Any substance that can cause severe organ damage or death if ingested, breathed in, or absorbed through the skin. Many substances that normally cause no problems, including water and most vitamins, can be poisonous if taken in excessive quantity. Poison treatment depends on the ‘substance.
- Poison Control Center
A special information center set up to inform people about how to respond to potential poisoning. These centers maintain databases of poisons and appropriate emergency treatment. Local poison control centers should be listed with other community-service numbers in the front of the telephone book, and they can also be reached immediately through any telephone operator.
- Poison ivy
Skin inflammation that results from contact with the poison ivy vine. Chemicals produced by this vine cause an immune reaction, producing redness, itching, and blistering of the skin. Treatment involves use of topical medications.
- Poison oak
Skin inflammation that results from contact with the poison oak plant. Chemicals produced by this plant cause an immune reaction, producing redness, itching, and blistering of the skin. Treatment involves use of topical medication.
Taking a substance that is injurious to health or can cause death. Poisoning is still a major hazard to children, despite child-resistant (and sometimes adult-resistant) packaging and dose-limits per container. See also poison, Poison Control Centers.
- Poisoning, alcohol
A condition in which a toxic amount of alcohol (ethanol, ethyl alcohol) has been drunk, usually in a short period of time. The toxicity is related to the blood level of the alcohol. The individual may become extremely disoriented, unresponsive or unconscious, with shallow breathing. Because alcohol poisoning can be fatal, emergency treatment is needed.