28.5%—The drop in telephone calls placed to the U.S.'s 55 poison-control centers between 2009 and 2013, according to the most recent report by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The organization says the steady decline could be the result of the falling U.S. birthrate or growing preference for text messages over phone calls. It might also suggest that more Americans are instead searching the Internet for health advice—even in emergencies. Staffers still field about three million calls a year, picking up the phone every 14 seconds on average. In 2013, 1,218 people with cases logged at poison-control centers died from direct exposure to a poison or drug.
By the Numbers
The five substances that generated the most calls in 2013 were:
COSMETICS/ PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS