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Officials warn of disinfectant dangers

Posted at 8:44 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 22:14:19-04

Constantly cleaning and disinfecting items is a top priority for many people throughout the country.

"We are using these products more, and that means more people are exposed to more chemicals," said Dr. Morrissey with the Central Texas Poison Center.

That exposure is causing an increase in reported poisoning cases.

Poison control centers nationally received over 45,000 calls in the first three months of this year. That is a 20% increase compared to 2019.

Some of the cases involve people ingesting disinfectants on purpose. Then last week, these remarks by the president.

"And then I see the disinfectant, which knocks it out in a minute, and is there we can do something with that like an injection inside," said President Trump.

The president later said he was being sarcastic. However, Dr. Morrissey says those products should never be ingested.

"There is no evidence that these cleaners work on non-hard surfaces like your skin or tissues. They are intended for cleaning surfaces in your home," he said.

It's poison in your body and will create more harm than good, according to the doctor.

"Irritating the tissues in your mouth and your esophagus causing vomit, nauseous and irritation," he said.

Poison Center educator Tommie Ferguson says no matter the intent, the comments spread online is creating an environment that can lead to accidents.

"We have children on social media. We have special needs, and we don't want to post things that some people may want to try," said Ferguson.

Ferguson says she hopes people will read the labeled precautions and always be careful when using dissecting products. In addition, she says it's important for parents to find a place where they can lock their cleaning products so their children won't come across them.

Click HERE for more information or call 1-800 - 222- 1212 for immediate help.