Poisoning Statistics, 2020 Washington, DC Metro Area

In 2020, the National Capital Poison Center provided consultations for 208,794 people. Approximately 19% (40,199) were calls about people exposed to a poison. An additional 158,378 (76%) were human exposures managed online through webPOISONCONTROL®. Other consultations involved pet poisonings (2,018) and information requests (8,199). Some interesting facts include:  

  • Most poison exposures (77%) were unintentional. The Center also received calls about other types of poisonings: medication side effects, substance abuse, malicious poisonings, and suicide attempts. 
  • 8,199 people (16% 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.
  • 39% of poison exposures involved children younger than six, but the most serious cases occurred in adolescents and adults.
  • 55% of poison exposures involved medications; other exposures were to household or automotive products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings.
  • 73% 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.
  • 72% of poison exposures were safely managed over the phone and did not need medical treatment in a health care facility. However, 85% of those who called a poison center first, before going to a health care facility were safety treated at home. This number increases to nearly 94% when the Poison Center is consulted before other medical intervention is sought in pediatric poisonings. 

208,794 Consultations Were Provided in 2020
National Capital Poison Center
Washington, DC Metro Area
 case type 2020

Reasons for Reported Poison Exposures
National Capital Poison Center, 2020
 reason for poison exposure 2020 DC

Poisonings by Age Group
National Capital Poison Center, 2020
 poison exposures by age group 2020 DC

Poison Exposures by Age
National Capital Poison Center, 2020
age distribution of poison exposures in DC in 2020 

Most Common Poison Exposures 
Children <6 Years
National Capital Poison Center, 2020
 most common poisonings in children 2020 DC

Most Common Poison Exposures 
≥ 20 Years of Age
National Capital Poison Center, 2020
most common poisonings in adults 2020 DC 

Related Links

Summary of Poison Statistics, Washington DC metro area, 2019

Summary of Poison Statistics, Washington DC metro area, 2018

Summary of Poison Statistics, Washington DC metro area, 2017

Summary of Poison Statistics, Washington DC metro area, 2016

Summary of Poison Statistics, Washington DC metro area, 2015

Summary of Poison Statistics, Washington, DC metro area, 2014

Summary of National Poison Statistics, Reports to U.S. Poison Control Centers

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


Support Us

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.

Donate Now

Connect with us
on social media!

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for news, updates, and events!

Facebook Logo   Instagram Logo   Twitter Logo

Poison Statistics

2013 outcome stats promo graph

View more statistics

Subscribe to The Poison Post®

The Poison Post® is a free, quarterly
e-newsletter delivering poison prevention tips right to your inbox!

The Poison Post

You're invited!

holiday card 2018

Your phantom ball invitation

Spike: A preschool poison prevention program


Spike: Quills Up - Stay Away!

Habla español? Need help in Spanish?

Poison Control brinda ayuda en español. 

Información en español

Common and dangerous poisons

Know your poisons! Which are common? Which are the most dangerous? Keep your child safe.

Watch out for these poisons!

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.

What happens when I call?