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Naphthalene poisoning due to exposure to mothballs is a common cause of toxicity in children worldwide. Naphthalene toxicity is known to cause hemolytic anemia, methemoglobinemia, and hepatic and renal injury. Neonates are more susceptible to the effects of oxidative stress from naphthalene because of their low glutathione stores and immaturity of hepatic enzymes. However, there are no reported cases of chronic fetal exposure to naphthalene during pregnancy. We report a novel case of chronic fetal exposure to naphthalene-containing mothballs that occurred from the second trimester through the third trimester of pregnancy. Our patient presented with hyperbilirubinemia, requiring exchange transfusion, severe hemolytic anemia, pulmonary hypertension, respiratory failure, and renal failure and progressed to develop "bronze baby" syndrome. Pregnant mothers should be diligently screened for such exposures and if found should receive psychiatric evaluation and counseling to prevent such devastating effects in neonates.
PMID: 31064798 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]