Common Poisons And Treatments Household

Several everyday household products contain poisonous substances that could be harmful to you and those you love. From laundry detergent to nail polish remover, there are likely many common products in your home that could be dangerous if ingested or exposed to the skin.

Some of the most common household poisons include:

  • Alcohol
  • Antifreeze
  • Aspirin and other medications
  • Bleach and other cleaning products
  • Cosmetics
  • Drain cleaner
  • Paint
  • Pest control products.

Although you may come into contact with these substances daily, there are ways to prevent household poisons from negatively affecting your health. One of the first preventative steps you can take to ensure the health of all those in your home is to learn how to properly handle household poisons. You may also want to talk to family members about what to do in case of an emergency.

Handling Household Poisons

If you’re aware that something in your house is poisonous, it’s important to be cautious when handling it. Aside from keeping household poisons out of reach from children and away from pets, it’s also important to:

  • Be sure that everyone in your home knows what is and what is not considered a household poison.
  • Check all expiration dates on any substances in your home that could become poisonous, such as medicine and vitamins.
  • Keep the number of the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) near your phone and in clear sight
  • Read the instructions on all cleaning products, medications and other household poisons before using.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands after handling a poisonous substance.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before eating or serving and thoroughly cook meat, eggs and poultry.
  • Wear protective gear when working with gasoline, paint, pesticides or any other common poison.

Symptoms and Treatments for Poisoning

It’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of poisoning. Though symptoms of poisoning can vary, in most cases, they can be easily detected. If someone in your home ingests a poison, seek immediate help.

Some common symptoms of poisoning are:

  • Change in behavior
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting.

If you or someone you know is showing these symptoms — particularly if they have recently come into contact with a poisonous substance — get them treatment right away. If symptoms seem severe, the person is going into a seizure, or the symptoms persist and seem to worsen, call 911.

In the event of poisoning, you can also call the Poison Control Center. They may recommend some basic home treatment, such as:

  • Spit out any remaining common poison in the mouth.
  • Step outside for fresh air.
  • Wash the skin and clothing.


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United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2009). Prevent poisonings in your home. Retrieved June 10, 2010, from