Privacy Policy

The poison control experts who have developed , value your trust. We want you to be aware of the safeguards we have in place to respect your privacy. This Privacy Policy tells you about the information we gather about you and how we use it.

This Privacy Policy applies only to information collected by the National Capital Poison Center ("NCPC") when you use , www.webPOISONCONTROL.orgwww.poison.org, or the  mobile applications (collectively, the "Sites" and each, a "Site") and does not apply to information that NCPC receives or obtains offline. For the purposes of this Privacy Policy, "you" or "your" shall refer to you as a visitor of a Site. Capitalized terms used but not defined herein shall have the meanings ascribed to them in the Terms of Use, available at www.webPOISONCONTROLorg (the "Terms of Use").

Before submitting information to the Sites, please review this Privacy Policy carefully. BY USING OR ACCESSING THE SITES, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ACCEPT THE PRACTICES AND POLICIES DESCRIBED IN THIS PRIVACY POLICY. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE, PLEASE DO NOT USE OR ACCESS THE SITES. By continuing to use the Sites, you certify that you possess the right and power to agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy and to grant us your consent to use the Personal Information (as defined below) provided by or collected from you, as described herein. You also certify that you understand the foregoing permission is irrevocable and perpetual.

It is your responsibility to submit accurate information to the Sites. If you prefer that we not collect any personally identifiable information from you, please do not provide us with any such information. However, you will not be able to use the  tool to find out what to do in the event of an actual poison exposure unless you provide your zip code and email address. We use this information to provide follow-up and optimize your care. When you submit personally identifiable and other information on the Sites, you hereby consent to the collection, use and disclosure of such information as set forth in this Privacy Policy.

Types of personal information we may gather

First and foremost, the Sites gather Personal Information from you in order to provide customized triage and first aid recommendations for poison exposures. "Personal Information" is information that can personally identify you. You will also be asked to provide information specific to the poison exposure, including the substance implicated, the amount swallowed, the age and weight of the exposed person, and the time since the exposure. You will need to provide your zip code so we can get your case to the right local poison center in the event more help is needed. In addition, you will need to provide your email address for follow-up communications from us to help make sure the exposed person gets the right care. You will never be required to enter your name or mailing address, but if we refer you to an emergency room or a hospital we will give you an opportunity to choose to provide your name and the name of the hospital so your local poison center can assist the medical professionals with your care. During the beta phase of any of the Sites, we may request your phone number in order to ensure uninterrupted communication with you.

The following are additional examples of the Personal Information we may gather from you in connection with your use of the Sites:

  • We collect information that you voluntarily provide to allow you to use certain aspects of the Sites or their related services, such signing up for The Poison Post® newsletter. Such information may include, without limitation, your name, address, phone number, credit card information if you choose to make a donation, and/or health and wellness information.
  • When you use the Sites, technological tools, including, without limitation, “cookies” and Google Analytics, collect certain information, as explained in the following section.

We maintain one or more databases to store your Personal Information and poison exposure information and may retain it as reasonably required to fulfill the purposes identified herein. Providing your Personal Information to us is your choice. If you choose not to provide us with certain Personal Information, you may not be able to take advantage of certain Sites or features thereof.

Other information we may gather

When you visit a Site, we may automatically monitor your activity on such Site and collect various categories of general non-personal information, such as browser information, operating system information, search terms used to locate such Site, IP address, the date, time and length of stay, specific pages accessed during visits to such Site, the website that you go to when you leave such Site and any downloading you performed on such Site. This information does not identify or track you personally. We may combine such general information with Personal Information and may use and disclose the combined information as described in this Privacy Policy.

In addition, when you send an email to the NCPC or to , we may retain your email address and the contents of the email you send. This Privacy Policy does not apply to content, business information, ideas, concepts or inventions that you send to NCPC or to . If you want to keep any information private or proprietary, please do not send such information to us.

How we use information

Except as specified in this Privacy Policy, we do not and will not rent, sell, trade or disclose your Personal Information to third parties without your consent. Some specific examples of how we may use your Personal Information are, without limitation:

  • to provide a customized triage and first aid recommendation for a poison exposure that you report on a Site;
  • to send you an email detailing the information you provided to us about a poison exposure and summarizing our recommendations; note that this email may not be secure, so do not use the  tool and do not provide your email if you do not want to receive summary information;
  • to send any and all information you provide about your poison exposure to:
    • the U.S. poison center that serves your state, city or county, so that such local poison center is prepared to assist you if you need additional help;
    • any healthcare provider taking care of the individual with the poison exposure that you reported so that such healthcare provider can provide the best care for the poison exposure case;
    • the American Association of Poison Control Centers National Poison Data System, which conducts public health surveillance, in order to detect new hazards, analyze poisoning trends, and monitor for public health issues, among other things;
    • governmental regulatory and public health agencies seeking to rapidly identify hazards or public health issues to protect the public from these hazards; and
    • manufacturers or industries seeking to monitor product safety (using only Aggregated Data, as defined below);
  • to customize, analyze, adjust and improve the Sites to better meet your needs;
  • to respond to your inquiries;
  • to provide you with The Poison Post®, a free quarterly e-newsletter focusing on poisoning hazards, upon your request;
  • to accept and process your charitable donations to allow the NCPC, a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, to continue to maintain
  • to enforce our user policies and other agreements with you;
  • to provide you with important administrative information regarding the Sites, such as changes to this Privacy Policy, the Terms of Use, or our other policies, and to, more generally, facilitate communication between the NCPC and you; and
  • to prevent fraud and other prohibited or illegal activities.

NCPC may also use your Personal Information to provide you with informational and educational materials related to your health. These materials are not a substitute for the professional judgment or advice of a health care professional. NCPC and webPOISONCONTROL® may provide first aid and triage guidance, but neither one gives medical advice nor does it provide medical or diagnostic services. Your reliance upon any content, information or materials provided or made available by us is solely at your own risk. Always call your local poison control center if you have a serious poisoning or any questions about the first aid or triage recommendations provided on the Sites. And always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

In addition, we may aggregate de-identified User Data (as defined below), and other user information collected by us in connection with your use of the Sites, with non-identifiable anonymous data from other Site users and customers to create anonymous aggregated data that does not identify you or any other user ("Aggregated Data"). NCPC shall solely own all rights in and to any Aggregated Data, and has the irrevocable right to maintain, store, use, disclose or sell such Aggregated Data. NCPC may use Aggregated Data for its internal purposes, including, without limitation, to improve the Sites, and for NCPC's other legitimate business purposes, including, without limitation, to supply market research to strategic partners, advertisers or other third parties, and to provide product safety monitoring data to regulatory and public health agencies and to product manufacturers or distributors. "User Data" means all data or other information provided by you to us for use in connection with the Sites.

How we use cookies and other tracking devices

A "cookie" is a small file or tool stored on a user’s hard drive containing information that allows us to deliver customized information to you. Cookies help us:

  • determine which features and tools you use, and which pages you visit on a Site
  • store certain user information that you previously provided (e.g., username and password)

We use both "session" and "persistent" cookies. Session cookies are temporary bits of information that are erased once you exit your web browser or turn off your computer. Persistent cookies are more permanent bits of information that are placed on the hard drive of your computer and stay there unless you delete the cookie. With most Internet browsers, you can erase the type of cookies we use from your computer hard drive, block our cookies, or receive a warning before our cookie is stored. However, certain features of the Sites may not function properly or be available to you if your browser is configured to disable cookies.

We also use a tool called Google Analytics. Google Analytics tracks typical statistical information about you, such as sites you visit and your IP address and browser. We do not collect or store this information; Google does. To learn more about the terms of use and privacy policy of Google Analytics, click here, and to learn how to opt out of that service, click here.

Disclosure of the information that we collect

We will not disclose your Personal Information without your consent, except as expressly set forth above and as follows:

  • NCPC may retain other companies and individuals to perform functions on our behalf. Such third parties may be provided with access to Personal Information needed to perform their functions, in each case consistent with this Privacy Policy, but may not use such information for any other purpose.
  • We may disclose any information, including, without limitation, Personal Information, we deem necessary, in our sole discretion and without your prior permission, to comply with any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request. We reserve the right to disclose your Personal Information if we believe you have or are violating this Privacy Policy or any other user policy available on the Sites, or in order to protect or defend NCPC’s rights or property, even without a subpoena, warrant or other court order.
  • In the event of a sale, merger, liquidation, dissolution or sale or transfer of substantially all of the assets of NCPC, Personal Information and/or other information collected through the Sites may be sold, assigned or transferred to the party acquiring all or substantially all of the equity and/or assets of the NCPC. In the unlikely event of an insolvency, bankruptcy or receivership, your information also may be transferred as a business asset. By using the Sites and submitting your information to us, you consent to such sale and transfer of your information.

Controlling your information

We are committed to serving the needs of our users and we respect their privacy. If you tell us that you do not want us to use your Personal Information to contact you, we will respect your wishes. However, you acknowledge that, by opting-out of letting us use your Personal Information in accordance herewith, certain Sites or features thereof may no longer be available to you. In addition, we are not responsible for removing your Personal Information from our records or the lists of any third party who has previously been provided your information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Each of our e-mail messages come with a simple "unsubscribe link" that permanently removes your e-mail address from our listserv. Please note that if you use more than one name or email address when communicating with NCPC or using the Sites, you may continue to receive communications from NCPC or webPOISONCONTROL® to any name and/or e-mail address not specified in your opt-out request.

If you have been provided a case number, link and password to access any restricted area of a Site, such as your case record, you are responsible for all actions taken if the case number, link and password are used by you or any third party to whom you make such credentials available. Therefore, we recommend that you do not disclose such case number, link or password to anyone. If your case number, link or password has been compromised for any reason, you should contact us immediately at pc@poison.org. However, please note that this email (pc@poison.org) is not staffed continuously and is not intended for emergency consultations or poisoning questions.

Upon your request, we will deactivate your password and link. However, we will retain in our files the Personal Information that you have provided to us in connection with your use of  solely for the purpose of complying with our legal requirements.

Security

NCPC has implemented physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your information from unauthorized access and use. While NCPC strives to protect your information, no data transmission over the Internet is 100% secure and, consequently, we cannot guarantee the security of any information, nor should you expect that your Personal Information, searches, or other communications with or from the NCPC or  will always remain secure. You should be aware that NCPC has no control over the security of other websites on the Internet that you might visit or interact with even when a link to any such third party site appears on any of our Sites.

In the event of a breach of the confidentiality or security of your Personal Information, NCPC will notify you as necessary so you can take appropriate protective steps. NCPC may notify you under such circumstances using the e-mail address(es) that we have on record for you.

Children's privacy

The Sites are not intended for use by children younger than 13 years of age. We do not knowingly authorize children under the age of 13 to use any of the Sites. NCPC is concerned about the privacy and safety of children when they use the Internet. We will never knowingly request or collect personally identifiable information online from children younger than 13 years of age without prior verifiable parental consent.

Third party links

 and the Sites may include links to third party websites that we do not own or control. We are not responsible for the information collection practices of any website that we do not own or control. We encourage you to review and understand the terms of use and privacy practices of third party websites before providing any information to or through them.

Updates

NCPC may find it necessary to update this Privacy Policy from time to time. When we do, we will post the revised policy and the date of the last revision on our Sites. The modified Privacy Policy will be effective immediately upon posting on the Sites. Your continued use of any Site after the posting of the modified Privacy Policy constitutes your agreement to abide and be bound by it. If you object to any modification, your sole recourse is to stop using the Sites.

California residents

If you are a resident of California, in addition to the rights set forth in this Privacy Policy, you have the right to request information from us regarding any disclosure of Personal Information that we make to third parties for direct marketing purposes. If you wish to make such a request, please send an e-mail to NCPC at: pc@poison.org. Please do not use this e-mail for poisoning questions.

Conditions of use

If you choose to visit a Site, your visit and any dispute over privacy is subject to this Privacy Policy and any other user policy available on such Site, including the Terms of Use. If you have any questions or concerns about privacy or our Privacy Policy, please contact us at: pc@poison.org or write to: National Capital Poison Center, 3201 New Mexico Ave, Ste 310, Washington, DC 20016.

Last updated: Jul 16, 2014

Poisoned? Get Expert Help Online

Don’t guess what you should do. Get accurate answers prepared by poison control experts. This tool will guide you. It’s free. It’s confidential.

HELP ME with a possible poisoning

Subscribe to The Poison Post®

The Poison Post® is a free, quarterly e-newsletter delivering poison prevention tips right to your inbox!

The Poison Post

Poison Statistics

2013 outcome stats promo

View more statistics

Support Us

webPOISONCONTROL® is funded entirely through generous private contributions. Your donation to our 501(c)(3) charitable organization will help us maintain and expand this free service so that others can get life-saving help for poison exposures. 

Donate now