About us

The Illinois Poison Center is a non-profit health service that provides comprehensive and trusted information and treatment advice on potentially harmful substances via a free, confidential 24-hour helpline staffed by medical experts .

The IPC serves as the state’s leading source of medical consultation and advanced toxicology training for healthcare professionals.  It also offers education on poison prevention and information on potentially harmful substances to the general public via community outreach and online education programs.

The IPC’s services save lives, improve patient care and save the people of Illinois $60 million annually due to fewer 911 calls, unnecessary doctor and ER visits, and reduced time spent in hospitals.

Interact with us on the web:  website | facebook | twitter | youtube | slideshare

En Espanol: website | youtube

About this Blog

Get a “behind the curtains” look at what it’s like to work at the largest and oldest Poison Center in the country.  It’s fast-paced.  It can be stressful at times as we talk to worried individuals and parents.  It’s challenging at times with the limited funding we receive.  But we gotta tell ya — we love it.  It’s highly fulfilling to help people with their questions and especially in their moments of great need and anxiety.

We hope to share stories/cases with you — some uplifting, some humorous, and some serious — so that you really get a feel for what we do and learn about potentially poisonous substances that exist everywhere in everyday things.  We’ll also be providing practical tips to keep you and your family safe throughout the year.   You’ll be updated on how you can be involved in the long-term sustainability of the IPC.  No blog about poison control would be complete without a sprinkle of mind-bending facts,  and geeky, scientific  tidbits.

About the Bloggers

  Mike Wahl MD has served as medical director of the Illinois Poison Center since 1998.  He grew up in  Northern California and went to college at UC Santa Barbara.  He loves spring, summer and fall  in the Midwest . . . he sometimes thinks winter is the price of admission for the other three.


Deslauriers C 02 08 smileycolor  Dr. Carol DesLauriers is the Director for the Illinois Poison Center.  She is a pharmacist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Applied Toxicology.  



Tony Burda Rph, DABAT

The Man, the Myth, the Legend.


   Matt became a specialist at the IPC in 2016 after graduating from UIC’s College of Pharmacy. He is obsessed with all things tox! Matt’s other hobbies include long distance running, cooking, politics, and watching his beloved Chicago Cubs drive him insane.



Vickie Dance grew up with five siblings and various pets (including a skunk) who always seemed to find stuff that gave them “unwanted and/or unexpected reactions”; a true Poison Center case study!   When not in the call center (snack center) looking for dark chocolate, she’s overseeing outreach, education and communications (blog and website).


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  1. Illinois Poison Center Blog » Blog Archive » Watch Out for Those Scary Berries!

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