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EPA Promotes Poison Prevention

Release Date: 03/16/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Enesta Jones, 202-564-7873 /

(03/16/05) EPA is doing major outreach to the Hispanic community in preparation for observance of National Poison Prevention Week, March 20-26. The agency is attempting to increase awareness of the danger to children of accidental poisonings from pesticides and household products, to encourage parents and caregivers to lock up products that could potentially harm children. The media outreach campaign includes a featured segment on the Spanish morning show, Despierta America, (Wake Up America), which will be aired by Univision nationally; a segment on Enfoque Comunitaria (Community Focus), which will be aired by Telemundo for the Miami, Fla., market; and radio and magazine interviews in Miami, Palm Beach, Orlando, and Tampa.

Every 15 seconds, U.S. poison centers receive a call about someone being exposed to a poison, and 40 percent of those cases involve a child under three years old. In 2003, poison centers reported an estimated 70,000 children under the age of six were involved in common household pesticide-related poisonings or exposures in the United States. According to the National Safety Council, more than 50 percent of over two million poisoning incidents each year involve children under six. Such figures show the need for everyone to lock up household pesticides and chemicals in a high cabinet out of the reach of children. In most poisonings, children swallow common substances found around almost every home. In addition to pesticide products, these include: prescription drugs, nonprescription pain killers, vitamins, cosmetics, and personal care and cleaning products. Poisonings also involve house plants, tobacco products and alcohol.

EPA has educational materials available to help prevent accidental poisonings. The materials can be obtained by calling EPA's Environmental Publications line at 1-800-490-9198. Tips on how to protect children from pesticide and lead poisonings are available at: . Additional information on Poison Prevention Week is available at: .

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