[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 117, 108th Congress, 1st Session]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

117 STAT. 2888

Public Law 108-194
108th Congress

An Act

To provide assistance for poison prevention and to stabilize the funding
of regional poison control centers. <>

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress <> assembled,


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


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

[[Page 2889]]
117 STAT. 2889

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


``(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

``(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.

``(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.

[[Page 2890]]
117 STAT. 2890

``(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. <> 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.

[[Page 2891]]
117 STAT. 2891

``(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.


``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


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.