NACCHO Injury Prevention Newsletter
News, Resources, and Events for Local Health Departments
Featured Topic: Poison Prevention
March 2009
In This Issue
Conferences and Events
Local Health Department in Action
Featured Publication
Additional Resources
In the News
Poison Prevention Tips
Related Organizations and Resources on Poison Prevention
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Poison Prevention
skull and crossbonesLocal health department (LHD) injury prevention programs are integral to preventing poisonings in the populations they serve. Poisoning risks exist in many forms, creating the need for diverse programs and initiatives to address this issue. Poison prevention efforts include drug and medicine labeling education, household chemical use and storage education, carbon monoxide testing, and lead poisoning prevention policy efforts, among others.   

To help local health departments ensure the safety of their communities, this month's Injury Prevention newsletter will focus on poison prevention. CDC's Injury Prevention Center contains additional resources to help LHDs prevent, assess, and address poison-related injury. For access to CDC's poison-related injury resources, visit
Conferences and Events
2009 Poison Prevention Week                    
March 15-21, 2009                                                             
Poison Prevention Week is a national awareness week organized each year by the Poison Prevention Week Council, a coalition of national organizations working to prevent poisonings. The goal of this event is to raise awareness and educate the public about the many risks that may lead to unintentional poisoning. Numerous resources are available to public health staff for use in their efforts to prevent, educate, and assess poisonings in their communities. 
For more information about Poison Prevention Week, including resources, visit
For Health Rssources and Services Administration (HRSA) Poison Prevention Week resources, visit
Local Health Department in Action
Philadelphia Department of Public Health Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
incineratorThe Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, through the Lead Abatement Strike Team (LAST), coordinates activities across several City Departments in Philadephia in an effort to eliminate childhood lead poisoning as a public health concern. Philadelphia has a coordinated strategy for the elimination of childhood lead poisoning, with several City Departments providing resources.

For more information on this program, visit their NACCHO Model Practice page. 
Featured Publication
CDC MMWR Report: Unintentional and Undetermined Poisoning Deaths, 1990-2001

toxic household productsAccording to the CDC, during 1990-2001, the death rate from poisoning in the United States increased 56%, from 5.0 per 100,000 population in 1990 to 7.8 in 2001. To describe trends in poisoning deaths, state health professionals in 11 states analyzed vital statistics data for 1990-2001. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that increases in state death rates from unintentional and undetermined poisonings varied, but increased by an average of 145%. Public health professionals can use local, state, and national surveillance data to monitor trends in drug misuse and to develop effective interventions that can reduce deaths from drug overdoses.
This resource is available online at
CPSC Poison Prevention Publications
Poison Prevention Publications from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has produced a number of publications on the topic of poison prevention. Many of the unintentional poisonings which occur in the U.S. are caused by products that the consumer is not aware are a poisoning threat. This CPSC website features publications on inhalant abuse, iron-containing medicines, child-resistant packaging, as well as Poison Prevention Packaging: Textbook for Healthcare Professionals.

To view these and other CPSC Poison Prevention resources, visit

New Study Finds Many Common Household Products Create Dangerous Chemical Exposures

paint cans
According to a new study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, an average of 20 harmful chemicals were detected in study participants, much to the participants surprise. Many of the chemicals detected were quite harmful, such as already-banned DDT and many other more common chemicals found in plastics and fragrances.
The study authors say that consumers should be better informed about the potential dangers of many products and the contributions these products can potentially make to harmful indoor pollution. The authors also suggested that, based on their study participants, consumers want more of this information to help them make decisions on which products to bring into their homes.
Poison Prevention Tips
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Poison Prevention Safety Tips 
According to the CDC, just over half the poison exposures reported to poison control centers affect children younger than six years. Exposures in this group commonly involve cosmetics and personal care products, cleaning substances, pain relievers, topical medications, foreign bodies, cough and cold preparations, and plants. As a result, children are one of the most important demographics to plan poison prevention efforts around.

The Cincinnati Children's Hospital has produced a tip sheet to help ensure that good housekeeping prevents accidental poisonings, the home is poison-proof, and adults have all the necessary information to ensure their actions are not creating a potential poisoning for children around them.
To view this poison prevention tip sheet, visit