Cleaning supply related poisonings increase in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic

In a report from Health Canada, there has been a large increase in accidental poisoning due to household cleaning supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Health Canada, a combined 58 percent increase in reported exposure to cleaning products that caused poisoning occurred in February and March, which is considerably higher in comparison to the reports in 2019.

The reported products that are said to have caused these incidents are bleaches, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, chlorine, and chloramine gases. Bleach is the most common of these products to have caused these reported poisonings.

Despite actual proof to prove this reasoning, Health Canada theorizes that the ongoing pandemic that has caused individuals to be more health-conscious has caused this increase, as exposure to these products will be more prevalent as people stock up on cleaning products for their homes.

During February and March, the reports of poison-related incidents totalled to 1,506, higher than last year’s 954.

Experts have commented on the matter, saying that the overuse of said cleaning products can do more harm than good.

“People are using more alcohol, more peroxide, more bleach products and tons of other commercially available products,” said the medical director of Kidcrew Pediatric Medical Clinic Dr. Dina Kulik.

“People are leaving the products out in their kitchens or their bathrooms because they’re using it so much, but this leaves others at risk”.

Kulik has provided tips for people to keep safe while using these products to avoid poisoning one’s self.

Avoid DIY Cleaning Tips 

Unless your following tips from certified professionals, following DIY cleaning tips that involve these types of cleaning supplies can prove to be dangerous if you follow the wrong tips.

If someone were to mix products to create a stronger cleaning solution, it may turn out to be more dangerous than safe depending on what chemicals reside inside these products.

“I’ve seen a lot of people mixing things, following … instructional videos. That could be very dangerous,” Kulik said

Use labels

Most people dilute bleach with water for cleaning and put them in containers like spray bottles for cleaning.

If you practice this method, labelling these solutions will prove to be beneficial and safer for you when cleaning.

Call 911 if you necessary

There are several symptoms one should notice if they’re felt during or after cleaning one’s home.

It is said that symptoms like itchy eyes, choking, gagging, stomach pain, vomiting, and eye irritation can be caused by accidental contact or ingestion of these cleaning supplies.

If you feel these symptoms after cleaning with these products, contact emergency services.

Written by: Angelo Cruz

This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt

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