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Congressman Towns’ Bill To Sustain Poison Control Centers

The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to pass H.R. 5669, an important public health bill that will enable the network of 61 state and regional certified poison centers to launch a national awareness campaign, enhance the public health, provide acute assistance, and support poison prevention.

“Today, the House of Representatives approved an important measure that would ensure a critical part of our national health network continues to perform a vital service in preventing deaths from the ingestion of poison,” said Rep. Towns.

H.R. 5937 was introduced by Rep. Towns and passed on the House floor by a wide margin of 400-11. The Poison Center Support, Enhancement, and Awareness Act of 2008 will establish and evaluate best practices in the United States for poison prevention, poison center outreach, and emergency and preparedness programs; develop and implement standard patient management guidelines for commonly encountered toxic exposures; improve national toxic exposure surveillance; and,  develop, support, and enhance technology and capabilities of professional organizations in the field of poison control to collect national poisoning, toxic occurrence, and related public health data. 

The New York City Poison Control Center receives over 70,000 calls annually.  Additionally, approximately 90% of these exposures occur in the home, and more than half of these calls to poison centers involve children under the age of five. 

Towns concluded, “With people being poisoned by bites and stings, medications or household products, poisoning is a common yet unfortunate incidence that can happen to anyone at anytime and any place.  Our nation’s poison centers provide a tremendous source of comfort, especially to parents of young children, who are vulnerable to toxins in their homes.  I will continue to advocate on behalf this important measure and look forward to fast Senate passage.”

Edolphus “Ed” Towns is a 13-term veteran in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represents the 10th Congressional District of New York.  Over his long career, Rep. Towns has been actively involved in legislative efforts to improve the access and quality of health services for all Americans.

(YWN Desk)

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