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Poisonings in 1998 in adolescents, adults and older persons

Vergiftigingen in 1998 bij pubers, volwassenen en bejaarden


In 1988 the National Poisons Control Centre (NVIC) of the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) analysed reported expositions to xenobiotics to establish the frequency of accidental intoxication in adolescents, adults and older persons. Adults were involved in 72% of the approximately 20,000 information requests on exposition to xenobiotics. In most (63%) of the intoxication cases, medicines were ingested. Alcohol, drugs and tobacco, and household and industrial products were involved in 21% of the cases. Exposure to pesticides, plants, mushrooms and cosmetics was limited. Some new medicines were highly frequent in intoxication cases after their introduction. Look-alike packages of some "non-food" products, of which the appearance resembles a "food product", increasingly lead to erroneous use and unintended exposure. New illicit drugs can suddenly become available and the revival of old products, like gammahydroxybutyrate, used in a different manner caused severe intoxications. The poisons control centre has an important role in the signalling of unexpected possible dangerous circumstances or exposure to xenobiotics, especially after the introduction of new consumer products and medicines. Informing health authorities enables measures to be found and initiated to diminish the number of specific exposures.

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