Are You Using Cleaning Products Safely? Calls to Poison Control Spike Amid Coronavirus

May 3, 2020

As many still remain paranoid over the COVID-19 pandemic, some may be cleaning their homes way too often.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the first quarter of 2020, calls about exposure to disinfectants and cleaning products rose by 20%.

Bruce Anderson, a toxicologist and director of the Maryland Poison Center at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, told Today that during a reasonable time, you would not wash your produce in Lysol or use bleach to clean an orange, so you shouldn't do it now.

With many of these poison control calls, Anderson said more children are being exposed to these cleaning products. People all across the world are buying more cleaning products and leaving them in spots where children can get to them.

Anderson urged parents to keep these products out of reach from children and locked away if possible.

Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said if you bring COVID-19 into your house, it’s because “someone got infected with it outside.” He explained that the virus can stay on your groceries, bags, or clothing.

When you arrive at home from grocery shopping, Benjamin suggested that people leave their shoes outside while changing their clothes and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. People should also wipe down their groceries and phones with disinfectant wipes.

The CDC reported that while cleaning, you should use sprays and wipes that have at least 70% alcohol. Experts say by doing this and washing tote bags and floor mats, this should keep the virus out of your house.

Benjamin said soapy water is enough to eliminate the virus from hands and surfaces.

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