Five injured, one dead in tiki torch oil poisonings

New Jersey state health officials have issued a warning about “look-a-like” jugs of tiki torch oil that can be mistaken for apple juice containers, resulting in accidental poisonings. So far, an 84-year-old woman has died and five other individuals have been hospitalized after ingesting a small amount of the torch oil. One 8-year-old girl was placed on a ventilator and has sustained permanent lung damage.

All five victims were New Jersey residents, according to an article in the Newark Star Ledger. The newspaper identified the look-a-like product, which comes in a clear plastic bottle, as Lamplight Farms, which sells through Home Depot, Lowe’s, Kmart, Wal-Mart and Target.

Anotice on the Lamplight Farms Web site stated that the Menomonee Falls, Wis., manufacturer “is urgently investigating reports of consumers ingesting torch oil that was apparently mistaken for apple juice.” These efforts include working with both state and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The company added that “all products made by Lamplight Farms are clearly marked that torch fuel is harmful or fatal if swallowed.”

State officials could not explain why the incidents were clustered in New Jersey. “We’re trying to send out a nationwide alert,” Steve Marcus, a state poison control spokesman, told the Star-Ledger. For more information, visit the www.njpies.org .