Release date: March 15, 2019
Release number: 19-084

Release Details

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) marks National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), March 17-23, 2019, encouraging consumers to “Own It” and focus on poison proofing their homes.

During Poison Prevention Week, CPSC is collaborating with product safety agencies north and south of America’s borders to raise awareness about unintentional poisonings. CPSC, Health Canada, and Mexico’s Procuraduria Federal del Consumidor (PROFECO) are working together to make North America the safest continent for consumer products.

“Poison Prevention Week is a good opportunity for consumers to take action in completing simple safety steps to protect their families, especially children, from poisoning tragedies,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle. “I thank Health Canada and PROFECO for collaborating with CPSC to help protect children from unintentional poisonings and to save lives.”

“Many common products can be poisonous if used, stored or disposed of improperly. Let's all help to prevent poisonings by talking with our families and friends about the dangers posed by chemicals in and around the home,” said The Honorable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Health Canada’s Minister of Health. “Ensuring that products containing harmful chemicals are properly used, stored and disposed of is essential to protecting your health and the health of your loved ones.”

“It is a duty for everyone to prevent poisoning accidents. PROFECO and its laboratory analyze available products to make sure that potentially toxic products are properly identified and labelled. Precise instructions for safe usage should also be provided to consumers,” said Ricardo Sheffield Padilla, Federal Consumer Attorney of PROFECO (Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor) “This effort by the CPSC alongside Health Canada and PROFECO bolsters our commitment to consumers both in Mexico and the North American market as a whole.”

Unintentional poison exposures send an estimated average of 85,000 children to emergency departments and cause an average of 31 deaths every year in the United States. More than 90 percent of unintentional poisonings occur in the home.

The good news is child poisoning deaths have decreased by more than 80% since the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) went into effect in 1970. The PPPA requires manufacturers to secure certain medicines and hazardous household chemicals in child-resistant packaging.

Follow these safety tips and check out the resources below to help keep your family safe from poison dangers:

  1. Storing medications for convenience in unsecured containers presents a danger to children. Keep medicines closed tightly in their original labeled containers, and place them in a locked box, up high, and out of a child’s sight.
  2. Fuel-burning products, such as portable generators, furnaces, and cars produce carbon monoxide (CO), a deadly, colorless, and odorless gas. Always operate portable generators outside and away from open doors, windows, and vents. Keep generators at least 20 feet away from the house.
  3. Single-load liquid laundry packets are highly concentrated, often colorful, and can look appetizing to children. Store laundry products up high and out of sight of children, and keep them sealed in their original packaging.
  4. Coin-size button batteries used in all sorts of electronics--from remotes and gaming controllers--to musical greeting cards, are a danger, if ingested. Do not leave products with accessible button batteries within reach of children, and use tape to help secure a battery compartment that does not have a screw closure.
  5. Keep household cleaning products, and other products that are sold in child-resistant packaging, in their original packaging and in a secured location out of reach of children.
  6. Always keep the National Poison Help Line Number, 800-222-1222, handy in case of a poison emergency.

To know more about how you can reduce the risk of unintentional poisoning, check out the CPSC’s Poison Prevention Safety Education Center (https://go.usa.gov/xEqry). There, you can learn how to identify potential poison risks and take simple steps to prevent child exposure.

Media Contact

Please use the below phone number for all media requests.

Phone: (301) 504-7908
Spanish: (301) 504-7800

View CPSC contacts for specific areas of expertise