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Any substance dangerous to living organisms that if applied internally or externally, destroy the action of vital functions or prevent the Continuance of life.

Economic poisons are those substances that are used to control insects, weeds, fungi, bacteria, rodents, predatory animals, or other pests. Economic poisons are useful to society but are still dangerous.

The way a poison is controlled depends on its potential for harm, its usefulness, and the reasons for its use. The law has a right and a duty pursuant to the Police Power of a state to control substances that can do great harm.

In the past, an individual who was harmed by a poison that had been handled in a careless manner could institute a lawsuit for damages against the person who had mishandled the chemical. As time went on, state statutes prescribed the circumstances under which someone was legally liable for injuries caused by a poison. For example, a sale to anyone under sixteen years of age was unlawful, and a seller was required to ensure that the buyer understood that the chemical was poisonous. It was not unusual for all poisons, drugs, and narcotics to be covered by the same statutory scheme.

Specialized statutes currently regulate poisons. Pesticides must be registered with the federal government, and those denied registration cannot be used. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a number of regulations governing the use of approved pesticides. Federal law also prohibits unauthorized adulteration of any product with a poisonous substance and requires clear labeling for anything sold with a poisonous ingredient. It might not be sufficient to list all the chemicals in a container or even to put the word POISON on the label. The manufacturer should also warn of the injuries that are likely to occur and the conditions under which the poison will cause harm. Stricter standards are applied to household products than to poisonous products intended to be used in a factory, on a farm, or by a specially trained person. Poisonous food products are banned. Under other federal regulations, pesticide residues on foods are prohibited above certain low tolerance levels.

Certain provisions under federal law seek to protect children from poisoning. Special packaging is required for some household products so that a child will not mistake them for food or will not be able to open containers. Federal funds are available for local programs to reduce or eliminate the danger of poisoning from lead-based paint. Under the Hazardous Substances Act (15 U.S.C.A. § 1261 et seq.), toys containing poisonous substances can be banned or subjected to recall.

See: contaminate, degenerate, infect, pervert, pollute, taint, virulent, vitiate

POISON, crim. law. Those substances which, when applied to the organs of the body, are capable of altering or destroying, in a majority of cases, some or all of the functions necessary to life, are called poisons. 3 Fodere, Traite de Med. Leg. 449; Guy, Med. Jur. 520.
     2. When administered with a felonious intent of committing, murder, if. death ensues, it is murder the most detestable, because it can of all others, be least prevented by manhood or forethought. It is a deliberate act necessarily implying malice. 1 Russ. Cr. 429. For the signs which indicate poisoning, vide 2 Beck's Med. Jurisp. ch. 16, p. 236, et seq.; Cooper's Med. Jurisp. 47; Ryan's Med. Jurisp. ch. 15, p. 202, et seq.; Traill, Med. Jur. 109.

References in periodicals archive ?
Although steps have been taken by the individual countries to control the use and release of these toxic substances, PCBs, DDT, chlordane, and mercury still exist at unacceptable levels in the North American environment, and can pose serious health risks to humans and wildlife.
The firm handles cases for injuries caused by exposure to asbestos, benzene and other toxic substances.
EPA is responsible for managing the pesticides and toxic substances programs under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, the FD&C Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.
After completing this interim measure, the area would then be evaluated by the Department of Toxic Substances and Control.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), OSHA and the state and local government agencies that oversee toxic substance remediation can impose stiff penalties on building owners who may inherit contamination problems and who elect to avoid abatement issues that pose health risks.
Myers Company pleaded with the EPA to grant an exemption from the Toxic Substances Control Act, allowing the company to import PCBs to its Tallmadge "decontamination" facility outside Akron.
Ecology is also following development of new EPA regulations covering emission of toxic substances into the air from industrial and commercial sources, including medical waste incinerators and pulp mills, and will adapt them into state regulations when they become available.
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) today warned California consumers to be aware of a major recall of Chinese-made toys contaminated with lead paint.
The 184 pages of documents that Boeing delivered last week to the Department of Toxic Substances Control include logs detailing how Rocketdyne detonated and destroyed hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic liquids and gases at the so-called Area 1 burn pit.
The ships often contain asbestos, PCBs, mercury, lead, waste fuel oil, and other toxic substances that contaminate the areas around the shipbreaking yards.
Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV, today announced the settlement of an administrative action against the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGPL), Houston, Texas, and its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) at 42 compressor stations in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.