What will happen if a person drank a solution of potassium permangnate (kmno4) in water?

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ANSWER #1 of 5

It depends upon the concentration or strength of the solution.
Potassium permanganate crystals can be used, in low concentrations, to sterilize polluted water so that it is safe to drink. Indeed that is one of the reasons that it is often included in "Survival Kits".
However, at high concentrations, it should be considered to be a potentially fatal poison that affects the heart, circulation and central nervous system.
I imagine that if you drank a lot of fairly concentrated potassium permanganate solution without suffering serious effects described immediately above, there would be still be potentially serious health implications by damaging the ordinary distribution of friendly bacteria that inhabit the gut and assist in normal digestive processes.
Best wishes - Majikthise.

ANSWER #2 of 5

So they would probably be poisoned and die? :O thanks :)

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ANSWER #3 of 5

Well I cetainly didn't say that they would "... probably ..." die. Merely that it is "... potentially ..." fatal. Actually, it is highly unlikely that they would die unless they were deliberately trying to kill themselves by drinking a significant amount at very high concentrations. The following link is to an abstract of an article entitled " Potassium permanganate poisoning--a rare cause of fatal self poisoning. ":

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ANSWER #4 of 5

Also, I quote the following:
Potassium permanganate is so widely used and readily
obtained that its toxic properties are easily overlooked.
In England fatal cases of poisoning are fortunately rare,
but not a few cases, some fatal, have been reported from
the Continent. Popper' has recorded twenty-six authenticated
cases of poisoning, the majority among women
suïcïdes. Starkenstein reported a single case in which
death occurred from complications, while Leschke
mentions two cases, in one of which death occurred from
syncope following the ingestion of a dose of 15 to 20
grams of the pure crystals. Three cases are recorded
in English toxicological literature, including the non-fatal
case of Hawthorne, where apparently 22 grains (1.43
grams) were ingested as pills. In yet another case 15
to 20 grams of permanganate dissolved in water were
taken; heart symptoms developed, but recovery followed
treatment by gastric lavage and the administration of
a cardiac tonic.
In Cyprus at least one case of attempted suïcïde, by
a European woman, occurred in 1933, although there
were probably others unknown to the authorities. In
this case a strong solution of potassium permanganate
was taken in unknown amount. The patient showed the
usual symptoms of this type of poisoning, but after four
days' treatment in hospital made a complete and uneventful
recovery. In all these cases the poison was
taken by the mouth, either in the form of pills, crystals,
or a concentrated solution, but the fatal dose, which
presumably must be large, is not known. After ingestion
the poison attacks particularly the heart, the circulation,
and the central nervous system.
The signs and symptoms of acute potassium permanganate
poisoning have been well described in vivo and
post mortem, so that little need be said here. It is
interesting to note, however, that in severe cases, such
as that of Box, the destruction of tissue was so extensive
as to suggest an alkali corrosive. Nevertheless, the burns
produced by potassium permanganate and their sequelae
show important differences from those of the caustic
alkalis which were recently described by one of us.

Medicinal Uses of Permanganate:
Potassium permanganate is the only official salt of
manganese, the B.P. dose of which is 1 to 3 grains (0.06
to 0.2 gram), and it is not included in any schedule of
poisons. By reason of its oxidizing action in acid
or alkaline solution it is valued for its disinfectant,
deodorant, and germicidal properties. In dilute solution
it is a safe internal as well as external disinfectant, as
is shown by its being utilized for washing out the
stomach in cases of poisoning by alkaloids (especially
morphine and opium) and by cyanides. In the solid
state it is an effective local remedy in all kinds of snakebite,
if applied immediately its use in very dilute
solution as a gargle, mouth wash, and for vagïnal injection,
and in stronger concentration for urethral irrigation
in gonorrhoea, is well-accepted practice. In the lastnamed
condition, according to Burke, irrigation with
permanganate of no definite strength was practised during
the war, since the urethra gradually acquires toleration
to it. Here the time factor and the concentration are
evidently the most important considerations. Potassium
permanganate also possesses anaesthetic action on the
genito-urinary mucous membranes, and solutions of 1 in
5,000 have been employed for producing transitory anaesthesia
of the urethra, thereby allowing the painless passage of sounds.

Toxic Actions:
Although one of the safest disinfectants when used in
proper strength, it is easy to overlook the fact that
potassium permanganate possesses a definite though low
toxicity. Even dilute solutions may cause irritation to
the stomach, while concentrated solutions inflame the
mucous membrane, and mnay even induce gastro-enteritis
(Dixon).8 It is also within our experience that, following
a vagïnal injection of a strong solution of permanganate
in error, abortïon has resulted in early pregnancy.
Other experiences have shown that, 'although not a
corrosive, potassium permanganate, as a solid or in-concentrated
solution acts as a severe irritant. The toxic effects
of potash salts on the heart muscle and the central
nervous system have been ascribed by pharmacologists
to the K ion, and this would seem to be the case with
potassium permanganate.
... from an article entitled " POTASSIUM PERMANGANATE POISONING ",
written by Stanley G. Willimott, Ph.D.Cantab., B.Sc. Ph.D.Liverp. and Mark Freidman, M.D.,
and published in the British Medical Journal in 1936.
The full article (including references) is available in .pdf format from:
Best wishes - Majikthise.

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ANSWER #5 of 5

One of the many uses is to disinfect drinking water. It will not harm animal or plant life as long as it is diluted correctly.

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