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  • - If you've been bitten by a brown recluse spider,

  • the first thing I can tell you, keep the spider.

  • Hi, I'm Anne Chappelle.

  • I'm a board certified toxicologist,

  • and this is Poison Support.

  • [gentle music]

  • Jehovah's witness, Jehovah's Thickness asks,

  • so can you really poison people by putting eye drops

  • in their food?

  • I'm asking for a friend.

  • Actually you can.

  • There have been several high profile cases where a spouse

  • has been accused of murder for putting Visine drops

  • into their partner's beverages and food.

  • The active ingredient in Visine

  • causes your blood vessels to constrict.

  • It works great on your eyes getting the red out.

  • The problem is that when you ingest it

  • and you ingest enough of it,

  • it can cause your other blood vessels to also constrict.

  • And when those constrict you can cut off blood supply

  • to different parts of your body

  • and have some overt toxicity.

  • It's been shown that only a quarter teaspoon

  • ingested by a child can actually cause significant toxicity.

  • So you need to be very careful in where you keep your Visine

  • or other similar eyedrops.

  • Next up, we have a question from Benjamin Sano.

  • Poison gas, how does that work?

  • Well, first you go to Taco Bell.

  • Just kidding.

  • Certain poison gases when you breathe them in,

  • they immediately destroy the lining of your lung.

  • And so if you don't have a good lung lining,

  • well then you really can't oxygenate your blood

  • and then you can die.

  • Poison gases can also work by interacting with the cells

  • within your body and stop them from being able

  • to produce energy.

  • That's a really big deal when it comes to

  • your heart and your brain.

  • One of the most common poisonous gases

  • is actually carbon monoxide.

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning often manifests as sleepiness,

  • and unfortunately carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless.

  • And so you often won't be able to tell

  • if you've been exposed to carbon monoxide.

  • That's why those carbon monoxide detectors that you can get

  • at your local big box store are so important.

  • From Tatum Flynn.

  • Can you get lead poisoning from stabbing yourself really

  • hard with a sharp pencil?

  • Asking for an idiot.

  • No, no you can't.

  • No way.

  • Never, no how.

  • You know why?

  • Pencils don't contain lead.

  • Pencils actually contain a mix of graphite and clay,

  • which is considered non-toxic.

  • We have a question now from Brendon FlyEaglesFly.

  • Did you know that toothpaste can kill you

  • because it's a poison if you eat the whole bottle at once?

  • It even says use more for brushing than eating.

  • Yes.

  • Why yes I did.

  • Fluoride when brushed on the teeth helps protect the enamel.

  • And so it's very good for your teeth, but again,

  • it's not very good to ingest

  • because the fluoride is a lot like calcium.

  • So if you have too much fluoride in your body,

  • it displaces the calcium.

  • Why is that important?

  • Calcium is in your bones.

  • So your bones aren't as strong

  • as well as calcium is important in a number of different

  • metabolic reactions that keep your body healthy.

  • If you did eat an entire thing of toothpaste,

  • that's something you really should call

  • poison control about.

  • That fluoride in your body could escalate to the point where

  • you have seizures, convulsions, death.

  • So please take it seriously.

  • Don't eat your toothpaste.

  • Please spit.

  • We have a question from Emily.

  • Can you die of food poisoning?

  • Absolutely you can die of food poisoning.

  • Food poisoning is actually one of the most common poisonings

  • that happens in the United States.

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control

  • one in six Americans suffer from some form

  • of food poisoning every year,

  • 128,000 Americans end up going to the hospital

  • for food poisoning.

  • And about 3,000 people die every year of food poisoning.

  • The biggest problem with food poisoning is dehydration.

  • If you have several days of diarrhea,

  • you really need to make sure that you stay hydrated.

  • Sometimes food poisoning can be very difficult to diagnose

  • because you end up getting a delay between when you actually

  • ate the food and actually when you became ill.

  • Usually it is a delay of six to 12 hours for that toxin

  • to start acting on your intestines

  • and in your body to produce adverse health effects.

  • Wife of Chadwick asks can you overdose on vitamins?

  • Because those gummies are yummy and I keep popping them.

  • Yes, you can.

  • However, there is not always an adverse effect.

  • Many of the gummy vitamins are water-soluble vitamins,

  • which means that they don't get built up in your system.

  • So if you've ever taken too many gummies or vitamins

  • and you've got kind of bright colored pee well,

  • you've overdosed just a bit.

  • The problem is when you end up overdosing

  • on some of these fat-soluble vitamins,

  • such as vitamin D, vitamin E, some of the Bs as well.

  • Those like to sequester into your fat.

  • And so they're harder to get rid of out of your body.

  • Iron supplements can be also formulated into gummy vitamins.

  • And those are actually very dangerous,

  • especially for children to have an iron overdose.

  • And so in all of these cases if you suspect that there is

  • unintended ingestion of these kinds of vitamins,

  • it's important to run it by your poison control center,

  • especially if it's a child.

  • So this one is from David Acosta.

  • Yo, I never had to call poison control at this point

  • in my life.

  • How does it work?

  • Is there like a code system, press one for rat poison,

  • press two for cyanide?

  • Do I need a subscription?

  • Is there a free trial?

  • You know what, nevermind.

  • Well, it's really important that you know

  • that the first step in suspected poisoning

  • is actually calling poison control.

  • That's 1-800-222-1222.

  • It's a national toll free number staffed 24/7.

  • Now you may think that there are some times

  • when you need to call 911, or should I call poison control?

  • Well, if the person is having an extreme medical emergency

  • right in front of you dial 911.

  • If you're not sure, still call 911,

  • especially if they're a child

  • and then call poison control to follow up.

  • Leonel asks a very important question.

  • Wait, wait, wait, how do poison antidotes work?

  • So there's a number of different kinds of antidotes.

  • First of all there's the kind that actually just trap

  • or absorb the chemical.

  • There are some that actually go after

  • and neutralize the chemical itself.

  • Those are things like the antivenoms.

  • Another one is that it actually inhibits the chemical

  • at the site of the organ or toxicity.

  • Here's a good example of an antidote

  • for a chemical overdose, opiates.

  • You get too much oxycodone in your body

  • and they give you the Naloxone spray.

  • That actually gets into your body

  • and that displaces the oxycodone from the sites

  • where it activates.

  • That's why you see such an immediate reversal

  • after a Naloxone dose.

  • Poison control and regional trauma centers often have

  • antivenoms for the things that are local

  • to that particular area.

  • But if you happen to be in Northern Ontario,

  • where there are no rattlesnakes,

  • there's probably no antivenom.

  • So be careful where you decide to get bit.

  • Ivves asks, how do we measure toxicity?

  • One of the most common ways to measure toxicity

  • is a test called an LD50 test, lethal dose 50.

  • It means you give a dose to an animal and you find out what