The majority of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States do not involve children eating drain cleaner or floor wax. Those dying are older people, young adults for the most part, and the cause of death is drugs.
The national Centers for Disease Control said Thursday that 5,740 unintentional poisoning deaths were reported in 1986, the latest year for which statistics are available - a jump of more than 1,000 from the 4,331 reported in 1980.While 2,492, or 58 percent, of 1980's 4,331 accidental poisoning deaths were because of drugs, by 1986 that figure had jumped to 73 percent, or 4,187 out of 5,740.
Over the same period, other poisoning deaths went down. The number of accidental poisoning deaths from non-drug solids and liquids fell from 597 to 544, and fatal accidental gas poisonings fell from 1,242 to 1,009.