FAQs - Poison Center COVID-19 Related Surveillance > Poison center are handling similar concerns during this pandemic. The most important take-away messages regarding poison safety at this time include the safe use of cleaning chemicals:
Poison center are handling similar concerns during this pandemic. The most important take-away messages regarding poison safety at this time include the safe use of cleaning chemicals:
Poison centers have received increased number of calls for exposures to hand sanitizers, cleaners and disinfectants. Whenever a product is brought into the home or workplace, it should be used according to manufacturer’s recommendations, stored safely (up and locked away from children or other vulnerable populations) and in an appropriately labeled container. Chemicals should not be mixed together unless recommended on the product. Bleach and other chemicals (such as ammonia and acids) should never be mixed together as these combinations can produce other very toxic compounds. Cleaning compounds (sanitizers, disinfectants) are meant to kill micro-organisms on surfaces – they should never be taken internally by people. Such ill-advised and scientifically unsupported recommendations have led to severe illness and death whenever touted as a cure or treatment over the last few decades in response to frightening infectious threats (whether from AIDS, novel coronavirus, or other concerns). Please see the CDC’s Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and a position statement from clinical toxicology organizations regarding these concerns. The U.S. EPA’s National Pesticide Information Center also provides some important information and definitions.
Chang A, Schnall AH, Law R, Bronstein AC, Marraffa JM, Spiller HA, et al. Cleaning and disinfectant chemical exposures and temporal associations with COVID-19 – National Poison Data System, United States, January 1, 2020-March 31,2020. MMWR 2020;69(16:496-498. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6916e1.htm
Office of Pesticide Programs: List N: Disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Accessed April 27, 2020 at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
Slaughter RJ, Watts M, Vale JA, Grieve JR, Schep LJ. The clinical toxicology of sodium hypochlorite. Clin Toxicol 2019;57(5):303-311.
Watt BE, Proudfoot AT, Vale JA. Hydrogen peroxide poisoning. Toxicol Rev 2004;23(1):51-57.