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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 ?
Deadly nightshade (black berries), climbing nightshade (red or black berries), poison ivy and poison sumac (white berries) and plants like baneberry, doll's eyes, leopardsbane and a host of unfamiliar plants are best admired at a distance.
Poison Sumac is mainly found in the eastern United States.
About Eighty-five percent of Americans exposed to urushiol oil in plants like poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac will develop an allergic reaction.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are the most common cause of allergic reactions in the United States, noting that each year 10 to 50 million Americans develop an allergic rash after contact with these poisonous plants.
Beware of poisonous weeds -- Know how to identify poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak -- all are plants that produce a sap that can cause a red, swollen rash or blisters.
Learn to recognize and avoid plants you think could be poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac.
radicans has two relatives, poison oak and poison sumac, that don't always form the classic clusters but are equally toxic troublemakers.
Chances are you've had a brush with poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac and their poisonous saps.
Unlike poison ivy or poison sumac, there appears to be no dermal toxicity (skin rash) associated with pokeweed.
As Americans head outdoors this Memorial Day weekend, poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are in full bloom, ready to wreak havoc on millions.
The purchase also included prescription strength Polysporin(R) Ophthalmic Ointment (bacitracin zinc and polymixin B sulfate ophthalmic ointment, USP), a wide range action antibacterial product indicated for topical treatment of superficial infections of the external eye, Proloprim(R) (trimethoprim), indicated for the treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections, Kemadrin(R) (procyclidine hydrochloride), an anti-parkinsonian medication, and Mantadil(R) Cream, used to treat pruritic skin eruptions, such as eczema, and contact dermatitis, including poison ivy and poison sumac.