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Poisoning occurs when people drink, eat, breathe, inject, or touch enough of a chemical (poison) to cause illness or death. Some poisons in very small amounts can cause illness or injury. Injury or illness may occur very quickly after exposure or may take several years with long-term exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a poisoning that occurs by accident as “unintentional poisoning” and a poisoning that results from a conscious, willful decision (such as suicide or homicide) as “intentional poisoning.” CDC is supporting efforts to track, investigate, and prevent poisonings.

On this Page:

General Poisoning Information

Poisoning Fact Sheet
Provides information about the occurrence, consequences, cost, and groups at risk for poisonings.

Poisoning Prevention: Prevention Tips
Gives tips to make your home and community safe, and recommendations on what to do in the event of a poisoning exposure.

Toxicological Information

Provides a series of summaries containing frequently asked questions about contaminants found at hazardous waste sites.

Tox Profiles
Characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects from exposure to specific hazardous substances.

More on ToxFAQs, Tox Profiles; CD-ROM ordering information

Chemical Agents
Offers information on select chemicals, including basic facts, case definitions, toxic syndrome descriptions, and emergency response information.

Occupational Safety and Health Topic - Chemical Safety
Includes NIOSH and other chemical databases, respirator information, MSDS information, and other resources.

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG)
Provides general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals/classes for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals.

International Chemical Safety Cards
Summarizes essential health and safety information on chemicals for their use at the "shop floor" level by workers and employers in factories, agriculture, construction and other workplaces.

Chemical Emergencies

Emergency Preparedness and Response - Chemical Emergencies
Gives information to help people prepare to protect themselves during and after the release of harmful chemicals.

Medical Management Guidelines (MMGs) for Acute Chemical Exposures
Aids healthcare professionals involved in emergency response to effectively decontaminate patients.

Investigations, Studies and Emergencies - CDC's Environmental Health Laboratory
Gives information for local, state, and international health officials who handle multiple emergencies involving chemicals.

Lead Poisoning

CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Provides general information on lead poisoning, publications, program information, more...

Frequently Asked Questions About Lead
Includes FAQs about lead in general, lead in folk medicines and jewelry, lead in water.

Lead in the Workplace
Provides adult blood lead data, analytical methods, information on take-home lead, other resources.

(See also ToxFAQs™  and Tox Profiles listed above in Toxicological Information.)

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Includes basic information; information specific to boats, emergency, and workplace settings; policy; more...

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Fact Sheet
Gives general information about the risks of carbon monoxide, and tips to prevent exposure.

Carbon Monoxide Hazards from Small Gasoline Powered Engines
Includes information about and recommendations to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from small engines.

Arsine Poisoning

Arsine Poisoning in the Workplace
Provides information on arsine toxicity, recommendations to to prevent occupational exposure to Arsine gas.

Pesticide Poisoning

Preventing Phosphine Poisoning and Explosions During Fumigation
Describes 205 cases of illness or injury in workers exposed to phosphine gas associated with phosphide fumigants and provides recommendations to prevent exposure to phosphine gas.

Pesticide Injury and Illness Surveillance
Provides information on the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risk (SENSOR) for pesticides and links to pesticide surveillance-related publications.

Surveillance Activities

Worker Health Chartbook, 2004 - Poisoning
Includes selected data on occupational poisonings and pesticide-related illnesses and injuries from ongoing activities to determine the underlying causes of overexposure to chemicals and pesticides in the workplace.

Worker Health Chartbook, 2004 - Lead Toxicity
Provides data from the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) program, a State-based surveillance program of laboratory-reported blood lead levels (BLLs) in adults.

Improving Public Health Surveillance: Toxic Exposure Surveillance System (TESS)
Provides access to TESS, a comprehensive surveillance database that contains toxicologic information about more than exposures reported to U.S. poison control centers.


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