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.

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 ?
Number of cases of throwing toxic substances in water had been registered in police stations secretariat and Bani Gala.
In 2013, the Philippines was one of the 128 countries that signed the Minamata Convention, which regulates the use and trade of mercury, a highly toxic substance that poses threats to human health and the environment.
Army Garrison (USAG) Yongsan and found 27 out of them were heavily contaminated with the toxic substance, well above the normal groundwater purity standards.
"The discovery of an additional toxic substance has increased public concern about the EPA's decision to approve the plan to cap the site.
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.
Particular attention will be paid to the health of vulnerable populations - women, children, and workers related to the turnover of toxic substances.
In 2010, the Hazardous Substance Emergency Events Surveillance program was expanded to be a more comprehensive approach to acute chemical release surveillance and became the National Toxic Substance Incidents Program (NTSIP; Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry [ATSDR], 2014a).
There was a spill at the mine's tailings pond last week after the Philippines was battered by heavy rains from Typhoon Saola, raising fears that toxic substances could enter major waterways.
"The Prime Minister has stressed the necessity of expediting setting regulations on transporting hazardous or toxic substances on the river," said Magdi Radi, the spokesman for the Cabinet after Nazif had met ministers of the environment, housing, trade, health, agriculture, tourism, local development, transport, irrigation and electricity.
THE CANADIAN government has added plastics drinks packaging additive Bisphenol A (BPA) to its national list of toxic substances, claiming this is the toughest action taken against the chemical internationally.
Henry Waxman (D-CA), chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the first bill on toxic substances since the 1970s was introduced to the House last Wednesday.