Upstate Poison Control Center

Department of Emergency Medicine

News and Updates

McNeil Consumer Healthcare Over-The-Counter Products: Recall

McNeil and FDA notified healthcare professionals of an expansion of the December 2009 recall. McNeil Consumer Healthcare has now applied broader criteria to identify and remove all product lots that it believes may have the potential to be affected, even if they have not been the subject of consumer complaints. Consumers who purchased product from the lots included in this recall should stop using the product and contact McNeil Consumer Healthcare for instructions on a refund
or replacement. The affected product lot numbers for the recalled products can be found on the side of the bottle label. Any adverse reactions may also be reported to the FDA's MedWatch Program by fax at 1-800-FDA-0178, by mail at MedWatch, FDA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787, or on the MedWatch website at

The current list of products thought to be affected as of January 15, 2010 is available on the Upstate NY Poison Center's homepage. This list may be modified and changed as more information is available. If you have particular concerns about a product, call the McNeil Consumer Inquiry Line at 1-888-222-6036. If you are having any symptoms, call the Poison Center or your physician and stop taking the suspected products.

Posted on January 15, 2010

Swine (H1N1) Flu in Onondaga County

Onondaga County Department of Health confirmed a single case of swine (H1N1) influenza at a press conference earlier today. For additional information, here is the website for Onondaga County Department of Health.

Posted on April 29, 2009

Swine Influenza Outbreak Alert

In late March and early April 2009, human cases of swine influenza were reported in California and Texas. Swine influenza originated in Mexico. To date, there have been nearly 40 cases in the US in California, Texas and New York City.
The CDC has created a questions and answers section regarding Swine Influenza and can be accessed following this link.
New York State Department of Health has created a special line for Swine Influenza related questions at 800-808-1987.
You can contact your local Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 with any questions.

Posted on April 27, 2009

New York State Department of Health Warns Residents NOT to eat Wild Mushrooms

After an increased number of exposures and poisoning due to mushrooms foraged from the wild this year, the Upstate New York Poison Center alerted the New York State Department of Health. The DOH has issued a press release warning New York State residents to not forage and eat wild mushrooms due to the risk of ingesting potentially poisonous mushrooms.
For the complete press release, go to:

Posted on July 28, 2008

CDC Issues Alert on Ricin

A 57 year old male became ill with an unknown illness in Las Vegas. Days later, ricin was found in the hotel room where the man was staying. There is an investigation underway and it is unclear the connection between the ricin and the 57 year old male. CDC has issued a health advisory on ricin and more information can be found at:

Posted on March 3, 2008

USDA Announces Beef Recall

The USDA announced the largest beef recall in history. An investigation against the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company was initiated after allegations of inhumane handling of cattle. The recall extends for beef sold over a 2 year time frame.
For additional information, go to the USDA homepage or for health concerns, you can contact your regional poison center at 1-800-222-1222.

Posted on February 18, 2008

Congratulations to Brenda Giardino, RN

Brenda Giardino, RN CSPI recently received her BSN from SUNY Utica-Rome. Congratulations Brenda!

Posted on January 4, 2008

Annual Toxicology Teaching Day to be held on November 14, 2007

On Wednesday, November 14, 2007, the Upstate NY Poison Center, SUNY Upstate Medical University Department of Emergency Medicine Presents the 11th Annual Toxicology Teaching Day: A Contemporary Issues Symposium. It will take place at The Genesee Grande Hotel in Syracuse. For more information, contact Rose More (

Posted on November 12, 2007

Consumer Product Safety Commission Announced a Voluntary Recall on Aqua Dots

On November 7, 2007, The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Announced a Voluntary Recall of the product known as "Aqua Dots" due to the presence of a substance that is metabolized to GHB. GHB can cause coma and respiratory depression if ingested.
The CPSC reports two children that ingested Aqua Dots that became ill. For more information, follow this link to the CPSC website and news release.

Posted on November 8, 2007

"Aquadots" containing GHB precursor recalled in Australia

Popular children's toy, known as Bindeez in Australia and Aquadots in the US, has been recalled in Australia. The product contains 1,4-butanediol and is metabolized to gamma-hydroxybutryate (GHB). GHB toxicity includes coma and respiratory depression.
The Australian Poison Information Center have reported two cases of toxicity in children that ingested the product. The product has been recalled in Australia. There are NO confirmed cases of toxicity in the US.
Below is a copy of the press release from the Australian Poison Information Center regarding the recall that has been posted on the Forum of the American College of Medical Toxicology.

AN award-winning children's toy has been recalled because it contains a chemical which turns into a dangerous party drug when metabolised in the body.
Chinese-made Bindeez, which won the 2007 Australian Toy of the Year award at the Melbourne Toy and Hobby fair, contains hundreds of beads which can induce seizures, drowsiness or a coma if eaten.
The beads should contain a non-toxic glue but instead contain the chemical which the body metabolises into gamma-hydroxy butyrate (GHB), also known as fantasy or Grievous Bodily Harm.

All Bindeez products would be removed from sale, Minister for Fair Trading Linda Burney said today, and households with the toy were urged to get rid of it.
"This Bindeez product is Australian Toy of the Year, it is extraordinarily popular," Ms Burney said.
Ms Burney said an investigation into the toy, which is manufactured in Hong Kong, also would look at whether the substitution was deliberate.
Two children in NSW, a two-year-old boy and a ten-year-old girl, have been admitted to hospital in the past ten days after eating the beads.
I hope this information can be disseminated to Poison Centres Around the globe to alert for potential toxicity in other countries
Kind regards,
Andis Graudins
Andis Graudins MB BS, Ph D, FACEM, FACMT
Medical Director, NSW Poison Information Centre
Children's Hospital at Westmead.

Posted on November 7, 2007

Congratulations to Michelle Valerino, RN CSPI!

Congratulations to Michelle Valerino, RN CSPI!!! Michelle has successfully passed the American Association of Poison Centers, Certification Exam for Specialists in Poison Information. She has received the Certification of Certified Specialist in Poison Information. Congratulations, Shelly!

Posted on July 13, 2007

Toothpaste Contaminated with Diethylene Glycol

The FDA reported yesterday that diethylene glycol has been found in certain toothpastes distributed from China. Diethylene glycol is a poisonous compound and has been the cause of many deaths most recently in Panama. Diethylene glycol causes kidney toxicity and nervous system toxicity. For a complete list of potentially contaminated toothpaste products, go to:
Call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 with any questions.

Posted on June 15, 2007

FDA Warns About Contamination of Glycerin with Diethylene Glycol

Posted on May 9, 2007

Diethylene Glycol linked to Counterfeit Glycerin Imported from China to Panama

From China to Panama: counterfeit glycerin containing diethylene glycol resulting in numerous deaths in Panama.
For complete story, go to the link from the NY Times

Posted on May 9, 2007


Congressman Preserves Safety Net for New York Families

Washington, D.C.—New York Congressman Jim Walsh, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, successfully inserted language in upcoming appropriations legislation to restore FY 2007 funding at $23 million for the nation's poison control centers.

Recently, the Health Resources and Service Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had moved to reduce FY 2007 funding by 42%, severely impacting poison control center program operations nationwide. The cuts would have negatively impacted the Upstate New York Poison Control Center at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and the Finger Lakes Regional Poison & Drug Information Center at URMC's Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

“In addition to providing 24/7 hotline services to Upstate New York families, these poison control centers in Syracuse and Rochester provide important outreach and educational services intended to keep our kids safe,” said Walsh. “This proposed reduction in HRSA funding would have resulted in double digit cuts in federal resources provided to our regional centers which service communities in 46 counties in New York State.”

Walsh included the language in the FY 2007 wartime supplemental appropriations bill, which was conferenced in the House and Senate on Monday. Congressman Walsh, as Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-Health and Human Services-Education, was a conferee.

While Walsh anticipates that the current wartime supplemental bill as written will be vetoed by the President, the poison control program language will be included in a subsequent clean wartime supplemental stripped of Iraq timetable language.

Posted on April 26, 2007

Poison Center Celebrates 50 Years at Annual Proclamation Signing

The Upstate New York Poison Center is celebrating 50 years at the Annual Proclamation signing to be held at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Campus Activities Building, at 10:30 on March 19, 2007

Posted on March 19, 2007

Tanker Explosion in Oneida, NY

There have been reports early this morning of a tanker explosion in Oneida, NY. The news is still breaking and there is little information. There are no reported injuries thus far.

Posted on March 12, 2007

Salmonella Linked to Peanut Butter

The FDA and CDC continue to investigate the multi-state outbreak of Salmonella linked to Peter Pan and Great Value Peanut Butter.
For more information, go to the CDC's website at
Discard any jars of peanut butter with the affected lot numbers. If you are experiencing symptoms, contact your physician, your local health department or the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Posted on February 23, 2007

Salmonella Contamination of Peanut Butter

Investigations into the possible source of contamination of peanut butter are ongoing. This has been a multistate outbreak of salmonella poisoning. If you have any questions, call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 or your Local Health Department. If you are experiencing symptoms including fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea, contact your physician.
For complete information, go to the CDC website at

Posted on February 20, 2007

Pills Found at Chuck E Cheese

The Onondaga County Health Department and the Upstate New York Poison Center is warning parents about some medicine found at the Chuck E. Cheese in DeWitt. Health officials said an open bottle of Tylenol was found in the stage area.

Health officials said they think all the tablets were found, but it's possible a few could be missing. They are asking any parents with children under 30 pounds who were at the stage area around 2 p.m. Sunday to call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

Posted on February 19, 2007

Beware of Accidental Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Each year, there are greater than 500 accidental or unintentional deaths due to carbon monoxide. During periods of emergencies and power outages, carbon monoxide poisonings increase because of the use of generators and other alternative heating sources. For more information and prevention tips, go to the CDC's webpage at
The Poison Center is available to answer any and all of these questions and can be reached nationally at 1-800-222-1222.

Posted on January 4, 2007

Cyanokit(R) Approved by FDA for Cyanide Toxicity

The FDA approved a new antidote for cyanide toxicity on December 18, 2006. Cyanokit(R) contains hydroxocobalamin. For more information go to the FDA's website:
For specific questions, contact your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222

Posted on December 18, 2006

Holiday hazards in the home

SUNY Upstate Poison Center experts warn of hazards in homes decorated for the holidays.
For the complete story, go to:

Posted on December 13, 2006

Investigation into Litvinenko's death continues

The investigation into the former KGB spy, Alexander Litvinenko's death, continues to raise more questions. A post-mortem examination was performed on Litvinenko last week and he was buried in London today. The health status of people that he was in contact with prior to becoming ill remains in question. For more in depth information, go to:

Posted on December 7, 2006

2nd person tests positive for radiation

Mario Scaramella reportedly has tested positive for significant amounts of polonium-210, a radioactive substance, that has been linked to the cause of death of former KGB spy, Alexander Litvinenko.
For the complete story, go to:

Posted on December 1, 2006

Gail Banach, MSEd featured on the Today Show

Gail Banach, MSEd, Education Coordinator, of the Upstate New York Poison Center will be featured Live on the Today Show on Wednesday November 29, 2006. She will be representating the American Assocation of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and discussing holiday poisons.

Posted on November 28, 2006

Toxicology Testing and Results for Suicide Victims --- 13 States, 2004

MMWR reports Toxicology Testing and Results for Suicide Victims --- 13 States, 2004
To view the recent edition of the MMWR:

Posted on November 24, 2006

Former Russian Spy, Alexander Litvinenko, Dies in a London Hospital

Former KGB Spy, Alexander Litvinenko, died on Thursday November 23, 2006 in a London Hospital after suffering multi-system organ failure from what doctors believed was secondary to thallium poisoning. After further testing, the cause of death has been determined to be secondary to polonium, a radioactive substance.

Posted on November 24, 2006

Tainted Medications in Panama Results in Deaths

At least 34 people have died in Panama since July 2006 as a result of contamination of common medications, including cough syrup, with diethylene glycol. Contamination with diethylene glycol has historically occurred and most recently in Haiti when acetaminophen was contaminated. Diethylene glycol is a toxic alcohol and causes renal toxicity and neurologic toxicity. For more information, go to the CDC website at

Posted on November 8, 2006

Logo for Upstate New York Poison Center
FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).