When an injury occurs from the use of essential oils:
- If an essential oil causes dermal irritation, apply a carrier oil (such as vegetable, coconut, olive oil, etc.) to the area affected to dilute it. Repeat as needed. If you do not feel relief, seek medical attention. If you do feel relief try washing the area with soap and water. Add more carrier oil if using soap and water increases the dermal irritation.
- If a child appears to have consumed an essential oil, contact the nearest poison control unit and seek immediate medical attention. For identification purposes, keep the bottle for emergency workers. If an adult is experiencing any systems (pain, dizziness, burning, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, severe headache or migraine, reddening, swelling, pain, blistering of the mouth, throat or esophagus, respiratory distress or other alarming adverse reactions), seek medical attention.
- According to Robert Tisserand, if an essential oil gets into your eyes, the standard treatment is copious irrigation with a saline solution for 1-2 hours. Initially, contact lenses should not be removed (Peate 2007). Fatty oils have also been suggested as an appropriate first aid treatment for this, though the advantage of saline is that the eyes can be continually flushed, and this is less easy with fatty oil. I would add, that you should seek medical attention if you do not have significant relief, as an ocular chemical burn is serious.
After the Crisis Is Over Report the Injury:
- Report any essential oil injury to the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy and the Tisserand Institute Adverse Reaction Database. You can read past injury reports on Aromatherapy United.
- Report the injury to the FDA. You can use several resources on the FDA website including: Your Guide To Reporting Problems to the FDA, Report Unlawful Sales of Medical Products On The Internet, Consumer Complaint Coordinators–Report A Problem or Medwatch Online Voluntary Reporting Form.
- Report the claim to FTC also has a process to File A Complaint With The FTC.
- If you are experiencing any problems using a doTERRA product they allow you to report compliance issues to their company via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find Support and Further Aromatherapy Education
There are several organizations that are dedicated to spreading information about the safe use of essential oils. The goal should be for everyone to be able to use essential oils for a lifetime. Unsafe use puts the user at risk of developing sensitization. Join some of the groups that are talking about safety and past injuries to learn more.
- Essential Oil Consumer Safety Advocates
- Ethical Aromatherapy
- Essential Oil University
- The Dark Side of Essential Oils