Pesticide Broadcast: National Poison Prevention Week: Simple Steps That You Can Take to Prevent Poisoning

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During National Poison Prevention Week, March 16-22, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is highlighting the dangers of removing pesticides and other household chemicals from their original containers and storing them in bottles or cans that can be mistaken for beverages. According to recently published poison-center data, annually more than 145,000 calls to poison centers involve disinfectants and other pesticides. Moreover, based on data from 1998-2009, the California Poison Control System and the Central California Children’s Hospital identified more than 1,400 cases of accidental poisoning caused by storage of non-food substances in soda bottles, unmarked bottles, cups or glasses. Most poisoning happens in people’s homes and is preventable.

Here are tips to help prevent poisoning:

  • Post the Poison Control Centers’ national helpline number, 1-800-222-1222, near your phone.
  • Program the number into your phone’s “address book” or speed dial feature.
  • Read the product label first and follow the directions to the letter.
  • Never transfer pesticides and other household chemical products to other containers, particularly those that may be mistaken for food or a beverage.
  • Don’t use empty pesticide containers to store anything else. No matter how well you wash the container, it could still contain residues of the pesticide and could harm someone.
  • Seal products after each use and store up and out of a children’s reach.
  • Use products with tamper-resistant bait stations to protect children and pets from exposure to mouse and rat poison.
  • Remove children, pets and toys before applying pesticides (inside or outside the home). Read label directions to determine when children and pets can re-enter the area that has been treated.

For more information about poisoning prevention in your home

For resources and more information about National Poison Prevention Week

Source: U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs, EPA Pesticide Program Updates, March 18, 2014

Written By

Photo of Dr. Wayne BuhlerDr. Wayne BuhlerInterim Department Head and Extension Specialist (Pesticide Education) (919) 515-5369 wayne_buhler@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science - NC State University
Updated on Mar 20, 2014
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