Poison Control Program

Each year in Montana, there are many poison exposures reported to the Poison Help Center. In 2010, there were 21,693 poison-related calls made to the Rocky Mountain Poison Center. Poisons can occur from chemicals or medications by being ingested, absorbed through the skin or eyes, or inhaled through the nose and mouth. recognizing when a poisoning has occurred and getting help right away, as well as learning how to prevent poisonings for both children and adults are vital to staying safe from poisons.


Poison Help Logo 1 800-222-1222


What is a Poison?

A poison is anything that can hurt or kill you if you eat them, breathe them in, get them in your eyes, get them on your skin, or get them under or through your skin.

What are the most dangerous poisons for adults?

Products and medicines can hurt you if they are used the wrong way, by the wrong person, or in the wrong amount.

For example:

  • Drugs - prescription, nonprescription, herbal, illegal, or animal medicines
  • Cleaning products that cause burns - drain opener, toilet bowl cleaner, oven cleaner, rust remover
  • Auto fluids - antifreeze, windshield washer solution
  • Carbon monoxide gas - leaky furnaces and chimneys, gas stoves and water heaters, generators and space heaters used indoors
  • Hydrocarbons - furniture polish, lighter fluid, lamp oil, gasoline, paint thinner, kerosene, turpentine
  • Pesticides - weed killers, ant and roach killers, mouse and rat poisons, garden chemicals
  • Wild mushrooms

A Poisoning May Have Occurred. What Should I Do?

Follow these basics steps at the first sign of a poisoning:

  • The person inhaled poison
    • Get to fresh air right away.
    • Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222)
  • The person has poison on the skin
    • Take off any clothing the poison touched
    • Rinse skin with running water, 15-20 minutes
      Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222)
  • The person has poison in the eyes
    • Rinse eyes with running water, 15-20 minutes
    • Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222)

In some cases, you should not try to give first aid. You will need to call the experts fast if:

  • The person swallowed the wrong medicine or too much medicine
  • The person swallowed a chemical, pesticide, or other poison
  • The person has collapsed or stopped breathing
  • Call Poison Help 1- 800-222-1222

Bring the container of the ingested poison to the phone, if possible.

What is a Poison Help Center?

Experts are at Poison Help Centers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide you with life-saving treatment advice about any kind of poison. These experts are specially trained nurses, pharmacists, doctors, or other trained experts. The service is free and confidential, and available to deaf individuals. The service additionally provides answers to questions about poisons and poison prevention.

Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in Denver , Colorado provides Poison Help to Montanans. Link to their site - https://www.rmpdc.org/.

What is the Nationwide Poison Help Number?

1-800-222-1222. This number will be patched to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center for calls made from Montana, or the nearest Poison Help Center near you, when calling outside of Montana.

What Should I Do when I Need To Call the Poison Center?

Keep emergency numbers near the phone. When you call Poison Help, or
9-1-1, be ready to give the following information below to the expert on the phone. When you call, bring the container of the product you think caused the poisoning. The label has important information. Stay calm. Not all medicines and household products are poisonous and not all contact with poison result in poisoning.

Be ready to tell the expert:

  • the person's age
  • the person's weight
  • health conditions or problems
  • the product involved
  • how the product contacted the person (for example, by mouth, inhaled, through the skin or eyes)
  • how long ago the poison contacted the person
  • first aid already given
  • whether the person has vomited
  • your location
  • how long it would take you to get to a hospital

Poison Prevention Links

Montana Poison Prevention Material Order Form

Contact Information

Maureen Ward
Injury Prevention Program Manager
(406) 444-4126