March 19, 2024

by  | Mar 20, 2024 | Health & MedicineNews

With this week’s arrival of spring comes new warnings about potential poisoning risks in our homes and garages in the season ahead.

It’s Poison Prevention Week and Linda Kalin, executive director of the Iowa Poison Control Center, says certain types of poisonings are more likely to occur during this time of the year.

“People are spending more time outdoors, meaning, you can be exposed to just spring products, poison hazards from plants and mushrooms, garden chemicals, stinging insects, household cleaners.”

Most people understand the potential threats caused by chemicals like pesticides and herbicides, but there are quite a few other chemicals that are equally dangerous, even deadly, in our homes.

“Gasoline, kerosene, charcoal lighter fluid, I don’t think we think of those as much,” she says. “Paint thinners, turpentine, that whole group we call hydrocarbons, can be very dangerous if children inadvertently swallow them and it doesn’t take much at all.”

While spring cleaning, Kalin says take care -not- to mix certain chemicals — especially things like bleach with ammonia, acids, or other cleaners, or a very harmful liquid or vapor could result.

Should you have an emergency, or just a question, the experts are on call around the clock.

“Our center is based in Sioux City and serves all 99 counties in the state of Iowa,” Kalin says. “It handles about 23,000 cases every year, and approximately 38% of those cases involve children under six years of age.”

She suggests putting the Iowa Poison Control Center’s phone number of 1-800-222-1222 in your contact list, so it’s always available.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)

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