Washington State Poison Center reports increased poison exposures during COVID-19 pandemic

The CDC has set up guidelines to help keep us safe during this Coronavirus pandemic. As most of us know, those include washing our hands throughout the day, wearing face masks when out in public, and cleaning our homes more often.

 

However, there are some dangers associated with our household cleaning products. Store shelves have been cleared of disinfectants and sanitizers as everyone at home takes guidance from the CDC on keeping surfaces clean.

 

Now, the Washington Poison Center is reporting exposures to poison have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

According to WAPC, this year, exposures from misuse of household cleaning products, bleach, and rubbing alcohol have increased 53% compared to last.

 

The CDC says cleaners or disinfectants can be harmful if someone uses too much, if several products are mixed together, if someone isn’t wearing protective gear, or it’s applied in poorly ventilated areas.

 

The CDC also reports a twenty percent increase in calls to poison centers since March, however WAPC says their call volumes have not changed.

 

“Any exposure with an adverse effect in my mind from these products is potentially preventable,” Executive and Medical Director, Erica Liebelt MD said.

 

WAPC says you can prevent poisoning by wearing gloves when you’re cleaning, opening doors for ventilation, not mixing cleaning products, and storing cleaners and disinfectants out of reach from children.

 

In the majority of cases, you can also save a trip to the emergency room and call WAPC any time to get guidance from a nurse or pharmacist.

That number is free and always available to you at 1-800-222-1222.

For more information on poison exposure, you can visit WAPC’s website here.

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