The Poison Post ®
December 2020 Edition
This year the National Capital Poison Center celebrates 40 years of saving lives! We need your help to continue to provide free 24/7 services to everyone who reaches out to us for guidance. If you're not already convinced, watch this video to learn how we help you every day. We are counting on the support of each of our readers. Make a donation now!
Glass Christmas ornaments can be attractive to young children and can break easily. Stepping or crawling on the glass is a problem, but some ornaments also contain lead, mercury, or methylene chloride. Even though they are sharp, small glass pieces usually pass through the digestive tract uneventfully. Read More
Amphibians—frogs, newts, toads, and salamanders—are equipped with potent toxins like digoxin, tryptamines, and tetrodotoxin. These can cause a variety of symptoms such as irregular heart rhythm, dizziness, cardiac arrest, and paralysis. Frogs and toads are also known to spread Salmonella to humans. Read More
Turmeric is a popular spice that has been used for centuries as an herbal medicine. Despite its popularity, turmeric is poorly absorbed by the human body. Although some have advocated for its use as a treatment for COVID-19, data to support this claim are lacking. Read More
Kinetic sand is a fun, moldable sensory toy. While kinetic sand won't poison a person if they eat it, it does pose a choking hazard, and if large amounts are eaten it can cause constipation. In severe cases, it possible for kinetic sand to cause gastrointestinal obstruction. Read More
Medicines for sleep include prescription agents, OTC drugs, and dietary supplements. Many sleep aids can cause dependence or next-day drowsiness. Dietary supplements and herbals promoted to help sleep are not approved by the FDA as safe or effective. Read More
Milkweed grows throughout the US and is essential for the survival of monarch butterflies. All parts of the plant contain toxic cardiac glycosides, which can cause nausea, seizures, respiratory paralysis, and even death in large amounts.
Bongkrekic acid is a deadly poison that is found in fermented food including wet noodles and presscake from China, Indonesia, and Mozambique. Bongkrekic acid attacks the mitochondria and can cause liver failure, kidney injury, and death. There is no safe dose of this poison.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring compound found in several food sources and is also sold as a dietary supplement claiming to improve symptoms of osteoarthritis. Before using MSM, speak with your physician first and purchase products through trusted sources. Read More