April 14, 2020
The Illinois Poison Center (IPC) urges people to use caution with cleaning products, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to IPC data, exposures to cleaning products are up 30%, compared to last year, related to novel coronavirus transmission precautions and concerns.
Examples of exposures the IPC is managing include:
- People using non-traditional chemicals to wash their hands (e.g. bleach, hydrogen peroxide, wipes, etc.) instead of regular hand soap resulting in rash/irritation and cracked skin;
- People using chemicals (e.g. bleach, wipes, cleaning powders) to wash their groceries, including produce and are then concerned about toxicity upon ingestion;
- Mixing cleaning chemicals together and inadvertently producing toxic gas; and
- Pediatric exposures to cleaning products left open/unattended.
“It is critical that consumers read all cleaning product labels carefully before use and heed any warnings,” says IPC Assistant Vice President Carol DesLauriers, Pharm.D. “While good hand hygiene and household disinfecting efforts are important in the fight against COVID-19, people must remember to use cleaning products for their intended use. If there is any doubt about the safe use of cleaning products, call the IPC at 800-222-1222 for guidance.”
Read more in an IPC press release.