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State Rep. Camille Y. Lilly: Why I Support the Illinois Poison Center

Posted: March 12th, 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

camille_lillyAs the Representative for Illinois’ 78th House District, I am proud to sponsor House Bill 1403 which protects the state’s investment in the Illinois Poison Center (IPC). The IPC provides critical services for Illinois’s citizens, providing poison prevention education and expert medical advice to both health care providers and the public, as well as acting as a first responder during public health emergencies.  I have also seen, first-hand, the impact the IPC has on our state’s health care safety net through my work at Loretto Hospital on Chicago’s west side. Read more »

Chicago Department of Public Health Guest Blog: Lead Poisoning

Posted: March 5th, 2013 | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »


Health_logoYoung children are most vulnerable to the health effects of lead, a toxic metal that has been used in a variety of household and commercial products. Despite continued declines in the numbers of children affected, lead poisoning remains one of the most common preventable pediatric injuries.
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The IPC: It’s Ours to Lose

Posted: February 19th, 2013 | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

IPC_magnet. black borderLast week State Representative Camille Lilly and State Senator Andy Manar introduced legislation maintains the state’s current investment in the Illinois Poison Center (IPC). Our goal is to secure 15 additional co-sponsors by the end of next week and we need your help! By adding additional co-sponsors we can demonstrate to the Illinois General Assembly (ILGA) just how important the state’s only remaining poison control center is to you and the State of Illinois.  Click here to let your voice be heard!

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Toxic Love

Posted: February 12th, 2013 | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Valentines-Day-cards-to-my-love-8Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and so it is that time of year that we are extra nice to our sweeties, and we go out of our way to show just how much we love them.  Not all couples remain smitten with each other though, and unfortunately Love and Poison can go together just like flowers and candy or strawberries and champagne.

Recent history (and crime statistics) is full of not-so romantic stories about one half of a couple underhandedly getting rid of their other half by poisoning them.  If you are a fan of romantic comedies, these stories may depress you, but if Investigation Discovery is more your viewing pleasure, you will love these tales of toxic love: Read more »

What More Do We Need To Say?

Posted: February 5th, 2013 | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »


For children ages 18-36 months, poisoning is the #1 cause of injury-related hospitalization and death  

In Illinois, there are more people hospitalized for poisonings than for injuries from firearms and motor vehicle collisions combined 

9 out of 10 poisoning deaths are caused by drugs/medications

As the nation’s oldest poison center prepares to kick off its annual Illinois Poison Prevention Month (IPPM) in the month of Marchwe asked some of our most active volunteer educators to share their IPPM activities; but more importantly we asked them to explain why IPPM and the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) are so important: Read more »

Bath Salts in the Navy

Posted: January 29th, 2013 | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

DCS09-371-1 Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Newport News fileLives are on the line, both directly and indirectly, when it comes to drug abuse in the military. Sadly, the harmful effects of bath salts are not entirely acute, but may result in chronic depression, delusions, and paranoia. As history tends to repeat itself we must be vigilant to address this current concern in addition to taking preemptive steps to combat the looming issues on the horizon. Read more »

What’s Lurking in Your Child’s Daycare Center?

Posted: January 22nd, 2013 | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

radonOn January 1, a new law regarding radon testing went into effect. The new legislation amends the Child Care Act of 1969 to require radon testing of licensed daycare centers, daycare homes, and group day care homes. Last year, the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) posted a blog about radon in response to a law requiring radon testing in rental spaces.  There is an existing law in Illinois requiring radon testing in schools and residential buildings. Read more »

The Infamous Words… “My Child Ate…”

Posted: January 17th, 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Grandfather posing with grandchildrenAs an experienced babysitter/nanny and parent of a toddler, we’ve seen young children eat or get into everything from crayons to lotions to poop! The first reaction is usually…OMG; then “what should I do?”; then sheer panic. Sound familiar? Read more »

60 Years of Service

Posted: January 8th, 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »



The year was 1953. Dwight Eisenhower was president, the average cost of a new house was $12,650 and gas was $.29 a gallon.  This was also the year Illinois Poison Center (IPC) was established. If you’re not sure what the IPC does, check out “A Day in the Life of a Poison Center” blog for some funny, interesting, and sometimes sad calls received by the poison center experts. Read more »

Holiday Survival Guide Part Two

Posted: January 1st, 2013 | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

holidaysurvivalkitWelcome to the Illinois Poison Center Holiday Survival Guide! Whether it’s a spoiled treat or too many party poisons, joyous holiday celebrations have the potential hazardous situations. Read more »

Holiday Survival Guide Part One

Posted: December 25th, 2012 | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


holidaysurvivalkit2Welcome to the Illinois Poison Center Holiday Survival Guide! Whether it’s a spoiled treat or too many party poisons, joyous holiday celebrations have the potential to become hazardous situations. Read more »

You’re A “Toxic” One Mr. Grinch

Posted: December 18th, 2012 | Tags: , , , | No Comments »



 Since 1966 “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” has been a holiday favorite for young and old alike. In this 26 minute cartoon, the despicable and ruthless Mr. Grinch goes through extreme measures to dampen the Christmas spirit. To adequately describe the low down character traits of the green grouch, the song “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” was incorporated into the script. Read more »

Happy Holidays from the Illinois Poison Center!

Posted: December 13th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

The Illinois Poison Center would like to share this festive poem from Dr. John A. Trestail III, R.Ph, ABAT, from the Center of the Study of Criminal Poisoning. Look below to find links for our resources on the potential holiday hazards mentioned in the poem!






‘Twas the morning post-party, when all through the house,

No adult was stirring, not even your spouse. Read more »

Fatal Attraction: Hazards of Swallowing High-Powered Magnets

Posted: December 11th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Is a set of high-powered magnet toys on your shopping list this holiday season? If so, be careful about leaving them under the Christmas tree or anywhere a child can reach them. The attraction to magnets is understandable since the force field produced by these objects appears to be a magical trick. But these high-powered magnets can be very dangerous to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract if swallowed.

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How Much Holly is too Jolly?

Posted: December 4th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »


 Click here to listen to Burl Ives’ “Holly Jolly Christmas”

As the autumn leaves dwindle to the coming winter frost, our cities and homes become alive with holiday décor such as wreaths, Christmas trees, mistletoe, poinsettia, and American holly.  Last year, we addressed the toxicity hazards of the poinsettia plant.  This year our focus will be on the American Holly.

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Old Man Winter and Carbon Monoxide

Posted: November 27th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

There is a definite chill coming to Illinois.  On my nightly walk with the dogs, hats and gloves are now a necessity.  Soon boots and thick coats will come out of hiding to add needed warmth when venturing outside.

Furnaces are beginning to kick on more frequently now.  Every year, like clockwork, this is the time that calls to poison centers regarding carbon monoxide start to rise.  Calls to the Illinois Poison Center in the October – December time period are usually about 50% higher than the June – September months. Read more »

Don’t Drop Dead While Dropping Dollars

Posted: November 20th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Are you counting on a bolt of lightning in a can or another popular, highly advertised energy booster to get to get you through your Black Friday shopping frenzy this year?  Be careful or the old adage “shop until you drop” may prove fateful.  There seems to be no limit to the number of warnings about the dangers of energy drinks from the US Food and Drug Administration and other agencies interested in public safety.

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Introducing The ‘My Child Ate’ Web Resource Library

Posted: November 6th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

In 2011, 49% of calls to the IPC involved kids age 5 and under.  While that is a big chunk of our calls, that percentage has actually decreased over the past few years.  Lots of poisoning exposures DO involve kids:  children learn about their environment by picking things up and putting them in their mouth.  They imitate adults, and of course they can’t read labels or fully understand the cause and effect of eating something potentially harmful.  So why have poisoning exposures in this age group reported to the IPC drop dropped by 5-7% per year?  Read more »

How Do You Like Wild Mushrooms, Stir-Fry or Tomato Sauce?

Posted: October 30th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Fall is a great time of year; color changes on the leaves, brisk cool breezes, and the smell of newly lit fireplaces on evening walks.  Here in Illinois, many people spend autumn Sunday’s watching football or carving pumpkins as part of their fall rituals.  Fall is also the time of year when many cases of severe mushroom poisoning may occur in North America.  In the past few weeks, the media has reported multiple incidents of people being harmed by wild mushrooms. Read more »

Don’t Be Foggy-Headed About Dry Ice Safety!

Posted: October 23rd, 2012 | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Fall brings us the fun- filled day of Halloween! It is the perfect time for candy, pumpkins, spooky costumes and even a little magic or fog!  Do you know what creates this spooky fog?  It is none other than dry ice! Read more »

More on Mercury and Fish Consumption During Pregnancy

Posted: October 16th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

On June 5, the IPC published a blog regarding the mercury content in fish. In the blog, the FDA recommended that people may want to limit their consumption of fish with high mercury content, especially women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children.  This is because the high levels of mercury found in some fish can have harmful, brain-damaging effects in a fetus. However, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids has also been shown to help fetal brain development. So what should a pregnant woman do? Read more »

Help Keep the IPC Phones Ringing

Posted: October 10th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Help Keep the IPC Phones Ringing!

Use iGive for your everyday and holiday online shopping

Want in on a secret on how to give away money and not have it cost you anything?  The answer is to use iGive for your online shopping trips. With just a wave of the mouse or a tap or two on the keyboard, every dollar you spend will earn bucks for the IPC. That’s right. Not a dime more out of your own pocket if you shop online through the iGive program.      Read more »

Kernels of Truth about “Popcorn Lung”

Posted: October 6th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Perhaps you heard the recent news story about a man who was awarded millions of dollars in damages after developing a pulmonary condition called “popcorn lung”. The man developed this condition after eating two bags of microwave popcorn every day for ten years. So what is popcorn lung and is microwave popcorn safe to cook and eat? Read more »

Topical Pain Relievers- Apply with Caution!

Posted: September 26th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

A large number of over-the-counter products are available to remedy the minor aches and pains that all of us experience at one time or another. These creams, ointments, lotions, gels, patches, and roll-ons, like Bengay® and IcyHot®, offer temporary relief of the discomfort caused by arthritis or muscle aches and strains.  Many of these products are a combination of just a few ingredients such as menthol, methyl salicylate, camphor, and capsaicin.

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Interesting IPC Facts That You May Not Know!

Posted: September 18th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

We like to use the IPC blog to educate our readers about potentially harmful substances, trends the IPC has identified, or seasonal safety tips.  But this week, we thought we would toot our own horn a bit and tell you about some of the cool things you probably didn’t know about the IPC.

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