Here’s the news . . .
Parents, caregivers and accident-prone adults now have an honest, easy-to-read source for information they need about the household products they use, misuse and worry about.
Teddy Vincent Angert, formerly an RN and Certified Specialist in Poison Information (CSPI) at the OHSU-based Oregon Poison Center, has written a book with a title that says it all: The Commonsense Guide to Everyday Poisons. More than just a first aid how-to guide, Everyday Poisons details common ingredients found in household products and explains what they are, where they come from and what they do. Historical and off-beat information is often included, as well as suggestions for DIY projects.
“No one has time to research every ingredient in every product, so they buy the ones they need and hope for the best,” Angert says. “But when something ends up in a mouth or eye where it doesn’t belong, they panic and don’t know what to do. We are bombarded with messages about hidden dangers and life-threatening toxins but the truth is we are safer today than ever before. My years at poison control showed me there is a real need for straightforward information about household products and how they’re made, and that information needs to be based on facts.
“Anything in your home can be toxic under the right circumstances—that’s why I call them everyday poisons. But everything in your home can also be non-toxic, depending on the kind of exposure—which is why a commonsense approach is needed.”
Everyday Poisons has something for everyone, Angert says. “Mostly parents, of course, because the vast majority of accidental exposures involve children under the age of six—two-year-olds most of all—who are exploring their world in age-appropriate ways. They eat toothpaste and silica gel, cover themselves in diaper cream and bite into laundry pods. But adults have mishaps of their own, like brushing their teeth with hydrocortisone cream, thinking the hydrogen peroxide is their water bottle, or mistaking super glue for their eye drops. I cover all of that!
“Along with information about ingredients and advice on what to do when accidents happen, I’ve included cool stuff for the generally curious, who will enjoy reading about cow magnets, insect anatomy, how batteries work, and so much more. And there are plenty of DIY suggestions, from homemade laundry detergent to electrified snail fences. Everyday Poisons has it all.”