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Utah Poison Control Center Celebrates 70 Years During National Poison Prevention Week

Media Contact: Sherrie Pace
(801) 587-0600


National Poison Prevention Week brings extra meaning this year for Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) as they celebrate their 70th anniversary. Since the beginning in 1954, UPCC has handled over 2 million poison cases. The poison center not only continues to provide free, expert and confidential poison help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but is dedicated to the prevention of poisonings. National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW) is March 17-23, 2024. The week is dedicated to raising awareness about poisoning and highlighting prevention tips. UPCC wants to remind the public that “when the unexpected happens, we’re here for you!”  

Poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States and in Utah, so it’s important to learn more and take steps to prevent poisonings. The UPCC manages over 40,000 poison cases each year. While just over 50% of exposures in Utah involve children 5 years old or younger, poisonings can happen to anyone at any age. The number one poison exposure in Utah for all ages combined, is pain medicine. Most of these are common drugs you can buy over-the-counter without a prescription.  

“The milestone of our 70th anniversary, is a great time to reflect on the past and look to the future”, said Amberly Johnson, UPCC Director. “We have a team of dedicated health care providers, educators and administrative staff who work diligently to provide the people of Utah an excellent resource for poison help and poison prevention education. Our team continues to be there for Utahn’s day in and day out, with free, expert, and confidential help anytime day or night.”

The poison center provides outreach education to teach people about poison dangers and ways to prevent a poisoning.“Poison prevention is vital to saving lives and keeping people safe. Making poison safety a year-round priority will go a long way in helping to decrease poisonings,” Johnson said. To help prevent poisonings, UPCC offers the following tips:

  • Be prepared for a poison emergency. Keep the poison control phone number at your fingertips by saving it in your cell phone. Save the number…someday it may save you back. 1-800-222-1222
  • Practice safe storage. Always store medicines, household cleaners, and hazardous products up and away from children. Keep them in their original, child-resistant containers.
  • Read and follow directions. Review instructions on prescription and over-the-counter medicine and on all other product labels before using them.
  • Dispose of unused or expired medication. Take these medications to a drop-box location to dispose of them safely.
  • Detect invisible threats. Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.

The UPCC has a variety of poison prevention tools to help keep you and your family safe. Visit the UPCC to access resources for all ages. Follow NPPW on social media at #NPPW24. Connect with UPCC onFacebookYouTubePinterestXTikTok and Instagram @utahpoison during NPPW and throughout the year for messages, alerts, and tips.


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About the Utah Poison Control Center
The UPCC is a 24-hour resource for poison information, clinical toxicology consultation, and poison prevention education. The UPCC is a program of the State of Utah and is administratively housed in the University of Utah, College of Pharmacy. The UPCC is nationally certified as a regional poison control center.