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article imageCDC finds some people gargling with bleach to prevent COVID-19

By Karen Graham     Jun 6, 2020 in Health
To try to kill the coronavirus, some Americans are unsafely using disinfectants and cleaners, including washing food with bleach, using the products on bare skin, and inhaling and ingesting them, federal health officials reported Friday.
In a report published Friday, June 5, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) it was found that over a third of Americans misused cleaners and disinfectants to try to prevent infection by the coronavirus.
The findings were based on an Internet panel survey conducted in May 4, 2020, of 502 adults - and identified gaps in knowledge about safe preparation, use, and storage of cleaners and disinfectants.
According to Stat News, 39 percent had misused the cleaning products, and one quarter reported: “an adverse health effect that they believed was a result” of the products.
The survey’s lead author said it was undertaken following a “sharp increase” in calls to poison control centers for exposure to cleaners and disinfectants during the pandemic. The study does not mention the comments of President Donald Trump in late April when he asked scientists during one of his coronavirus task force briefings whether inserting disinfectant into the bodies of people infected with the virus might help clear the disease, according to Reuters.
Clorex is one bleach brand.
Clorex is one bleach brand.
Adina Firestone
Breaking down the unsafe practices using bleach and other disinfectants, the survey found that 19 percent of those surveyed used bleach on food, 18 percent of those surveyed reported applying cleaning agents directly to their skin, and 10 percent said they'd misted their bodies with a disinfectant spray.
Thankfully, only Four percent drank or gargled with bleach, soapy water, or other cleaning agents. "These practices pose a risk of severe tissue damage and corrosive injury and should be strictly avoided," the report's authors wrote, reports NBC News.
The bottom line? The survey found that many people did not know how to safely use different cleaning products, even though most said they knew how to properly store and use them.
Only 25 percent knew that only room temperature water should be mixed with bleach, and a third knew not to mix bleach with vinegar. Most people, over two-thirds, knew to lose eye protection and gloves when using some cleaners.
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