459 INCREASED PLANT INGESTIONS 1963–1977: A PROBLEM OF HOME SAFETY ASSOCIATED WITH THE BACK TO NATURE MOVEMENT

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Abstract

This study examines if the “back to nature” movement which started in the 1960s has resulted in increased buying of plants by the American public and if there has been a concomitant increase in plant ingestions. Sales of retail nursery stores for 1963,67,72, and 77 for the United States (US) recorded by the US Dept of Commerce census of retail trade are: (Amounts in thousands and corrected for inflation to 1967 constant $):

For the same years the incidence of plant ingestions (except mushrooms) in children < 5 years old recorded by National Clearing House for Poison Control Centers is:

These data indicate that the US public has been buying more plants which has altered the home environment. This fact, very likely has resulted in increased plant ingestions by young children. Improved public education regarding safe and poisonous plants may reduce the incidence of poisonous plant ingestions.

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