Poison

(redirected from Toxic Substances)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.

Poison

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 ?
Garrett's specific requests from the EPA: 1) Is the EPA reevaluating the decision to cap the site instead of a full cleanup due to the discovery of a new toxic substance and the possibility that other toxic substances may be present?
In the first two weeks after conception, the embryo can be fatally damaged by toxic substances such as benzene, lead, or methyl mercury.
SOCMA commends Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) and Ranking Member Paul Tonko (D-NY) for their bipartisan leadership to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act/' said William E.
Adoption of our platform for reform would transform the Toxic Substances Control Act into a law that prevents toxic chemical exposures before they occur.
ARET also issued two short-term goals: To reduce emissions of PBTSs by 90 percent and all other emissions of toxic substances by 50 percent by 2000.
Unlike RoHS, it requires that the names and contents of toxic substances be indicated on the products.
2) A manufacturer or seller of goods, other than toxic substances, shall not be liable for damages sustained by another person unless the goods were negligently manufactured, or defective or unless there is a breach of warranty.
Atlanta, GA:Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
In November 2003 the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) issued a report on the results from its Warren Township hydrogen sulfide air sampling.
Clarifying and narrowing the scope of the bill to include only cathode ray tube devices and other video display devices that the Department of Toxic Substances Control determines contain hazardous waste.
We have a sense of bitter taste to protect us from ingesting toxic substances," says Dennis Drayna of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders in Bethesda, Md.
If these toxic substances contaminate the ground, they must be removed, even if half the building has to come down.