Potassium Bromate

(USAN)
Potassium Bromate Chemical formula

💊 Chemical information

924; Bromato potásico; Potasu bromian.
Chemical formula: KBrO3 = 167.0.
CAS — 7758-01-2.

💊 Adverse Effects

Nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pains, diarrhoea, and lethargy are common after ingestion of potassium bromate. Acute renal failure arising from tubular necrosis usually presents with oliguria or anuria within 1 to 3 days of significant ingestion, and is the most frequent cause of death. Ototoxicity may present as tinnitus or hearing loss within hours of ingestion, and can progress to sensorineural deafness in some patients. Ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity may be irreversible. Potassium bromate poisoning can also produce hypotension, myocarditis, hepatitis, and encephalopathy characterised by agitation, delirium, convulsions, and coma. Microangiopathic anaemia has also been reported. Potassium bromate is carcinogenic in animals.

Acute toxicity.

Reports of bromate poisoning.
1. Lue JN, et al. Bromate poisoning from ingestion of professional hair-care neutralizer. Clin Pharm 1988; 7: 66–70
2. Lichtenberg R, et al. Bromate poisoning. J Pediatr 1989; 114: 891–4
3. De Vriese A, et al. Severe acute renal failure due to bromate intoxication: report of a case and discussion of management guidelines based on a review of the literature. Nephrol Dial Transplant 1997; 12: 204–9.

💊 Treatment of Adverse Effects

Gastric lavage should be considered if the patient presents within 1 hour of acute ingestion of potassium bromate; use of a 2 to 5% solution of sodium bicarbonate has been suggested to reduce bromate absorption and prevent hydrobromic acid production. Activated charcoal has also been recommended as an adsorbent. Attention to the patient’s fluid, acid–base, and electrolyte status is important, particularly in the presence of acute renal failure. An intravenous infusion of 100 to 500 mL of a 1% sodium thiosulfate solution has sometimes been given. Oxygen may be indicated. The prompt use of haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis has been suggested.

Thiosulfate.

Although the use of intravenous sodium thiosulfate is an accepted practice in the treatment of bromate poisoning, convincing evidence that it reduces bromate to bromide is lacking.1,2 Oral sodium thiosulfate solutions have also been used but are no longer recommended because hydrogen sulfide, itself a powerful irritant and toxic agent, may be evolved in the presence of hydrochloric acid.2
1. McElwee NE, Kearney TE. Sodium thiosulfate unproven as bromate antidote. Clin Pharm 1988; 7: 570–2
2. De Vriese A, et al. Severe acute renal failure due to bromate intoxication: report of a case and discussion of management guidelines based on a review of the literature. Nephrol Dial Transplant 1997; 12: 204–9.

💊 Uses

Potassium bromate is an oxidising agent. It has no therapeutic uses but it has been widely used as the ‘neutraliser’ of thioglycollate hair-waving lotions. It has been used in the preparation of barley malt for beer. It has also been used as a flour-maturing agent but such use is no longer considered appropriate and is prohibited in some countries.

Food additive.

Potassium bromate is a genotoxic carcinogen and should not be present in foods when consumed. Its use for the treatment of flour for bread-making is not appropriate.1
1. FAO/WHO. Evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants: forty-fourth report of the joint FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives. WHO Tech Rep Ser 859 1995. Also available at: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/trs/WHO_TRS_859.pdf (accessed 18/07/08)
Published May 08, 2019.