In 1961, Congress established National Poison Prevention Week as a national celebration each year during the third full week of March. The observance is sponsored by the National Poison Prevention Week Council, a group of public and private partners committed to reducing unintentional poisonings, promoting poison prevention, and coordinating annual activities to promote National Poison Prevention Week.
Poisons are all around us and can affect anyone, anywhere at any time of life. Protect yourself and others from being poisoned by learning what a poison is, who is at risk, and how to prevent a poisoning from happening. Visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section to learn the answers to the most common questions about poisons. See What Can You Do? for more information, including tips on how to talk about poisons, poison proof your home, and raise awareness about the Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222, which connects you to your local poison center.
What is a Poison?
A poison is anything that can harm someone if it is 1) used in the wrong way, 2) used by the wrong person, or 3) used in the wrong amount. Some poisons may be harmful if they come into direct contact with your eyes or skin. Others may be toxic if you breathe them or swallow them. Poisons can come in four forms: solids (such as pain medicine pills or tablets), liquids (such as household cleaners, including bleach), sprays (such as spray cleaners) and gases (such as carbon monoxide, or CO).