Toxic data: 40,000 cases of poisoning logged in 2020

Venomous creatures, including snakes, were behind 1.2% of cases flagged. © Keystone/ Valentin Flauraud

Over half of all cases reported last year involved children who accidentally ingested toxic substances. Overall, the number of cases rose by 2% on 2019.

This content was published on January 7, 2021 - 17:49

Some 40,000 cases of poisoning were logged in 2020 by the Tox Info SuisseExternal link organisation, which has been providing advice – emergency and preventative – to citizens since 1966.

Of these, over half (54%) involved children, the large majority of whom (84%) still hadn’t started school. Medicines (35.8%), household products (25.3%) and plants were responsible for almost three-quarters of all cases.

Tox Info Suisse said that while cases involving children are generally accidents, the majority of adult problems stem from suicide attempts (69%) and substance abuse cases (14%).

Once again, a large amount of consultations (806) were offered to people who poisoned themselves with bad mushrooms. Mushroom-gathering is a popular Autumn activity in Switzerland, though not without (growing) danger.

Overall, Tox Info Suisse said, the number of consultations rose by 2% on 2019; the number of views of the group’s website, on the other hand, jumped by 28% to 645,000.

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