Poison Realities

Poison centers are known for their wide range of poison related information. Our communities seek out our services when the question of a poisoning arises.

The goal of the information listed in this section is to provide resource information that may not be found anywhere else. The subjects listed are related to poison information resources. The content here also include community alert information that is health related, but may not be purely related to an active poisoning.

Calling the administration office or contacting the poison center via e-mail is NOT a substitute for calling the phone center for poison HELP information.

Facts On Poison Exposures:

  • On average, poison centers handle one poison exposure every 13 seconds.
  • Most poisonings involve everyday household items such as cleaning supplies, medicines, cosmetics and personal care items.
  • Seventy-seven percent (77%) of poison exposures involve an ingestion of a poisonous substance. Other causes include breathing in poison gas, getting foreign substances in the eyes or on the skin, and bites or stings.

Children and Poison:

  • Over 51 percent of poison exposure calls to the Oregon Poison Center occurred in children under the age of six in 2013.
  • Although children under the age of five are the most likely to be exposed to poison, they represent just over two percent of poison fatalities.

Teens and Poison:

  • In children between the ages of 13 and 19, the majority of poison exposures (61%) involve girls.
  • In children under 13, the reverse is true. Over 53 percent of these exposures involve boys.
  • 62 % of adolescent exposures were intentional such as suicide or drug abuse.

Adults and Poison:

  • Over 58 percent of all poison fatalities occur in adult's ages 20 to 49 years.
  • While adults 60 and over account for almost six percent of poison exposures, they account for 28 percent of fatalities.