Poison Statistics
Wash DC Metro Area

In 2018, the National Capital Poison Center provided consultations for 167,760 people from the DC metro area. Approximately 24% (40,406) were calls about people exposed to a poison. An additional 114,651 (68%) were human exposures managed online through webPOISONCONTROL®. Other consultations involved pet poisonings (1,498) and information requests (11,205). Some interesting facts include:
  • Most poison exposures (76%) were unintentional. The Center also received calls about other types of poisonings: medication side effects, substance abuse, malicious poisonings, and suicide attempts. 
  • 11,205 people (21% of the telephone consultations) called for poison-related information. Their questions were about possible problems with medication interactions, pesticide use, workplace chemicals, the safety of specific medications while breast-feeding, and many more topics.
  • 42% of poison exposures involved children younger than six, but the most serious cases occurred in adolescents and adults.
  • 55% of poison exposures involved medications; other exposures were to household or automotive products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings.
  • 75% of poison exposures involved people who swallowed a drug or poison. People were also poisoned by inhalation and through exposures to the skin or eyes.
  • 66% of poison exposures were safely managed over the phone and did not need medical treatment in a health care facility. However, 83% of those who called a poison center first, before going to a health care facility were safety treated at home. This number increases to 91% for pediatric poisonings when the Poison Center is consulted first, before other medical intervention is sought. 
167,760 Consultations Were Provided in 2018
National Capital Poison Center
Washington DC Metro Area
 2018 consultations pie chart

Reasons for Reported Poison Exposures
National Capital Poison Center, 2018
 2018 reasons for exposure

Poisonings by Age Group
National Capital Poison Center, 2018
 2018 exposures by age

Poison Exposures by Age
National Capital Poison Center, 2018
2018 exposures by age 


Most Common Poison Exposures 
Children < 6 Years
National Capital Poison Center, 2018
 2018 most common exposures children


Most Common Poison Exposures 
≥ 20 Years of Age 
National Capital Poison Center, 2018
2018 most common exposures adults 

Related Links

Summary of Poison Statistics, Washington DC metro area, 2017

Summary of Poison Statistics, Washington DC metro area, 2016

Summary of Poison Statistics, Washington DC metro area, 2015

Summary of Poison Statistics, Washington, DC metro area, 2014

Summary of National Poison Statistics, Reports to U.S. Poison Control Centers

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