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Ready to leap into spring cleaning projects? Careful with those chemicals!


March 17th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa_ – Believe it or not, Monday marks the first day of spring, and it’s also the start of Poison Prevention Week in Iowa. Tammy Noble, a registered nurse and spokeswoman for the Iowa Poison Control Center, says once people launch into their spring cleaning projects, the risks rise of someone, often a child, being exposed to powerful household cleansers.

“We’re focusing on trying to remind people that when poisons happen, we’re here for you. Poison centers are always available 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Noble says. “And poisonings happen to people of all ages. So it’s not just something that we have to worry about with kids.” The Sioux City-based poison center suggests parents can prevent poisonings by storing chemicals in a locked cupboard, not just under the sink. Noble says they should be out of a child’s reach.

“Last year, we had over 23,000 human exposure calls, so people in Iowa that had some type of an exposure to poison,” Noble says. “Sixty-four-percent of those involved a medicine, and when you look at what’s the top medicine that people have exposures to, it’s pain medicine.”

Learn more at the website Iowa Poison-dot-org (iowapoison.org). Noble suggests putting the hotline in your smartphone’s contact list so it’s always handy — at 1-800-222-1222.