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National Poison Prevention Week Stresses Community Involvement

Release Date: 03/12/2003
Contact Information:

Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819/

(03/12/03) EPA will observe National Poison Prevention Week from March 16 - 22 to increase awareness of the danger to children of accidental poisoning from pesticides and household products, and to empower communities to take an active role in prevention and safety education. National Poison Prevention Week was first authorized by Congress in 1961. This year’s theme is “Children Act Fast ... So Do Poisons!” because it only takes a few moments for a small child to grab and swallow a poisonous substance. Adults should carefully read labels and store hazardous household chemicals away from children at all times. A new “Poison Prevention: Read the Label First! Community Action Kit” is now available that includes materials for communities to use to heighten awareness about preventable poisonings caused by the improper use and storage of household chemicals; teach parents, pet owners, and gardeners the value of carefully reading product labels; and plan and publicize poison prevention outreach activities. The kit was developed through a grant from EPA to the National Safety Council, and is available by contacting Donald Gooding at the National Safety Council on 202-974-2496 or e-mailing EPA has other free publications available to parents and community organizations to inform people about potential dangers found in homes, including “Ten Tips to Protect Children From Pesticide andLead Poisonings.” All publications can be obtained by calling EPA’s Environmental Publications line at 1-800-490-9198. Additional information on Poison Prevention Week is available at: