Illinois Poison Center warns against ingesting disinfectants or chemicals

Health News

CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WMBD) — Illinois Poison Control says it saw a 30 percent increase in exposure calls from cleaning supplies and disinfectants from March 1 to April 12.

As people continue to disinfect surfaces during the pandemic, IPC wants to keep families safe.

At his Thursday press conference, President Donald Trump suggested the impact solar light and disinfectants could have inside the body to kill the COVID-19 virus.

“Then I see the disinfectant, knocks it out in one minute. Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside, or almost a cleaning because you see it gets on the lungs. That you’re gonna have to use medical doctors. Because it sounds interesting,” said President Trump.

Experts say you should not eat, drink, or mix chemicals or disinfectants.

“I would definitely advise against ingesting disinfectants or bleach,” said Carol DesLauriers, the Assistant Vice President at Illinois Poison Center.

In 2019, IPC received about 15 exposure calls a day. So far this year, it’s more than 20.

“People are using more cleaning products and chemicals in their homes,understandably, to protect themselves and their family against COVID-19,” said DesLauriers.

Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Lysol, says its products should only be used for their intended cleaning and disinfecting purposes.

In a statement, the company says:

“Due to recent speculation and social media activity, RB (the makers of Lysol and Dettol) has been asked whether internal administration of disinfectants may be appropriate for investigation or use as a treatment for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).  As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information.”

Poison control says people should keep cleaning supplies in the original container, out of sight and reach from little ones. That can help prevent potential exposures or trips to the emergency room.

90 percent of exposure calls can be treated at home. If you or someone you know believes they have been exposures to potentially harmful substances, call Illinois Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

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