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2016 Top Ten

In 2016, the Washington Poison Center (WAPC) managed 62,498 calls, over 171 calls per day. There were 55,224 human poison exposures, with children six and younger accounting for almost 51% of all poison exposure cases.  Human exposures with more serious outcomes (moderate, major, or death) accounted for 6.17 % of all exposures.   There were over 7274 information calls. Over 80 % of poisonings were unintentional; 15 %
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2015 Top Ten

In 2015, the Washington Poison Center (WAPC) managed 62,732 calls, almost 172 calls per day.  There were 54,928 human poison exposures, with children six and younger accounting for over 49% of all poison exposure cases.  There were over 7804 information calls. Over 80 % of poisonings were unintentional; 15 % were intentional, with self harm suspected in 9.8 % of all cases. Top 10 categories for all exposures (adult a
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Chemical Spill at Pacific Steel and Recycling in Spokane, WA

SEATTLE, Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 – Earlier today there was an accidental release of arsenic trichloride/chlorine gas at Pacific Steel and Recycling facility in north Spokane. The specialists at the Washington Poison Center have been working with the first responders, HAZMAT crews, and healthcare facilities in the Spokane area to provide treatment advice to those known to be exposed. The HAZMAT team tested the im
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Dr. Garrard Named to PSBJ’s 40 Under 40

Washington Poison Center’s Dr. Garrard Named to Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 SEATTLE, JULY 23, 2015 – Just over one year ago, Dr. Alexander Garrard joined the Washington Poison Center (WAPC) staff as the Clinical Managing Director, coming most recently from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where he worked in the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response.  WA
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E-Cigarette devices

Gov. Inslee cites new data showing alarming increase in adolescent use of electronic cigarettes

Summary Gov. Jay Inslee today released a report that shows Washington’s 8th and 10th grade students use electronic cigarettes, or “vaping,” at more than twice the rate that they smoke tobacco. Vaping and e-cigarettes put young people at risk of serious health harm, including nicotine addiction, potential effects of nicotine on the developing adolescent brain, and can be a gateway to smoking cigarettes and using other
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Toxic Trends Report* E-Cigarettes January 22nd, 2015

The Washington Poison and Drug Information Center has seen over a 1,000% increase in call volume on e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine from 2012 to 2014. Of the total 182 calls answered by the WAPC, 109 were in children 1 – 3 years of age (60%). Children 1 – 3 years of age also comprised 82% of the total pediatric calls handled by Specialists in Poison Information. The majority of exposures (n=121) were considered unin
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Toxic Trends Report* Cannabis January 22nd, 2015

The Washington Poison and Drug Information Center is reporting a record number of marijuana exposures in Washington State since before recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012. The majority of calls occurred within the 13 – 19 year age range followed quickly by the 20 – 29 years of age group. The majority of exposures were a result of intentional abuse (n= 108) in ages 13 years and older followed by unintentional
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2014 top ten

2014 Top Ten

In 2014, the Washington Poison Center (WAPC)  managed 63,728 calls, over 174 calls per day on average.  There were 54,715 human poison exposures, with children younger than six accounting for over 56% of all poison exposure cases.  There were over 7,981 information calls. Almost 81% of poisonings were unintentional. 13.9% were intentional, with suicidal intent suspected in 9% of all cases. E-cigarette exposure calls
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Toxic Trends Report* E-Cigarettes December 12th, 2014

The Washington Poison Center continues to monitor the concerning trend in E-cigarette exposures, especially in children 1 – 3 years of age. While the majority of cases have resulted in minimal toxicity (i.e. mild stomach upset), the potential still exists for children to be exposed to larger doses due to lack of industry standard safety measures such as child-resistant packaging. “Kids are more likely to inadvertentl
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Toxic Trends Report* Cannabis December 12th, 2014

The Washington Poison Center continues to follow the number of marijuana exposures occurring throughout the state of Washington. The majority of calls to the Poison Center have come in from healthcare facilities followed by home residences. “It’s extremely important that people who use marijuana or marijuana edibles keep these products out of reach of kids,” says Dr. Garrard of the Washington Poison Center. “Minor ef
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Toxic Trends Report* Cannabis November 10th, 2014

The month of October saw a large spike in marijuana exposures called into the Washington Poison Center. With only a handful of recreational marijuana stores open in the state, the majority of exposures likely result from marijuana obtained at medical marijuana dispensaries. “The medical marijuana industry is largely unregulated and not subject to the scrutiny and oversight by the Liquor Control Board that recreationa
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Toxic Trends Report* E-Cigarettes November 10th, 2014

The number of poison calls on liquid nicotine products has increased substantially at the Washington Poison Center since the first two cases in 2010. “The current trend in liquid nicotine exposures is extremely concerning, and it’s only a matter of time before a child or adult has a serious, if not fatal, outcome”, says Dr. Alexander Garrard, Clinical Managing Director at the WAPC. Pierce, King, Spokane, and Snohomis
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Image is representative of Molly tablets, not actual tablets involved in incident.

MOLLY- Public Health Alert

The Washington Poison Center is reporting an increase in the number of serious cases, including at least 1 death, associated with the drug “Molly” in recent days at rave events. Molly is marketed as a pure form of Ecstasy, but in reality, many users do not know what they’re using when they ingest Molly. The poison center urges people to contact medical help if they or someone they know is experiencing adverse effects
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Washington Poison Center Warns Parents About Halloween and Marijuana Edibles

With Halloween right around the corner, the Washington Poison Center is warning parents to be on the look-out for marijuana-edibles that may be mistaken for Halloween candy. A variety of candy-style products exist in the medical marijuana market. Marijuana-edibles can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types that often resemble traditional candies and sweets in their product name and/or appearance, such as b
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Toxic Trends Report* E-Cigarettes- October 3rd, 2014

The Washington Poison Center has seen an increase in total call volume by over 700% since they hit the market. E-cigarettes contain high concentrations of liquid nicotine which can poison a child with a single mouthful or even by absorption through the skin. Symptoms can range from nausea and vomiting to increased heart rate, seizures, and even death. Manufacturers are not required to put child-resistant caps on thes
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Toxic Trends Report* Cannabis- October 3, 2014

The total number of pediatric and adult marijuana exposures has surpassed that of all of 2013 despite a decrease in marijuana exposures for September. Furthermore, the percentage of kids <1 – 12 years of age has increased since 2013 from 39% to 47% and represents an alarming trend. “The increasing availability of marijuana edibles and lack of child-resistant packaging may ultimately contribute to a further increas
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E-Cigarette devices

Washington Poison Center Toxicologists Speak to King 5

This week my friends in the call room had a very special visitor.  Teresa Yuan, KING 5 News, came by to talk with Dr. Alexander Garrard and Dr. Matt Valento regarding our most recent Toxic Trends Reports and the alarming increase in pediatric E-cigarette and marijuana exposures.  If you missed it on the air, you can see the full video report and article on KING 5’s website: Tracking Spike in Minors Exposed to M
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Toxic Trends Report* E-Cigarettes- August 29, 2014

The phenomenon of “vaping” (using an E-cigarette, which resembles smoking) and availability of E-cigarettes and liquid nicotine has dramatically increased over the past several years across the country. Touted as a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes, E-cigarettes contain high concentrations of liquid nicotine which can poison a child with a single mouthful. The Washington Poison Center (WAPC) has seen a staggerin
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Toxic Trends Report* Cannabis- August 28, 2014

Since retail marijuana stores opened on July 7th, 2014, the Washington Poison Center (WAPC) has been closely monitoring the number of human exposures related to accidental or excessive consumption/inhalation of marijuana and marijuana edibles, particularly in the pediatric population. The WAPC has partnered with the Department of Health and Liquor Control Board to provide real-time surveillance on marijuana exposures
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Ebola links and information

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has prompted questions about the virus, the most often being where to go for information. The best sources, with the most current information, will be the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Approximately 1.8 million passengers pass through our nation’s airports every day. A large number of these travelers arrive in the Paci
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Laundry Packet Hazards. Are your children safe?

Poison centers receive many calls each year about children getting into laundry detergents. Swallowing these products often causes mild stomach upset, if there are any symptoms at all. The new highly concentrated single-load liquid laundry detergent packets seem to be different. Single-load liquid laundry packets have become widely available over the past couple of years. Busy parents have found these packets to be a
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Toxic Trends Report* E-Cigarettes- July 31, 2014

The phenomenon of “vaping” (using an E-cigarette, which resembles smoking) and availability of E-cigarettes and liquid nicotine has dramatically increased over the past several years across the country. Touted as a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes, E-cigarettes contain high concentrations of liquid nicotine which can easily poison a child. The Washington Poison Center (WAPC) has seen an increase in total calls
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The Washington Poison Center welcomes Dr. Alexander Garrard

The Washington Poison Center is excited to introduce Alexander Garrard, PharmD, DABAT who joined the Center on June 16, 2014 as the Clinical Managing Director/ABAT. Dr. Garrard will focus on quality care, as well as service, as he works closely with the Medical Directors and the Center’s team of professionals. Dr. Garrard brings a wealth of experience from Poison Centers in New York and Florida. Dr. Alexander G
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Toxic Trends Report* Cannabis- July 17, 2014

The selling of cannabis for recreational purposes became legalized in the state of Washington on July 7th, 2014. As a direct result, the Washington Poison Center (WAPC) has encountered an increase in the number of human exposures related to accidental or excessive consumption/inhalation of marijuana and marijuana edibles, particularly among pediatrics. This report serves to provide a running snapshot of current expos
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And the numbers are in…

WAPC 2013 data Human exposures reported to WAPC: 54,390 Of these, over 91% were managed over the telephone and were not seen in a health care facility Over 25% of human exposures were followed-up by WAPC staff Almost 51% of all exposures were about children under the age of six Pet owners and veterinarians were referred a veterinary poison center. For previous years, please see our Statistics page.  Who has asked for
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Fun Facts

Every year people ask me, “How many calls about <> did you get?” or “How many poisonings did <> cause?”  I could give you the numbers; but unless you have something to compare it to, numbers are hard to wrap your head around. If I tell you that 43,153 of the calls the poison center (PC) handled last year were medications, this is just a big number. If I tell you 51.7% of the calls handled were about medic
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There are no balloons in Up and Away

“Up and Away” means keeping your medications up and away, and out of sight, from children.  My friends in the call room tell me that often the reason a parent is calling is because they got distracted and left a medicine they were using down and in reach of a child. Here’s the scenario: Johnny and Jenny both have been running a fever for a few days.  Everyone in the house is sleep deprived and going to bed early. It’
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“Share Your Place”

June is National Safety Month, a time to educate everyone about the leading causes of preventable injuries.  As a poison center, we are especially interested in anything that will prevent a poisoning as this is the leading cause of unintentional accidental deaths in Washington State. One of the programs  we recognize and encourage is Up and Away and Out of Sight, which provides tools to remind everyone of the importa
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Adult gypsy moth

Be glad you aren’t a gypsy moth—they aren’t very popular!

My friends at Public Health – Seattle & King County wanted me know about a gypsy moth eradication project planned by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) for Tukwila and Renton this year.  They figured our hot line staff could help if you called, so we had a crash course in these hungry pests. I learned that the European gypsy moth is the most damaging forest insect pest ever introduced into Nort
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Shellfish Poisoning – “I wonder why the dogs won’t eat the clams”

A young man spent a glorious summer weekend in the San Juan Islands, enjoying sun, blue sky, a light breeze, deep blue water, the smell of salt spray, and the buzz of partying while camping under the moon on deserted beaches. He traveled by boat with friends to multiple islands, gathering clams and cooking them over an open fire each night. His friends warned him not to eat the clams due to the summer “red tide.” He
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juice

Will I Still Give My Grandkids Apple Juice?

There has been a lot of controversy lately about the safety of apple juice.  Specifically about contamination with arsenic, and predisposing children to ill health effects, like diabetes.  Here are a few bullet points I think are important to note: Arsenic is always in the environment and everyone has been exposed to it, however most arsenic exposures are to non toxic forms of arsenic.  Serious arsenic poisoning is r
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William O. Robertson, MD

  The Washington Poison Center mourns the passing of our founder and dear friend, Dr. William O. Robertson, 86. Dr. Robertson was very influential throughout his six-decade career in pediatrics, toxicology, teaching, and poison prevention. He began his career in Rochester, New York, but soon began teaching pediatrics at Yale University before heading to Ohio State University (OSU) to chair the Department of Pedi
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American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes month. The American Diabetes Association reports that 26 million children and adults in America are living with diabetes, and another 79 million are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. And, if we don’t do something about it, the American Diabetes Association estimates that by 2050, 1 in 3 Americans will be diabetic. You can do something about this by  maintaining a healthy
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Senator Scott White

The citizens of Washington State and the Poison Center lost a dear friend recently.  Senator Scott White (46th District) passed away suddenly  on October 21st from undiagnosed heart problems.  Sen. White served first as the representative of the area in which the poison center is physically located, and then, as our Senator. Sen. White was enthusiastic and always had time to talk to us and to our poster winners. We e
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Poison Nation Blogs

Welcome to the Washington Poison Center blog.  The staff (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other poison specialists) answering the phones in our Call Center refer to themselves as the Poison Nation. Poison Nation, including Mr. Yuk, will all contribute to this blog, providing you with a variety of points of view, new knowledge and some entertainment.  We may include alerts about a substance, or a trend we might be s
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