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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Nationally Recognized Mr. Yuk Symbol Kicks Off the New Year with a New Toll-free Number

Mr. Yuk, the mean, green poison awareness symbol that is familiar to people across the country; now has a new 1-800 number that will directly route calls to the nearest Poison Center.

For more than 30 years, Mr. Yuk’s scowling face has been used to educate children about poisons and to promote poison center awareness. Mr. Yuk was the first and is the most widely used poison education symbol in the nation. He can be found in use in 24 states and the District of Columbia.

And now, the 25 counties in the commonwealth currently served by the Pittsburgh Poison Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh can obtain emergency poison information through a new toll-free number. This makes the Pittsburgh Poison Center easily accessible to everyone, no matter where they are free of charge – simply by dialing 1-800-222-1222.

“No matter where a resident of western Pennsylvania is traveling in the United States, remembering a single number will place them in contact with a Poison Center – 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week,” said Dr. Edward Krenzelok, director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The new system automatically reads the area code from of the phone the person is calling from, and immediately connects them with to the local Poison Center in that area. The new toll-free number is designed to assist people who may not have access to the local number or be located in a region that has a poison center.

The Pittsburgh Poison Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh answers calls 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week and serves nearly 4 million residents. The center receives approximately 78,000 poison inquires each year. It also developed a hospital-based poison treatment system involving 70 hospitals in western Pennsylvania, and 12 national businesses and industrial corporations rely on the center for poison consultation. Poison Center staff are highly trained clinical toxicology nurse specialists.

For a free sample of Mr.Yuk stickers with the new toll-free number, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Pittsburgh Poison Center, 3705 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213. For more Mr. Yuk information, log onto Children’s Hospital’s Web site at

Melanie Tush Finnigan, 412-692-5016,

Last Update
June 17, 2008
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Last Update
June 17, 2008