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Safe Disposal to Reduce Accidental Poisonings

Accidental poisonings are increasing in Washington State. Kids and seniors are especially at risk. Protect your dogs, cats and other pets. Drug take-back programs can get unneeded medicines safely out of our homes.


 According to the Centers for Disease Control, 95% of unintentional and undetermined poisoning deaths in the U.S. in 2004 were caused by drugs.1 This is a concern for our children, seniors and pets.  The risk of accidental poisonings can be increased by storing unwanted medicines in our homes.

                      Every 15 minutes a child under 4 will overdose 
                      on drugs found at home. 
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Fatal poisonings have increased dramatically in our state - up 395% from 1990 to 2006
.2 Drug overdoses have now surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of injury death in Washington State.3   What is the cost of medicine overdoses? 

Accidental Poisonings - toddler boy


Over 17,000 calls to the Washington Poison Center concerned young children
that were poisoned by prescription or over-the-counter medicines in 2009. View Washington Poison Center’s  List of the top ten human poisonings.     


Accidental Poisonings - senior woman w/pills


The elderly are also at risk of accidental poisonings
: over 2,800 calls to the Washington Poison Center were from seniors calling about medications in 2009.5     




Accidental Poisonings - gray dogHuman medications are the leading cause of pet poisonings. Trash-related toxic exposures are called into the Pet Poison Helpline daily. In 2009, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center handled more than 46,000 cases in the U.S. of pets exposed to prescription and over-the-counter drugs.6    



PROTECT YOUR LOVED ONES
by storing the medicines that you’re currently using in a secure location. When you have medicines that are expired or unwanted, don’t leave them around your home – dispose of them promptly and responsibly. A secure and convenient medicine return program in Washington State will help reduce unwanted medicines that could cause an accidental poisoning.


What You Can Do Now

 


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008, Poisoning in the United States: Fact Sheet.  Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/poisoning.htm Accessed 08/10/10. 

2 Washington State Department of Health, 2008, Washington State Injury and Violence Prevention Guide-Poisoning and Drug Overdose. Injury and Violence Prevention Program, DOH Publication No. 530-090.  Available at: http://www.doh.wa.gov/hsqa/emstrauma/injury/pubs/icpg/DOH530090Poison.pdf Accessed 08/09/10.

3 Washington State Department of Health, 2010, Washington State Injury Data Tables Injury and Violence Prevention Program, DOH Publication No. 530-090.  Available at: http://www.doh.wa.gov/hsqa/emstrauma/injury/data_tables/WA/FatalxWA.xls Accessed 08/09/10. 

4 Washington Poison Center. (2010).  2009 Annual Washington Poison Center Data  Available online at: http://www.wapc.org/resources/wapc_resources.htm Accessed 08/10/10.

5 Washington Poison Center. (2010). 2009 Annual Poison Center Data. Available online at: http://www.wapc.org/resources/wapc_resources.htm Accessed 08/10/10.

6 American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 2010, Top 10 Pet Poisons of 2009 Available at: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/top-10-pet-poisons-of-the-year.html Accessed 08/10/10.

 

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