Poison Help 1-800-222-1222 [logo]

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1-800-222-1222

When accidents happen with chemicals, medicine, or household items, call Poison Help. Get help right away from a local poison expert.

If someone is unconscious or has trouble breathing, call 911.

Poison Info

Who Is at Risk?

You may think that poisoning affects only a certain group of people – such as young children or older adults. This, however, is not true. Anyone, regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, or career, can be poisoned. Poisonings happen more often than you think.

In 2008, 2.5 million people called a poison center because someone had been exposed to a poison.1 Children under age 6 accounted for half of all human poison exposures reported to poison centers.2 However, adults are also at risk. That year, more than three-quarters of all poisoning deaths reported to poison centers occurred among people ages 20 to 59.3

What are the risks throughout life?

Certain kinds of poisonings are common among specific age groups. For example, older adults specifically need to be aware of the poisoning risks involved with taking prescription medications. Children are commonly poisoned through painkillers, cosmetics, personal care or cleaning products, pest killers, and plants. Preteens through older adults are commonly poisoned through herbal products, prescription drugs, alcohol, over-the-counter medicines, and spoiled food.

People of all ages may be stung by a bee, splashed with a chemical, or exposed to carbon monoxide in their homes. People also may use a cleaning product without gloves.

For more information on how poisonings can affect everyone, download the Poison Help brochure (PDF - 6.96 MB). This brochure has four inserts with specific information for adults of all ages, health professionals, and parents.

If you think someone has been poisoned, right away call the toll-free Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222, which connects you to your local poison center.


1. Bronstein AC,  Spyker DA Cantilena LR, Green JL, Rumack BH, Giffin SL. 2008 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 26th Annual Report. 2009. Clinical Toxicology (2009) 47, 911–1084. Exit Disclaimer

2. Bronstein AC,  Spyker DA Cantilena LR, Green JL, Rumack BH, Giffin SL. 2008 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 26th Annual Report. 2009. Clinical Toxicology (2009) 47, 911–1084. Exit Disclaimer

3. Bronstein AC,  Spyker DA Cantilena LR, Green JL, Rumack BH, Giffin SL. 2008 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 26th Annual Report. 2009. Clinical Toxicology (2009) 47, 911–1084. Exit Disclaimer