Press Release

The American Association of Poison Control Centers Celebrates the 54th Annual National Poison Prevention Week

March 15, 2016 | Download PDF

ALEXANDRIA, VA – In 1961, the United States Congress designated the third week in March each year as National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), a week dedicated to raising awareness about poisoning in the U.S. and highlighting specific ways to prevent it. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and the nation’s 55 poison centers will celebrate the 54th Annual NPPW, March 20-26, 2016, by reminding the public that while poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the United States, many poisonings are preventable, and expert help is always just a phone call away.

AAPCC proudly participates in the National Poison Prevention Week Council, a group of representatives from a diverse array of stakeholder organizations. The Council has established the following overarching themes of National Poison Prevention Week: Children Act Fast; So Do Poisons and Poisonings Span a Lifetime. Additionally, the following daily themes will be observed during the week:

  • Monday, March 21 – Children Act Fast … So Do Poisons
  • Tuesday, March 22 – Poison Centers: Saving You Time and Money
  • Wednesday, March 23 – Poisonings Span a Lifetime
  • Thursday, March 24 – Home, Safe Home
  • Friday, March 25 – Medication Safety

While most poisoning deaths are due to the misuse and abuse of licit and illicit drugs, poison exposures can involve a vast array of substances and occur in many ways. In 2014, almost 80 percent of exposures reported to poison centers involved people who swallowed a substance. However, people were also exposed through the lungs, skin, eyes, and other routes. Additionally, 57 percent of human exposures reported to poison centers involved medications, or pharmaceuticals. Other exposures are to consumer and household products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings, carbon monoxide, chemicals, and many other types of nonpharmaceutical substances.

“It often surprises people to learn that anything can be poisonous when used in the wrong way, in the wrong amount, or by the wrong person. The good news is that many poisonings are preventable, and with the experts at poison centers helping millions of callers each year, our nation’s poison control system continues to play a crucial role in keeping Americans safe. By programming the Poison Help phone number, 1 (800) 222-1222, into your phone and posting it somewhere visible in your home, you can be ready in the event that you or your loved ones need information or experience a poison emergency,” said Krista Osterthaler, Chair of the National Poison Prevention Week Council and Director of National Outreach at AAPCC.

For more information on National Poison Prevention Week, visit: For additional poison prevention tips and resources, visit AAPCC’s National Poison Prevention Week webpage at: Individuals and organizations who would like to follow social media content pertaining to NPPW should use and search for the hashtags #NPPW16 and #preventpoison.

For more information, the media may contact Angela Gonzales, AAPCC Associate Manager, Communications and Outreach, at 703-894-1865 or

AAPCC supports the nation’s 55 poison center members in their efforts to treat and prevent drug, consumer product, animal, environmental and food poisoning. Members staff the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 that provides free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year from toxicology specialists, including nurses, pharmacists, physicians and poison information providers. In addition, AAPCC maintains the only poison information and surveillance database in the United States, providing real-time monitoring of unusual poisoning patterns, chemical exposures and other emerging public health hazards. AAPCC partners with federal agencies such as HRSA, CDC, FDA and EPA, as well as private industry. Be prepared for a poisoning emergency and program the Poison Help phone number into your mobile telephone today – 1 (800) 222-1222.

To learn more, visit, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@AAPCC).

For More Information

  • Edward V. Walrod

    • Associate Manager for Media and Public Relations
    • Email: media at aapcc dot org
    • 703-894-1863

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