People often call poison centers or 911 after ingesting or being exposed to chemicals or organic substances that are believed to be toxic or poisonous. However,these substances that are mistaken to be toxic, only cause GI upsets and are not lethal at all. Common household items like petroleum jelly, silica gel, Poinsettia, toothpaste and bleach are just some of them. As nurses, we should know about what's toxic and what's not to be able to educate the public on which items they should be extra careful with, how to handle GI upsets, and also reduce anxiety and panic especially in parents with children who accidentally ingested chemicals that are actually non-toxic.
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