Blue Ridge Poison Center: Cleaners, fake pills, edibles leading to higher calls | Health

CULPEPER STAR-EXPONENT STAFF

Cleaning products, fake pills containing deadly fentanyl, liquid nicotine and cannabis edibles have led to increased calls to UVA Health’s Blue Ridge Poison Center in recent years, reconnaissance experts say of National Poison Prevention Week.

Some cleaning products are safe to use on household surfaces, but can cause injury if they come into contact with skin. Drinking cleaning products is dangerous and does not prevent infection with germs such as COVID-19, according to a Tuesday morning statement from UVA Health. Mixing cleaners can create toxic gas.

Counterfeit drugs are manufactured by drug traffickers and sold illegally. Many contain dangerous substances such as rat poison or fentanyl, UVA Health said. Only buy your medication from a licensed pharmacy or health care provider and never take someone else’s prescription medication.

When it comes to cannabis edibles, young children are drawn to them because they look like familiar treats. Many adults also report issues with cannabis edibles because the products can be potent and dosing is tricky, UVA Health said. These are unregulated products that may be contaminated with harmful substances not shown on labels, according to the Charlottesville-based health system.

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As for liquid nicotine, it is the liquid inside an e-cigarette or vaping device, and is also called “vape juice” or “e-liquid”. The product is dangerous to swallow and can even be absorbed if spilled on the skin. According to UVA Health, just one teaspoon can be harmful.

Cleaning products, medicines, medicinal plants and pesticides should always be kept out of the sight and reach of children. House guests, such as grandparents, should keep their medications in a safe place. Childproof containers should be used and safety caps tightly closed at all times.

Teenagers and adults can also be poisoned. Common poisonings in teens and adults include medication errors, alcohol overdoses, complications from substance use or abuse, and improper handling of potentially harmful chemicals.

Residents should keep the Blue Ridge Poison Center toll-free, 24/7 number near each phone and store the number in their smartphone: 800/222-1222.

Suspect someone has swallowed, touched or breathed in something harmful, or overdosed on any substance? The experts at the center will know exactly what to do. This service is free and confidential.

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