Toxicovigilance: Experience of the Tygerberg Poison Information Centre in context
Owing to a lack of broad-based knowledge on human poisoning, there is a perception in healthcare circles and in the public arena that pesticides or agrochemicals are responsible for most incidents of human poisoning. The clinical findings of the Tygerberg Poison Information Centre demonstrate that pesticides are not responsible for most toxin exposures – medicines, corrosives, narcotics, petroleum fuels and industrial chemicals play a far bigger role in human poisoning. Pesticides are, however, regarded as much more dangerous than the other chemicals implicated in toxin exposures, affording activists a vehicle to lobby against them.
Lack of knowledge about poisoning is likely to result in incorrect diagnosis and treatment. Poison information centres offer on-call information that should make up for the lack of advanced knowledge in healthcare circles.
Gerhard H Verdoorn, Director: Griffon Poison Information Centre, Randburg, Gauteng
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Date published: 2013-02-27
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