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CleaningMatters logo sm March/April 2012

How to Make Every Week Poison Prevention Week

ACI Celebrates an Important Anniversary

50thanniversaryPoisonPreventionWeek 1In 1961, Congress enacted National Poison Prevention Week to be celebrated the third week of every March. But we believe poisonings can be prevented 24/7, 365 days a year. Shockingly, 90% of all poisonings occur in the home, which is the one environment you'd think people had the most control over.

A poisoning is when someone swallows, breathes, touches or gets splashed in the eye with a substance that can cause sickness or death. Yet not all of these substances are in and of themselves poisonous. An adult may take an aspirin to ease some pain, but when a two-year-old ingests a handful of pills thinking they're candy, it can result in much more than a headache.

Here are some poison-prevention tips:

  • Keep all cleaning products out of sight and reach of children; install childproof safety latches on cabinets.
  • Store food and household cleaning products in separate areas.
  • Keep products in their original, labeled containers, and read those labels prior to use.
  • If the phone or doorbell rings when you're in the middle of using a product, close the bottle or box. Many incidents happen when adults are distracted.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after using a product, and, likewise, wash any utensils that may have been used to measure or dispense a product.
  • Turn on fans or open windows when using household and chemical products for proper ventilation.
  • NEVER combine cleaning agents with ammonia. Some chemical mixtures can create deadly fumes.
  • Don't use empty cleaning-product containers to store food, and, likewise, never use cups or baby bottles to store detergents or cleansers.

In case of an accidental poisoning or emergency, call the number listed on the product label. Or call the U.S. Poison Control Center's toll-free hotline at 800-222-1222.

Learn more about the National Poison Prevention Week Council at Help raise awareness about poisoning by following the Council at, liking the Facebook page and sharing these links with your family, friends and community.


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