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1. Poisons are substances which, in adequate amounts, cause illness or death in an organism.
2. Most poisonings involve medicines, vitamins, home-care products, illegal drugs, plants and metals such as mercury.
3. The vast majority of poisonings in the United States can be attributed to drug overdose.
4. The five types of poison exposures include ingestion through the mouth, inhalation through the nose or mouth, through the eyes (ocular), through the skin (dermal) or through stings or bites (parenteral).
5. Heavy metals involved in human poisoning, accidental or intentional, are arsenic, lead, mercury, thallium and cadmium.
6. In United States over 2 million possible poisonings cases are reported to the nation's poison centers. The maximum number of death due to poisoning (almost 70%) occurs in the age group of 20 to 59 years.
7. Elderly people succumb to poisoning more quickly than the younger people. Although the former account for only 5% of poisoning cases, they account for 16% of deaths due to poisoning.
8. Many poisons are beneficial when used moderately. Antibiotics, aspirin, hydrogen fluoride, alcohol and chromic acid are popular examples.
9. Botox, the cosmetic drug widely used to wipe out wrinkles, is the trade name for a type of neurotoxin that is secreted by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
10. Approximately 90% of poisonings occur at home.
11. Among those exposed, children, below the age of 6 years, are the most vulnerable.
12. Poisoning, in children, can be prevented to a large extent by keeping drugs and harmful substances out of their reach.
13. Food poisoning is caused by a variety of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites and prions.
14. Hygienic food preparation and handling can prevent food poisoning.
In case of poisoning, do not hesitate to seek immediate medical help.
1. American Association of Poison Control Centers
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