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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 ?
Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are common plants in many regions of the United States and Canada.
Urushiol is found in the sap of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.
Cade Laboratories is one of the companies offering treatment for exposure to poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac that goes beyond just treating the itch and other symptoms.
Poison sumac has whitish berries that hang down, and it is kind of rare.
I recall that during my childhood in Michigan, my parents spoke of poison sumac.
You don't know it yet, but you've just joined at least 2 million other Americans who, this summer, will become all too well acquainted with the power of poison ivy or one of its near relatives--poison oak and poison sumac.
Poison oak and poison sumac are closely related to poison ivy.
The most common cause of allergic skin reactions is exposure to poison ivy and its "first cousins" poison oak and poison sumac.
Poison ivy usually grows east of the Rockies, and poison sumac east of the Mississippi River.
This useful plant is not to be confused with three sumacs that grow wild in North America, all of which can cause severe dermatitis: poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac.
Poison ivy rash is really an allergic contact dermatitis caused by a substance called urushiol, (you-ROO-shee-ol), found in the sap ofpoison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.
While my other companion waited, I followed the racket down swales and over dales, through Canadian thistles, poison sumac, and thickets of briars to where I came upon Brutus happily excavating a hole that had been dug by the grandson of the woodchuck that had walked off the Ark.