There are many myths associated with poisonings. Some of these myths go back to the time when poisonings were not well understood and antidotes were not available. Today, toxicology is a well-studied science and the Poison Control Center would like to replace some of the old tales with established scientific facts.
Fiction: Milk is the universal antidote.
Fact: Milk has no special properties that make it the magic antidote. Water is just as effective as milk for diluting poisons.
Fiction: Milk should be used to rinse out the eyes after an eye exposure.
Fact: Water is the preferred initial treatment for all eye and skin exposures.
Fiction: In a case of an accidental ingestion milk should be given to the patient to induce vomiting.
Fact: Milk does not cause vomiting (unless the patient suffers from lactose intolerance).
Fiction: Lead pencils can cause lead poisoning.
Fact: Lead pencils are made of graphite, not lead. Lead has been found in small amounts in the varnish on the pencil, but not in sufficient quantities to cause toxicity.
Fiction: Poinsettia is a highly toxic plant.
Fact: Poinsettia is a non-toxic. But ingestion of significant quantities cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract.
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