Cleaning chemical risks

Posted at 3:40 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 10:57:08-04

A new survey suggests Americans may be putting their health at risk while trying to protect themselves from COVID-19. We have all been told to disinfect high touch places to help slow the spread of the virus, but a recent report from the CDC says about a third of more than 500 Americans surveyed have used some kind of risky cleaning practice during this pandemic.

The CDC says people have put bleach in their food, others have gargled or inhaled it and some have washed their bodies with household cleaning and disinfectant products. None of those is recommended by the agency but may explain the sharp increase in a number of calls to Poison Centers.

In the survey, people said they were cleaning more frequently, but only about half said they really knew how to clean and disinfect their homes safely. The CDC recommends that people always read the instructions on cleaning products, wear gloves, or other protective gear while cleaning and do not mix chemicals. The CDC also said it will be important to continue efforts to better educate people on how to safely clean while they are home.

The CDC says the biggest problem area was people's limited understanding of how to prepare cleaning solutions. For instance, they say only 23 percent of those surveyed knew to use only room temperature water to dilute bleach solutions.