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Summer Spurs Calls to Poison Centers

Experts urge care with bleach, bug spray, gasoline, and picnic foods

FRIDAY, June 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The wet spring in many parts of the United States has led to mold and mildew in some homes and, as a result, an increase in the use of bleach. As a result, calls about bleach exposure are on the rise this summer, the Nebraska Regional Poison Center says.

Summer also brings an increase in calls about insect bites and stings, and barbecue-related toxins, the poison center said in a news release. Products with concentrations of less than 10 percent DEET are just as effective as those with higher concentrations, the poison experts noted.

Summer means children spend more time outside, increasing the chances of exposure to poisons such as gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluids, and torch fuels. The risk of food poisoning also increases in summer as people get together for barbecues and picnics. Meats should be cooked to 160 degrees to ensure bacteria are destroyed. It’s best to use a food thermometer rather than trying to determine if meat is fully cooked by looking at it, the poison center said.

By programming 1-800-222-1222 into a phone, a poison center can be reached from anywhere in the United States.

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