Friday, May 1, 2009

Outdoor Poison Exposure Concerns

Springtime brings new poison exposure dangers, warns the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). Poisonous plants, snakes, pesticides and fuel products are just a few hazards of which consumers should be aware.

Nice weather prompts many people to begin planting and tending to a garden. The use of pesticides and fertilizers to supplement a green thumb, however, can pose potential hazards.

“Use your common sense when using pesticides,” explains AAPCC Board Member Edward P. Krenzelok, PharmD, director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center. “Always follow label directions and remember to keep children and pets away from pesticides.”

Dr. Krenzelok offered the following suggestions:

• Keep pesticides locked-up where children cannot see them or reach them.
• Keep pesticides in their original containers.
• Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.
• Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling or using pesticides.

Nice weather means cutting the grass and as well as summer barbeques. As a result, fuels such as gasoline, kerosene and charcoal lighter fluid are often left around the yard. Always keep these products secure from children.

Not all mushrooms are poisonous, but they should never be eaten unless they have been certified safe by an expert. To protect children, check your yard regularly for mushrooms and dispose of any you find. Instruct children never to touch, taste or eat any outdoor mushrooms.

Warm weather inevitably brings out insect hordes. Wear a Medic-Alert bracelet if you suffer from a life-threatening allergic reaction to insect bites or stings.

In the spring, snakes emerge from their winter hibernation hungry for food and water. The best way to prevent snake bite is to avoid them – most people are bitten when trying to capture or otherwise disturb the creatures.

Poison control centers around the country are prepared to respond with information and treatment advice about springtime poison exposures. To reach a local poison center call 1-800-222-1222. More information about poison exposures may be found on the AAPCC’s Website at

Editor's Note:
We personally switched from all the toxic chemicals for our yard and garden back when we started thinking our our son's little feet being on the poison-filled grass and his little hands playing in the poison-soaked dirt in our flower and vegetable beds.

Sure, you won't find your children or pets dead on the ground after exposure, but those warnings aren't on the bags and written in the above press release for nothing. These chemicals accumulate over time and research is now showing how much damage they are doing to humans, birds and other forms of wildlife.

Products are being made available in the large "big box" stores, so there's no excuse. The prices are sometimes the same, but even when they're more, consider the real cost of the product when you look down the road to it's side effects for your family and generations to come. We're in a green revolution. Hop in and enjoy the extremely gratifying ride of seeing the big picture of our choices.

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