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Call Poison Control!

Natural and Synthetic Poisons
Haines
1978

Submitter: Who doesn’t want middle school students to learn about poison? This book has an entire chapter dedicated to lead paint and other dangerous products containing lead. Poisons might be interesting, but maybe something with current, accurate information would be better.

Holly: Sure, middle schoolers have all kinds of reasons to need info about poison! This is definitely too old to be useful, though. What a bizarre cover, too. I get that those are all poisonous substances, but it has a very psychedelic feel to it. It’s the coolest thing about the book, actually.

More Poisonous Posts:

HazMat

Betty White (and the mysterious case of the dog poisoner)

 

7 Responses to Call Poison Control!

  • Yes, best to take this one off the shelves.

    From what I’ve seen of most kids, they’d use this as a “how-to” manual.

  • My guess from the “bad acid trip cover” is showing the poisons/toxins that occur naturally in snakes, spiders, etc.
    I could see how that may be interesting to kids. The book doesn’t seem all that unreasonable in my opinion.
    There are still issues with lead if you live in areas where there are old houses/buildings and we occasionally discover
    items made in foreign countries contain lead still. The information about toxins effect on the body is pretty good too.
    The cover is pretty cool, in a creepy way. I would try to get something more current if the date is the concern.

  • I think this book looks pretty interesting. The submitter says the information is not accurate. Poisons still have the same effects on the human body. Maybe update the chapter on lead, since it has been removed from paint and gasoline. And, I bet that clay pitcher that mom made had a lead-based glaze on it. It’s still good to know this information, since it is possible to find pottery and dishes with lead in them.

  • Would it be that the colorful clay pitcher had lead in the paint that leached out into the fruit juice? Alas, some of these poisons are still around and people are still ignorant of the consequences…

  • That pronunciation guide is dreadful! Were there no editors even in 1978?

  • Actually, this book looks very interesting. The pages on view were informative and made me want to keep reading. I’m guessing that the main problem with this book is that it looks outdated, which means that a middle-schooler won’t touch it at all. I doubt whether the information from 1978 is misleading, though. The elements haven’t changed (although new ones are always being discovered), and it seems to me that it would be good for kids to be aware of dangers in their environment (such as lead poisoning, for example).

  • There have actually been huge advances in toxicology since 1978. Which I believe is also the year lead paint was banned in the US. Yes, there are still lead-painted surfaces around, but the guidance (and the regulations) on how to handle lead-paint removal has been updated.

    If you want just two examples of chemicals we now handle with much more caution than we did back then: mercury. asbestos.
    (Remember mercury thermometers, and playing with mercury in school?)

    The chemistry of pesticides has changed greatly since 1978. Our knowledge of the toxicity of plastics and fire retardants has changed, too.

    So if this is a popular book, update it.