difficulty breathing or the inability to breathe deeply may result from overexposure to the toxin. Shortness of breath is likely to occur as well, according to the Wrong Diagnosis website.

Disorientation or Dizziness

A lightheaded feeling may be associated with exposure to creosote. This dizziness might make the exposed feel like they will pass out. It may also be associated with nausea and vomiting or disorientation. This is typically a result of the chemical disrupting the level of oxygen to the brain or in the blood.


Creosote poisoning can cause a symptom called myoclonus. A myoclonus is an involuntary jerk of a muscle, according to the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. These sudden muscle contractions are common in the form of a hiccup, but with creosote or other chemical poisoning there could be a wide range of muscles affected my myoclonus.

Nose, Skin and Eye Irritation

Irritation to the eyes, lining of the nose and the skin is likely with exposure to creosote. The affects of creosote exposure may be similar to a severe allergic reaction. Other skin reactions include discolouration and sensitivity to sunlight. It can also cause nosebleeds, dilated pupils and partial loss or blurring of vision. Creosote is also a carcinogen and could result in nasal or sinus cancer, according to the Universal Forest Products website.

Vital Organ Damage

Some vital organs may be damaged as a result of poisoning by creosote. Lung damage can be caused by inhaling creosote and may potentially lead to lung cancer. Creosote can also cause liver damage and kidney damage sometimes apparent because o f dehydration and lack of urination. Poisoning may also cause irregular heartbeats, according to the Universal Forest Products website.