The AAPCC works with its poison center members to monitor incidences of poisoning and their sources, including household products, chemicals at work or in the environment, drugs, and animal and insect bites.
The nation's 55 poison centers as well as other poison-related organizations are members of American Association of Poison Control Centers, or AAPCC. AAPCC’s mission statement: AAPCC is dedicated to actively advancing the health care role and public health mission of our members through information, advocacy, education and research.
- Represents U.S. poison centers
- Partners with other organizations and federal agencies to promote poison control center services.
- Provides accreditation of U.S. poison centers.
- Provides continuing education for poison control staff.
- Certifies poison center personnel.
- Owns and maintains the National Poison Data System (NPDS).
- Provides toxicosurveillance in collaboration with federal agencies, provides annual reports on poison statistics, and provides custom reports from NPDS data.
- Complements efforts of poison control centers in educational outreach.
- Provides the media, national organizations, and federal agencies access to an extensive network of toxicologists, specializing in a variety of subject matter.
- Co-hosts the North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology, the leading international event on toxicological matters.
About Poison Control Centers
There are 55 poison control centers in the United States. Each provides free, 24-hour professional advice to anyone in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Federated States of Micronesia, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. On occasion some have even helped American soldiers serving overseas.
Poison centers provide poison expertise and treatment advice by phone. All poison centers can be reached by calling the same telephone number, 1-800-222-1222. Poison centers are staffed by pharmacists, physicians, nurses and poison information providers who are toxicology specialists.
Annually, of all the calls to a poison center about a potential poisoning, more than 70 percent of calls are managed on-site and outside of a health care facility, meaning that the caller got the help they needed over the phone and didn't have to go to a hospital or a health care provider. This makes poison centers a key resource to safely reduce costly hospital visits and lighten the load on an overtaxed health care system.
About 20 percent of calls come from health care facilities. Doctors and nurses frequently rely on poison centers for expert advice on poisoning cases.
Poison centers also provide educational outreach to prevent poison emergencies and inform the public about the dangers of poisons. You can call your poison center to get information to teach others on the dangers of poison safety.
Some centers prefer the term “poison center” and others prefer “poison control center.” There is no difference in the services or expertise offered from centers.