Poisoning Statistics, 2016 Washington, DC Metro Area
- Most poison exposures (76%) were unintentional. The Center also received calls about other types of poisonings: medication side effects, substance abuse, malicious poisonings, and suicide attempts.
- 12,309 people (23.3% of the telephone consultations) called for poison-related information. Their questions were about possible problems with medication interactions, pesticide use, workplace chemicals, the safety of specific medications while breast-feeding, and many more topics.
- 43% of poison exposures involved children younger than six, but the most serious cases occurred in adolescents and adults.
- 56% of poison exposures involved medications; other exposures were to household or automotive products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings.
- 75% of poison exposures involved people who swallowed a drug or poison. People were also poisoned by inhalation and through exposures to the skin or eyes.
- 64% of poison exposures were safely managed over the phone and did not need medical treatment in a health care facility. However, 83% of those who called a poison center first, before gong to a health care facility were safety treated at home. This number increases to 92% for pediatric poisonings when the Poison Center is consulted first, before other medical intervention is sought.
Poisoned? Get Expert Help.
Don't guess what you should do. Get accurate Poison Control answers online or by phone. Both are free and confidential.
or CALL 1-800-222-1222
Get the App!Download the free
Help us save lives! Donate now so we can continue to provide 24/7 expert help for poison emergencies. Your donation to our 501(c)(3) charitable organization will keep the phone lines open and the app online.
Subscribe to The Poison Post®
The Poison Post® is a free, quarterly
e-newsletter delivering poison prevention tips right to your inbox!
Spike: A preschool poison prevention program
Habla español? Need help in Spanish?
Poison Control brinda ayuda en español.
Common and dangerous poisons
Know your poisons! Which are common? Which are the most dangerous? Keep your child safe.
What happens when I call Poison Control?
Poison Control is available 24 hours a day to provide free, expert and confidential guidance in a poison emergency. When you call, a poison specialist will ask you questions to determine the severity of your case, then provide recommendations.