Breadcrumb

About Us

The toll-free Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222, which connects you to your local poison center, is your resource for help in a poisoning emergency.

When you call, you will speak with a specially trained nurse, pharmacist, or doctor at your local poison center.

You can call from anywhere in the United States and many territories.

  • The call is free and confidential.
  • Interpretation is available in 161 languages.
  • People usually get the help they need over the phone. Most people do not have to go to a doctor or the hospital.1 Poison Help can also help you learn about your risks before an emergency.

This website tells you about poisons, poison safety and prevention, and when to contact your poison center. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), funds the Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222), which connects you to your local poison center, and Poison Help website.

The federal program

The Poison Control Program is authorized through Public Law 113-77 (PDF - 201 KB), the Poison Center Network Act. This is an amendment to Public Law 110-377 (PDF - 131 KB), which was enacted in 2008. The HRSA Poison Control Program is legislatively mandated to:

  • Fund poison centers serving all states, Puerto Rico, District of Columbia, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, and American Samoa.
  • Establish and maintain a single, national toll-free number (1-800-222-1222) that connects callers with the poison center serving their area.
  • Implement a nationwide media campaign to educate the public and health care providers about poison prevention, poison center services, and the 1-800 number.

Other activities supported by the Poison Control Program include:

  • Programs to support the enhancement and improvement of poison education, prevention, and treatment.
  • Partnership development with other federal agencies and national organizations to advance poison prevention awareness.
  • Development of uniform patient management guidelines so that poison centers can provide uniform poison treatment recommendations.
  • Improvement of data collection systems and toxic exposure surveillance for enhanced capability to capture national poisoning data.
  • Multilingual interpreter service in 161 languages to anyone who calls the 1-800 number.

Reports to Congress

 


1Bronstein AC,  Spyker DA Cantilena LR, Green JL, Rumack BH, Giffin SL. 2008 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 26th Annual Report. 2009. Clinical Toxicology (2009) 47, 911–1084.

Small - 68% of Poison Help line calls were assisted over the phone
Small - 2.2 Million Help Line Calls Annually
Small - Poison Help Lines saves $1.8 billion in medical costs and lost productivity