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The Poison Control Center closely monitors the calls received each year, tracking the volume, reasons for exposure, top substances involved in poisonings and poison-associated fatalities. This data helps us identify poisoning trends and risks to the public, knowledge that informs community education, awareness and treatment efforts.
The following data is based on calls to the Poison Control Center from 2017. View the full 2017 report.
The Poison Control Center receives thousands of calls each year from residents in Eastern Pennsylvania, the greater Philadelphia area and Delaware.
In 2017, the Poison Control Center received more than 125,000 calls about poison concerns from the public. The charts below detail the breakdown of these calls.
The number of calls, by call type, received by the Poison Control Center in 2017.
The Poison Control Center works to reduce the number of injuries and deaths associated with poison exposures. In order to achieve this goal and effectively educate the public on poisoning prevention and awareness, it is critical for our toxicology experts to identify new toxic threats and track poisoning epidemics.
We collect this data as part of a national, real-time surveillance system. Tracking this information helps us understand the common causes of poison exposures in both children and adults, and why these exposures happen, so that we can focus our efforts on prevention.
Humans are exposed to poison for a variety of reasons. While some exposures are intentional, the majority of poisonings are unintentional, and can be caused by a variety of substances.
Reasons for human poison exposures in 2017, calculated by number and type of calls that came in to the Poison Control Center.
Many of the unintentional exposures involve children under 6 years of age. Young kids like to explore their environment and imitate adult behaviors, which is why it’s important to keep medications and chemicals locked up tight, out of sight and out of reach of kids.
Total exposures: 50,679
Each year, the Poison Control Center documents the substances involved in poisoning exposures and collects this data. Knowing what substances are causing the most poisonings in both children and adults helps us identify new threats, improve our public education, and tailor the poison-specific information we provide to healthcare professionals and public health agencies.
The following tables compare the most common substances involved in poison exposures in kids versus adults based on calls to the Poison Control Center in 2017.
Thankfully, many of the poison exposures that we help manage at our Poison Control Center to do not result in serious medical outcomes. Of the 51,063 human exposure calls reported to the Poison Control Center in 2017, 45 ended in fatality.
The number of fatal cases reported to the Poison Control Center between 2013-2017.
Download previous annual reports to find poison statistics and trends from past years based on data collected by the Poison Control Center.
When you call the Poison Control Center, we will ask you a series of questions. Here's what we'll need to know so we can help.
Find treatment tips for poisoning events, clinical pathways, information about toxicology assessments, and more.