Poisoning & Overdose

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Law Topics >  Injuries > Poisoning & Overdose

Poisoning is defined as the harmful effect of a substance that is swallowed, inhaled or comes into contact with the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes. There are more than 12 million poisonous chemicals, but fewer than 3,000 make up the majority of poisoning incidents. However, almost any substance, if ingested in large enough quantities, can be toxic to the human body.

Common poisons fall into six categories. They include: household and agricultural products, such as DDT and cleaning fluids; drugs, any drug taken in large doses (overdose); plants, such as daffodil bulbs and hemlock; industrial chemicals, such as arsenic and strychnine; food substances, such as alcoholic beverages and iron supplements; and many others.