How toxic are japanese fire belly newts?

AnnaleeRose

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Hi everyone,
I have had a JFBN for about 20 years now and JUST researched and discovered that they're extremely toxic with no known antidote. All of the sudden I've very paranoid and anxious! I've been holding this newt for years, especially as a child, and haven't always thoroughly washed my hands afterward. My main question is whether their toxins are present in their tank water and whether I need to be cautious about contact with that tank water (when I clean the tank, the water gets on my counter, might splatter on my shirt, and gets in my sink). I won't hold the newt anymore but I obviously still need to clean his tank and any information that could ease my anxiety would really help. Does anybody else with these pets take extra precautions with tank cleaning? Has anybody ever had an adverse reaction or had to be hospitalized? Do I need to set my sink on fire everytime I clean his tank? (Joking)
Thank you so much in advance.
 

Herpin Man

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Relax.
The newt is unlikely to exude the toxin unless it is very stressed, as might be the case with rough handling or injury.
The tank water isn't toxic either.
Amphibians, in general, shouldn't be handles, although the reason has more to do with harm to the animals, due to their porous skin, than with harm to the person handling.
In the unlikely event that you develop a reaction from handling, it's most likely going to be in the form of a mild burning sensation on your hands. I have experienced this myself, when handling salamanders that have been injured on roads. Washing your hands thoroughly should take care of it. Rubbing your eyes or picking your nose is not recommended at this point.
There are a few cases of people having serious reactions (including death) after consuming newts. Short of that, you aren't in any danger.
 
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