J. E. BROGDON
A. M. PETTIS
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
This circular has been prepared to help you avoid injuries
and accidents from poisonous substances around the home.
Many people die each year as a result of accidental poisoning.
Some deaths are caused by pesticides, but by far the larger num-
ber result from preparations which are commonly found around
the average home and are not thought of as poisons. Chemicals
included in the latter group are kerosene, carbon tetrachloride,
rust removers, drain cleaners, lighter fluid, household bleach,
toilet bowl cleaners and even aspirin.
Pesticides, including chemicals for control of insects (insecti-
cides), rodents (rodenticides) and plant diseases (fungicides),
are essential to the agricultural economy of Florida. Most pesti-
cides in common use today are more or less toxic to all animals,
including man. This does not mean that you should be afraid
to use them-you should recognize their danger to people.
Follow these rules to help avoid injury from poisons:
1. Read and follow the directions and precautions on the
label of the poison.
2. Always store sprays, dusts and other poisons in original
containers and keep them tightly closed. Never transfer to an
unlabeled container (for example from a torn sack to an un-
marked jar or can).
3. Avoid inhaling sprays and dusts. When directed on the
label, wear protective clothing and masks.
4. Keep all poisons out of the reach of children and pets. It
is best to keep them in a dry location that is locked. This in-
cludes pesticides and also common materials that children should
not swallow, such as kerosene, turpentine, cleaning fluid, bleaches,
and washing preparations.
5. Cover food and water containers when using poison around
the livestock or pet areas.
6. Always dispose of empty containers so that they pose
no hazard to humans or animals. This means bury the contain-
ers or remove them to a safe location.
FIRST-AID FOR POISONS
First aid for poisoning is given to lessen the absorption of the
poison. It is important to have a physician called at once. In
the meantime, first aid measures given immediately may save
the victim's life.
1. Make the patient vomit immediately, except as noted be-
low. (To induce vomiting, place your finger or the blunt end
of a spoon at back of patient's throat or give two tablespoons
salt in a glass of warm water. Syrup of ipecac will cause vomit-
ing. This material may be obtained from your druggist.)
2. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING IF:
a. Patient is in a coma or unconscious.
b. Victim is having convulsions.
c. A corrosive poison has been swallowed. (See Cor-
rosive Poisons below.)
d. Petroleum products have been swallowed (gasoline,
kerosene, lighter fluid, naptha).
3. Keep patient warm.
4. Do not give alcohol in any form.
5. When vomiting begins, place victim with head lower than
hips and face down. (This keeps poison from getting into the
lungs and causing further damage.)
Acid and acid-like corrosives include toilet bowl cleaners,
acetic acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, oxalic acid, hydrofluoric acid
(rust removers), iodine, silver nitrate (stypic pencil).
Alkali corrosives include sodium hydroxide-lye (drain
cleaners), sodium carbonate (washing soda), ammonia water,
sodium hypochlorite (household bleach).
If patient can swallow after taking a corrosive poison,
give the following:
For acids-milk of magnesia (1 tablespoon to 1 cup of
water), milk or water.
For alkalis-milk, water, any fruit juice, or vinegar.
Dosage: For patient 1 to 5 years old, 1 to 2 cups; for patient
5 years and older, up to 1 quart.
1. Carry person to fresh air immediately.
2. Open all doors and windows, loosen clothing, and apply
artificial respiration if breathing has stopped or is irregular.
3. Prevent chilling-do not give alcohol in any form.
POISONS ON VICTIM'S SKIN
1. Drench skin with water.
2. Apply stream of water on skin while removing clothing.
3. Cleanse skin thoroughly with water (rapid washing is
most important to reduce extent of injury).
POISONS IN VICTIM'S EYES
1. Hold victim's eyelids open and wash with running water
2. Continue washing until doctor arrives.
3. Use nothing but water (chemical eyewashes may cause
injury to damaged tissues.)
VICTIM BURNED BY CHEMICALS
1. Wash with large amount of running water.
2. Immediately cover with loosely applied clean cloth.
3. Do not use ointments, greases, powders, or drugs in the
treatment of chemical burns.
4. Keep victim flat and keep him warm until doctor arrives.
INJECTED POISONS (SNAKE BITES)
1. Apply tourniquet above wound (loosen for 1 minute every
2. Open wound with sharp instrument.
3. Suck poison from wound (use suction device or mouth).
4. Have patient lie down.
5. If possible, apply ice pack to wound.
6. Carry patient to doctor or hospital (do not let him walk).
Note.-An approved snake-bite kit should be included in
first aid supplies in the home and the automobile. Such a kit
should be taken on hunting and fishing trips and other trips into
Most of the information on first aid measures for poisoning has been
taken from recommendations of the Committee on Toxicology, American
Medical Association. This circular has been approved by the University
of Florida College of Medicine. (The authors: J. E. Brogdon, Entomolo-
gist; A. M. Pettis, Safety Leader, Florida Agricultural Extension Service.)
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida,
Florida State University and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director