[108th Congress Public Law 194]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ194.108]

[[Page 2887]]


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Public Law 108-194
108th Congress

                                 An Act

To provide assistance for poison prevention and to stabilize the funding 
of regional poison control centers. <<NOTE: Dec. 19, 2003 -  [S. 686]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Poison Control Center 
Enhancement and Awareness Act Amendments of 2003.>> assembled,

SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 42 USC 201 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Poison Control Center Enhancement and 
Awareness Act Amendments of 2003''.

 SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 42 USC 300d-71 note.>> FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) Poison control centers are our Nation's primary defense 
        against injury and deaths from poisoning. Twenty-four hours a 
        day, the general public as well as health care practitioners 
        contact their local poison centers for help in diagnosing and 
        treating victims of poisoning and other toxic exposures.
            (2) Poisoning is the third most common form of unintentional 
        death in the United States. In any given year, there will be 
        between 2,000,000 and 4,000,000 poison exposures. More than 50 
        percent of these exposures will involve children under the age 
        of 6 who are exposed to toxic substances in their home. 
        Poisoning accounts for 285,000 hospitalizations, 1,200,000 days 
        of acute hospital care, and 13,000 fatalities annually.
            (3) Stabilizing the funding structure and increasing 
        accessibility to poison control centers will promote the 
        utilization of poison control centers, and reduce the 
        inappropriate use of emergency medical services and other more 
        costly health care services.
            (4) The tragic events of September 11, 2001, and the anthrax 
        cases of October 2001, have dramatically changed our Nation. 
        During this time period, poison centers in many areas of the 
        country were answering thousands of additional calls from 
        concerned residents. Many poison centers were relied upon as a 
        source for accurate medical information about the disease and 
        the complications resulting from prophylactic antibiotic 
            (5) The 2001 Presidential Task Force on Citizen Preparedness 
        in the War on Terrorism recommended that the Poison Control 
        Centers be used as a source of public information and public 
        education regarding potential biological, chemical, and nuclear 
        domestic terrorism.
            (6) The increased demand placed upon poison centers to 
        provide emergency information in the event of a terrorist event

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        involving a biological, chemical, or nuclear toxin will 
        dramatically increase call volume.


    Title XII of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300d et seq.) 
is amended by adding at the end the following:

                        ``Part G--Poison Control

            FREE NUMBER.

    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary shall provide coordination and 
assistance to regional poison control centers for the establishment of a 
nationwide toll-free phone number to be used to access such centers.
    ``(b) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed as prohibiting the establishment or continued operation of any 
privately funded nationwide toll-free phone number used to provide 
advice and other assistance for poisonings or accidental exposures.
    ``(c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $2,000,000 for each of the fiscal 
years 2000 through 2009. Funds appropriated under this subsection shall 
not be used to fund any toll-free phone number described in subsection 
                            TO PROMOTE POISON CONTROL CENTER 

    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish a national media 
campaign to educate the public and health care providers about poison 
prevention and the availability of poison control resources in local 
communities and to conduct advertising campaigns concerning the 
nationwide toll-free number established under section 1271.
    ``(b) Contract With Entity.--The Secretary may carry out subsection 
(a) by entering into contracts with one or more nationally recognized 
media firms for the development and distribution of monthly television, 
radio, and newspaper public service announcements.
    ``(c) Evaluation.--The Secretary shall--
            ``(1) establish baseline measures and benchmarks to 
        quantitatively evaluate the impact of the nationwide media 
        campaign established under this section; and
            ``(2) prepare and submit to the appropriate congressional 
        committees an evaluation of the nationwide media campaign on an 
        annual basis.

    ``(d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $600,000 for each of fiscal years 
2000 through 2005 and such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal 
years 2006 through 2009.
``SEC. 1273. <<NOTE: 42 USC 300d-73.>> MAINTENANCE OF THE POISON 
                            CONTROL CENTER GRANT PROGRAM.

    ``(a) Regional Poison Control Centers.--The Secretary shall award 
grants to certified regional poison control centers for the purposes of 
achieving the financial stability of such centers, and for preventing 
and providing treatment recommendations for poisonings.

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    ``(b) Other Improvements.--The Secretary shall also use amounts 
received under this section to--
            ``(1) develop standardized poison prevention and poison 
        control promotion programs;
            ``(2) develop standard patient management guidelines for 
        commonly encountered toxic exposures;
            ``(3) improve and expand the poison control data collection 
        systems, including, at the Secretary's discretion, by assisting 
        the poison control centers to improve data collection 
            ``(4) improve national toxic exposure surveillance by 
        enhancing activities at the Centers for Disease Control and 
        Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease 
            ``(5) expand the toxicologic expertise within poison control 
        centers; and
            ``(6) improve the capacity of poison control centers to 
        answer high volumes of calls during times of national crisis.

    ``(c) Certification.--Except as provided in subsection (d), the 
Secretary may make a grant to a center under subsection (a) only if--
            ``(1) the center has been certified by a professional 
        organization in the field of poison control, and the Secretary 
        has approved the organization as having in effect standards for 
        certification that reasonably provide for the protection of the 
        public health with respect to poisoning; or
            ``(2) the center has been certified by a State government, 
        and the Secretary has approved the State government as having in 
        effect standards for certification that reasonably provide for 
        the protection of the public health with respect to poisoning.

    ``(d) Waiver of Certification Requirements.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Secretary may grant a waiver of the 
        certification requirement of subsection (c) with respect to a 
        noncertified poison control center or a newly established center 
        that applies for a grant under this section if such center can 
        reasonably demonstrate that the center will obtain such a 
        certification within a reasonable period of time as determined 
        appropriate by the Secretary.
            ``(2) Renewal.--The Secretary may renew a waiver under 
        paragraph (1).
            ``(3) Limitation.--In no instance may the sum of the number 
        of years for a waiver under paragraph (1) and a renewal under 
        paragraph (2) exceed 5 years. <<NOTE: Effective date.>> The 
        preceding sentence shall take effect as if enacted on February 
        25, 2000.

    ``(e) Supplement Not Supplant.--Amounts made available to a poison 
control center under this section shall be used to supplement and not 
supplant other Federal, State, or local funds provided for such center.
    ``(f) Maintenance of Effort.--A poison control center, in utilizing 
the proceeds of a grant under this section, shall maintain the 
expenditures of the center for activities of the center at a level that 
is not less than the level of such expenditures maintained by the center 
for the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year for which the grant is 
    ``(g) Matching Requirement.--The Secretary may impose a matching 
requirement with respect to amounts provided under a grant under this 
section if the Secretary determines appropriate.

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    ``(h) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $25,000,000 for each of the 
fiscal years 2000 through 2004 and $27,500,000 for each of fiscal years 
2005 through 2009.

``SEC. 1274. <<NOTE: 42 USC 300d-74.>> RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

    ``Nothing in this part may be construed to ease any restriction in 
Federal law applicable to the amount or percentage of funds appropriated 
to carry out this part that may be used to prepare or submit a 

SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14801 note.>> CONFORMING AMENDMENT.

    The Poison Control Center Enhancement and Awareness Act (42 U.S.C. 
14801 et seq.) is hereby repealed.

    Approved December 19, 2003.


SENATE REPORTS: No. 108-68 (Comm. on Health, Education, Labor, and 
            June 20, considered and passed Senate.
            Nov. 19, 20, considered and passed House, amended.
            Dec. 9, Senate concurred in House amendment.