An alarming trend is developing as people fight the coronavirus in their homes and offices: More of them are finding themselves ill with chemical exposures and poisonings. The California Poison Control System said they have seen an increase in the number of people calling with concerns over their exposure to disinfectants.”People are at home, they are worried about things being clean to kill viruses. People have been using more cleaning products than usual and maybe mixing them together. And just because people are using more of these products in the home, kids have access to them and are getting exposed that way,” said Justin Lewis, the director of the California Poison Control System’s Sacramento office.Some 262 adults called Poison Control Center in February. In April, that number jumped to 796 adults who reported poisonings.Common concerns included difficulty breathing and skin burns, especially among people who misused or mixed products.”If you mix bleach with products that contain ammonia, it makes chloramine gas. If you mix bleach with a product that contains some kind of acid, then that makes chlorine gas. They are similar, noxious and irritating and cause you to cough and wheeze and gag,” said Lewis.The number of kids reported to the poison control hotline with chemical exposures was also on the rise. Cleaning products being used more often is creating more opportunities for kids to get into them.”A 2-year-old, everything goes in their mouth. That’s how they explore the world. That’s how they learn about things. If they have access to it, they put it in their mouth,” said Lewis.In February, 198 child poisonings had been reported to the center. For the month of April, that number had jumped to 301.The state Poison Control System offered these tips to protect yourself and your family:Use products as directed on the label. Don’t mix multiple disinfectant products together. Make sure to be in a well-ventilated area when using disinfectants. Use the recommended personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles) per the product label. Don’t use cleaning products on the skin or ingest or inject them. Do not use disinfectants on food. Keep household disinfectants out of reach of young children and add child locks to cupboards where disinfectants are stored. Store cleaning products in their original labeled containers. If diluted disinfectants and sanitizers are put in spray bottles, be sure they are clearly labeled and stored out of the reach of children.Know the Poison Control number – 800-222-1222 – and PoisonHelp.org, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Language interpreters are available.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

An alarming trend is developing as people fight the coronavirus in their homes and offices: More of them are finding themselves ill with chemical exposures and poisonings.

The California Poison Control System said they have seen an increase in the number of people calling with concerns over their exposure to disinfectants.

“People are at home, they are worried about things being clean to kill viruses. People have been using more cleaning products than usual and maybe mixing them together. And just because people are using more of these products in the home, kids have access to them and are getting exposed that way,” said Justin Lewis, the director of the California Poison Control System’s Sacramento office.

Some 262 adults called Poison Control Center in February. In April, that number jumped to 796 adults who reported poisonings.

Common concerns included difficulty breathing and skin burns, especially among people who misused or mixed products.

“If you mix bleach with products that contain ammonia, it makes chloramine gas. If you mix bleach with a product that contains some kind of acid, then that makes chlorine gas. They are similar, noxious and irritating and cause you to cough and wheeze and gag,” said Lewis.

The number of kids reported to the poison control hotline with chemical exposures was also on the rise. Cleaning products being used more often is creating more opportunities for kids to get into them.

“A 2-year-old, everything goes in their mouth. That’s how they explore the world. That’s how they learn about things. If they have access to it, they put it in their mouth,” said Lewis.

In February, 198 child poisonings had been reported to the center. For the month of April, that number had jumped to 301.

The state Poison Control System offered these tips to protect yourself and your family:

  • Use products as directed on the label.
  • Don’t mix multiple disinfectant products together.
  • Make sure to be in a well-ventilated area when using disinfectants.
  • Use the recommended personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles) per the product label.
  • Don’t use cleaning products on the skin or ingest or inject them.
  • Do not use disinfectants on food.
  • Keep household disinfectants out of reach of young children and add child locks to cupboards where disinfectants are stored.
  • Store cleaning products in their original labeled containers. If diluted disinfectants and sanitizers are put in spray bottles, be sure they are clearly labeled and stored out of the reach of children.

Know the Poison Control number – 800-222-1222 – and PoisonHelp.org, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Language interpreters are available.

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