A poison is a substance which enters the body and can cause illness or death. It may act within a matter of seconds (e.g. carbon monoxide) or a matter of years (car pollution). There are four basic ways in which poison can enter the body; by swallowing, breathing, injecting, or absorbing.
- Some examples can include bad food, household cleaners, perfumes, nail polish remover, etc.
- If the person is having trouble breathing, is convulsing, is unconscious, or is in pain, call the EMS immediately
- If the person appears to be fine but you want to make sure call the poison control center
- In order for them to help you they need to know what the person took, how much, their age and weight, and their present condition
- They will either tell you to seek medical help immediately, give them something to drink, or to monitor them to make sure they donít get worse.
- Make sure you do not induce vomiting unless you are told to do so by the poison control center as some substances are corrosive and may burn on the way up
- Also, do not give anything to drink unless instructed by the poison control centre as some substances may react more with drinks
- Always keep cleaners and chemicals high up so children can not access them
- This can include fumes from household cleaners, industrial products, smoke, etc.
- Fresh air is the immediate first aid treatment. But first make sure you are not putting yourself in danger
- Seek medical help for the person immediately
- Never mix cleaners unless it specifies on the container
- Never use chemicals in poorly ventilated areas
- Some examples include needles, broken glass, mosquitos, spider bites, bee stings, etc.
- As soon as possible remove the object from the skin
- Clean the area thoroughly with soap and water. If an allergic reaction occurs, or you believe there is a risk of infection, seek medical help
- These are poisons which enter the body through the skin, but do not cause a puncture
- Some examples are household cleaners, industrial products, poisonous plants, etc.
- Remove the substance as soon as possible by using large amounts of running water
- Do you best not to contaminate other body parts
- There are some chemicals that will react more with water, but if you leave them on the skin they will react anyway with the skin moisture
- Seek medical help
- If you work with chemicals make sure you know how to do the job safely and always use safety equipment
WHMIS: Workplace Hazardous Material Information System is government regulated training that anyone working with chemicals needs to take. This is mandatory on many jobs and it is the responsibility of the employer to assure all employees are properly trained. In addition, it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure all employees have the proper equipment to perform their jobs properly and safely.
MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheet is written information on various products. Any workplace which deals with chemicals needs to have this information readily available.
Be aware of carbon monoxide as it can not be smelled, has no taste, and can not be seen. It can be produced by any engine (e.g. house furnace, car), or even a fireplace with poor ventilation. Every home should have a carbon monoxide detector. If the detector begins to sound you need to leave the house immediately and call the fire department from the neighbors house. Carbon monoxide poisoning makes you feel sleepy and drowsy and can have an effect in a matter of minutes so you arenít aware of what is happening.