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Poison Parables
Sunday, October 24, 2021


From poisoned Halloween candy myths to the poisoned apple that sent Snow White into a year’s long coma—poison tales have captivated Americans’ attention for decades.

Now, just in time for Halloween the Hailey Public Library will host “Pick Your Poison!” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28.

Forensic chemist Cat Helms will lead an entertaining look at the history of poisonings and  government responses, as well as a primer on how certain toxins work in the body and ways to protect yourself from undesirable exposure.

RSVP for the virtual presentation with   

 This is the first talk of a series concerning the subject.

“Humans have been aware of the power of poisonous substances for thousands of years,” said Kristin Fletcher, the library’s programs director. “Poisons were first used as a hunting tool and, then, from the time of the Roman Empire to the Middle Ages were a popular way for the powerful to do in adversaries.

“Nowadays, the concern is accidental poisoning from common foods and other products. But poisons are also used in pesticides, herbicides, disinfectants, preservatives and even wrinkle reduction.”

 Cat Helms has BS degrees in Psychology from Vanderbilt University and in Forensic Chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University where she served as the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Manager. In 2008 she received a Master of Science degree in Molecular Medicine from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

 Helms also has significant experience as a science and math tutor and currently owns Cat Academy Tutoring, which provides local academic support and study strategies in math and science to middle and high school students.


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