Poisons are ubiquitous substances capable of causing toxic effects, death, injury and harm to organisms that absorbed threshold amount of poisonous toxins. In general, any products that generate fumes or take the form of aerosol that are inhalable should be considered as potential poisons. Poisoning can take place even for medicines that are taken at the wrong time, wrong person and in overdosing manner.


Young children are at high risk of accidental poisoning driven by their curiosity-driven swallowing of poisonous substances and non-prescription and prescription medicines.


Teenagers are also susceptible to risk of poisonings (accidental and intentional) due to their risk-taking behaviour. Some teens try to get “high” by experimenting with substances of poison nature (i.e. sniff toxic glues/aerosol substances). Approximately half of teen-poisoning cases are categorized as suicide attempts.

Types of poisoning Cause
Toxic gas poisoning Inhaled deadly gas (i.e. carbon monoxide).
Swallowed poisons Ingestion of poisonous substances: chemicals, drugs, plants, fungi or berries.
Alcohol poisoning Excessive alcohol consumption
Drug poisoning Overdosing prescription or illegal drugs
Food poisoning Ingestion of contaminated food




  1. SJA. (2019). Poisoning. Retrieved from http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/first-aid-advice/poisoning.aspx
  2. Kaiserpermanente. (2019). Poisoning. Retrieved from https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/health-encyclopedia/he.poisoning.poins


Prepared by: Chan Yi Wei and Ong Hui Ling

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