April 28, 2020

Poison Center issues guidance on disinfectants, cleaning products

Since news of the COVID-19 outbreak entered the U.S. public domain, the Michigan Poison Center at the Wayne State University School of Medicine joined other poison centers across the country in disseminating information about the safe use of cleaning products and disinfectants.

Because recent events have led to an increase in exposures to disinfectant and cleaning chemicals, the center advises:

Read and follow the directions and warnings for all products used in your home. 
Keep these products out of the reach of children and vulnerable adults. 

NEVER use cleaning products and disinfectants to:
•    Clean any part of the body.
•    Drink with intent to treat or prevent infections.
•    Inject into the body with intent to treat or prevent infection.

Household and industrial cleaning products, like bleach, are manufactured for use on various surfaces in homes and businesses. Humans and animals exposed to these products may develop minor symptoms, including irritation to the eyes, skin, mouth and stomach. Misuse of cleaning products and disinfectants may cause life-threatening symptoms and permanent long-term health effects.

In the event of accidental exposure to cleaning products or disinfectants:

Ingestion: DO NOT induce vomiting. Rinse mouth with cool water and give water to drink.

Eyes: Rinse eyes for 15 to20 minutes with running water. DO NOT use eye drops.

Skin: Rinse skin for 15 to20 minutes with water.

For persistent pain, contact a health care provider or seek medical care immediately, keeping in mind that seeking care at a hospital emergency room may be delayed due to COVID-19, or call the Poison Center.

If you have questions regarding safe product use, contact your Michigan Poison Center at1-800-222-1222.

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