Poison

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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 ?
We have a strong concern for promoting affordable housing and at the same time preventing lead poisoning in children and we don't believe the bill will undermine this.
The cost of cleaning a dwelling of lead paint and dust may look expensive initially," says Brown, "but the research demonstrates that given the long-term costs to the families and to society of recurring cases of lead poisoning in buildings where children were lead-poisoned in the past, not doing anything to eliminate lead exposure is far more costly.
Ironically, many of the predators affected by secondary poisoning do much to control rodents.
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Osterholm's team investigated and found 147 cases of Salmonella poisoning in Minnesota, 15 cases in Wisconsin, and one case each in New York and Michigan.
The total number of poisoning cases is likely higher than reflected in this study, because not all exposures might have been reported to poison centers.
After the finding of lead poisoning in the dog, the single resident in this home was tested for blood lead; the resident also had lead poisoning (blood lead level by venous draw > 25 [micro]g/dL).
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In the face of such potentially immense liability, insurers have successfully petitioned the New York State Department of insurance for the right to exclude lead poisoning coverage.
Based on the highly respected and authoritative toxicology manual, Lange Poisoning and Drug Overdose (Kent R.
Poisoning is the second most common form of unintentional death in the United States and the death rate from unintentional poisoning has been rising steadily since 1992.
Tobacco workers are vulnerable to the same kinds of injuries and diseases encountered by any other agricultural worker--accidents with farm machinery or tools, heat exhaustion and heat stroke from working in fields, acute and chronic health effects associated with mixing and applying pesticides, and respiratory problems including asthma and silicosis (GTS), a form of nicotine poisoning that results from workers brushing against wet tobacco leaves.