Calls to poison centers spike during pandemic

National News

(CNN) – A new survey suggested Americans may be putting their health at risk while trying to protect themselves from COVID-19.

The report by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention said about a third of more than 500 Americans surveyed used some kind of risky cleaning practices during the pandemic.

The CDC said people have put bleach in their food while others have gargled or inhaled it. Some have washed their bodies with household cleaning and disinfectant products; none of which is recommended by the agency.

This may explain the sharp increase in the number of calls to poison centers during the pandemic. In the survey, people said they were cleaning more frequently, but only half said they really knew how to clean and disinfect their homes safely.

The CDC recommends people always read the instructions on cleaning products. When cleaning, people should wear gloves or other protective gear and not mix cleaning chemicals.

The CDC also said it will be important to continue efforts to better educate people on how to safely clean while they’re home.

The biggest problem area, said the CDC, was people’s limited understanding of how to prepare cleaning solutions. For example, only 23% of those surveyed knew to use only room temperature water to dilute bleach solutions.

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