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Poison Control Center
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Common Poisons

We are surrounded by poisons that people can eat, breathe and get in their eyes or on their skin. Common poisons include:

24-hour Poison Control Center hotline: 1-800-222-1222

This is not a complete list. Call the Poison Control Center, whether the item you question is listed here or not.

A poison is anything that can cause sickness or death if it gets into or on the body. Poisons come in several forms:

  • Gases

Poisonous gases are invisible. They can be found in almost any place where something is burning. Many cannot be smelled. Some, like natural gas, have had other chemicals added so that you can smell them.

  • Liquids

Liquid poisons can be creamy, gummy or watery. They can be any color. Some liquid poisons are household cleaning products, antifreeze, cough syrup (if you take too much) and lamp oil.

  • Solids

Examples of solid poisons are pills, batteries, plants and berries.

  • Sprays

Spray poisons can come from a can or bottle. The spray can get in your eyes or mouth, and in your lungs if you breathe it in. Examples are furniture polish and bug spray.

Person spraying for bugs outside.

Seasonal poisoning hazards

Each season brings activities that pose potential hazards.

Learn how to keep your family safe and healthy

First aid for poison

Follow these first aid steps for different types of poison.

Swallowed poisons

Do not give the person anything to eat or drink before calling the Poison Control Center. Do not try to make the person throw up or give them syrup of ipecac unless a doctor or the Poison Control Center tells you to take any of these steps.

Inhaled poisons

Get the person to fresh air right away. Call the Poison Control Center.

Poisons on the skin

Remove contaminated clothing, and rinse the skin with water for 10 minutes. Call the Poison Control Center.

Poisons in the eye

Flush the eye for 15 minutes using a large cup filled with lukewarm water held 2-4 inches from the eye. Call the Poison Control Center.

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