Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Do you have unused or expired medications at home lying around in cabinets just collecting dust? Did you know that holding onto old medications is not a good idea? All medications have an expiration date. Not only should they not be used when expired, but if not disposed of, the wrong person could get into them and get poisoned. For these reasons, now is the time to spring into action and clean out those medicine cabinets so that you can get rid of all of your unneeded and expired medications.
On April 29th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is sponsoring a nation-wide drug take-back and in Texas, the Texas Poison Center Network is helping out in each of their regions. Safety is our number one concern! The National Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative addresses an important public safety and health issue. Prescription drugs that sit in medicine cabinets for a long period of time tend to be susceptible to abuse and misuse.
In the U.S. alone, prescription drug abuse is extremely high. By turning in unused and expired medications, you can help to. Remember, medications should not be flushed down the toilet, unless it is indicated on the label, because they can affect the clean water supply. Instead of throwing unwanted or unneeded medications in the trash (where kids or others could get them) or flushing them down the toilet (where it could contaminate the water), why not head to your nearest medication take-back location and turn them in.
By providing a drug take-back day, people have the opportunity to dispose of medications in an environmentally responsible and safe way. You will be doing yourself and your community a great service! For more information on this initiative or to find a collection site near you, please visit http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.
You can also call your poison center at 1-800-222-1222 to obtain more information on safe medication disposal and storage or additional events in your area.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Recently, a terrible tragedy struck a Texas panhandle home and family. Four children heartbreakingly died from phosphine gas poisoning this past January due to pesticide pellets that had been placed underneath the home in an effort to kill mice. Officials explained that a chemical reaction occurred when one person tried to wash away the pesticide that had been placed under the house, which then created the release of poisonous phosphine gas.
Phosphine gas is dangerous because it can cause respiratory failure and in extreme cases, it can also cause pulmonary edema, which fills the lungs with fluid. Phosphine is a colorless, flammable, and toxic gas with an odor of garlic or decaying fish. It can also catch fire when it comes in contact with air.
How do you know if a pesticide is safe?
If a pesticide is sold over the counter in the U.S., then it should be safe to use around your home. In the poisoning case described above, the pesticide was not one that could be bought without a special license, so it should not have been used on the home unless it was being applied by a professional. It is important that people understand the dangers of using chemicals that are not sold in stores. Those for commercial use only safe for those who are certified in pest control services to use.
If you are not sure if a pesticide is safe, please contact your local poison center and they can help you out. Call 1-800-222-1222 for more information on pesticides or other potential poisonings.