I spend a great deal of time urging people to live a healthy lifestyle, and the imagery that one conjures up is of happy, smiling people jogging through our pristine environment. In fact, there are a lot of hidden hazards “out there” - cars, searing sunshine and stingers in the ocean, to mention just a few! But as well as physical hazards, hundreds of Australian are killed each year by poisons!!
In 2008, for instance, there were 622 registered deaths due to accidental poisoning: this represents 0.4% of all registered deaths for that year. This compares with 1330 people who died as a result of deliberate overdosing with a poison or pharmaceutical substance in the same year.
For accidental overdose, it is interesting that 140 deaths were related to exposure to narcotics and hallucinogenic substances as compared to 41 deaths directly attributed to alcohol: so who called them "Recreational Drugs"? But then the social and road trauma associated with alcohol would no doubt swell those numbers considerably.
There are a lot of very nasty toxins and chemicals out there in our environment: just check your garden shed and see for yourself. Even within our houses we have cleaning fluids, caustic detergents, medicines and so on. So here’s link to an Australian website that gives helpful tips for improving home awareness, and what to do in the case of an accidental poisoning.