It is made from crude oil or coal tar. It is also produced when things burn. Naphthalene is found in cigarette smoke, car exhaust, smoke from forest fires and mothballs. It is used as an insecticide and pest repellent.
Clothing that was stored in mothballs without being washed afterwards has caused anemia in infants who wore the clothing, diapers or blankets.
People have developed headaches, nausea, dizziness, and/or vomiting after being exposed to naphthalene vapors. If someone breathes in enough of the vapor or eats a mothball containing naphthalene, they might develop hemolytic anemia. This is when red blood cells break apart, and no longer carry oxygen the way they should.
These are the reported cases about mothballs:
A 26-year-old pregnant women sucked on moth balls during her third trimester and developed anemia.
Another woman, 19, sucked, smelled, and ate moth balls during her pregnancy and became anemic as well.
A 15-year-old boy tsucked on moth balls too, that result to stomach pains and vomiting. He was also diagnosed with anemia.
Every night for 2 months, a 10-year-old boy who inhaled moth balls for 8 hours. He had progressive portal hypertension and died because of liver failure.
In case of mothballs poisoning, the victim must be rush to the nearest hospital. He/she will undergo blood and urine tests.
SOUREC: WORLD HEALTH GUIDE