(RxWiki News) Poison centers have seen an increase in calls for poisonings related to cleaners and disinfectants. And this increase may be tied to COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a 20.4 percent increase in calls related to cleaning products and disinfectants.
The CDC and American Association of Poison Control Centers looked at whether the recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19 are tied to the increase in the number of poisoning calls.
The agencies looked at the number of cleaning and disinfectant exposures reported between January and March 2020. They then compared the number of exposures for the same three-month window from 2019 and 2018.
During the January to March 2020 period, poison centers received 45,550 calls related to cleaners (28,158) and disinfectants (17,392).
This number translates to an increase of 20.4 percent from 2019. The percentage increase was 16.4 percent when they compared 2020 to 2018.
Poison centers saw a big increase in the number of calls related to cleaners and disinfectants at the beginning of March. Although the data did not necessarily connect these cases and COVID-19 cleaning efforts, there seems to be an association.
The CDC stated that the increase in calls occurred in all age groups. However, children 5 years old and younger made up a large portion of the total calls.
One case the CDC listed was that of a woman who soaked her fresh produce with 10 percent bleach solution, vinegar and hot water. She experienced difficulty breathing, coughing and wheezing. She was admitted to the hospital and treated for hypoxemia and wheezing. She was able to go home after a few hours.
Another case involved a young child who accidentally got into a 64-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer (the actual amount she ingested was not known). The child became dizzy and fell. They found high levels of alcohol in her blood. The child was admitted to the hospital (ICU) and treated. She was discharged after 48 hours.
The CDC recommends the following when cleaning:
- Follow all product label directions
- Never mix chemicals
- When handling and cleaning, wear protective gear like gloves
- Use cleaning substances only in areas with good ventilation
- Store chemicals out of reach of kids and pets
If you have any questions, contact your health care provider.