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Poison Prevention Requires Diligence

EPA offers tips for storing and using potentially harmful products

FRIDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- To keep from being among the millions accidentally exposed to a harmful dose of poison, people need to be diligent -- not just during National Poison Prevention Week but always -- when handling potentially noxious materials, warns the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Children younger than 6 are involved in more than half of the 2 million poison exposure incidents reported each year, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

As precautions, the EPA recommends that people:

  • Always read the instructions about a product's use and storage first and follow them exactly.
  • Keep harmful products, including cleaners and pesticides, in their original containers to prevent accidental misuse. This will also keep necessary information handy if a problem does occur.
  • Never leave poisonous products unattended when using them.
  • Lock poisons, cleaning supplies and similar products in a storage area -- a cabinet, closet or shed -- that children and pets cannot access.
  • Keep the phone number for the Poison Control Center hot line -- (800) 222-1222 -- handy.

More information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more on poison prevention at home.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, news release, March 16, 2009

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