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Hazards

In observance of National Poisoning Prevention Week, the Philippine Society of Clinical and Occupational Toxicology (PSCOT) and environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition warned the public against common items at home which could be poisonous to children.

Data from the National Poison Management and Control Center identified isopropyl and ethyl alcohol, sodium hypochlorite or disinfecting bleach, paracetamol, kerosene, iron salts, ibuprofen and cell batteries as among the top agents for pediatric poisoning in 2020.

As the Covid-19 pandemic has turned alcohol, paracetamol and perhaps even bleach as household necessities, PSCOT president Carissa Dioquino Maligaso advised families to be aware of the potential hazards in their household and community and take preventive measures that will protect everyone, especially children, from poisoning agents that can be ingested, inhaled, absorbed by skin or splashed into eyes.

Thony Dizon, EcoWaste chemical safety campaigner, said children are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of poisoning because their bodies are still developing. Additionally, they also have a tendency to explore their surroundings by smelling, touching, or putting objects into their mouths.

The PSOT and EcoWaste advised the public to patronize eco-friendly products that do not contain hazardous substances, be aware of precautionary warnings in labels, return products to their proper storage immediately after use, never place poisonous items in food and beverage containers, and store food and potential poisons separately. They also reminded the public to keep medicines, bleach, cleaning and laundry products as well as e-cigarette refills, insecticides, paints, varnishes and thinners and car maintenance materials out of children’s reach.

The average home will usually have poisonous materials, especially now that everyone is hyper-conscious and vigilant because of Covid-19. Because the chemicals we use to protect our homes from the coronavirus can be dangerous in the wrong hands, we have to be extra careful when it comes to use and storage, especially in homes with young children. As we strive to make our homes safer from all threats, let us pay attention to the reminders brought to us during National Poisoning Prevention Week.*

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