Accordingto a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey conductedin May, about 1 in 3 adults used chemicals or disinfectants unsafely whileattempting to protect their homes against the novel coronavirus COVID-19.This follows reports from poison control centers since the pandemic beganthat some people have used harmful methods such as swallowing bleach inan attempt to kill the virus.
Accordingto the CDC, 25 percent of the people surveyed reported adverse health effectsthey attributed to unsafe cleaning, including nose, sinus, skin or eyeirritation, dizziness, nausea and breathing problems.
The AlabamaDepartment of Public Health advocates frequent cleaning and disinfectionof high-touch surfaces as one important way to prevent the risk of exposureto COVID-19. Normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decreasethe amount of the virus that is on surfaces and objects.
Disinfectionusing EnvironmentalProtection Agency-approved disinfectants against COVID-19 canalso help reduce risk. When theseare not available, however, CDC recommends that alternative disinfectantsbe used. Examples include one-third cup of bleach added to 1 gallon ofwater, or 70 percent alcohol solutions.
Follow this guidanceabout the safe preparation, use and storage of cleaners and disinfectants:
· Readand follow label instructions, such as keeping the surface wet for a specificamount of time.
· Wearprotective gear such as gloves and eye protection when using some householdcleaning products.
· Ensureadequate ventilation.
· Washhands with soap and water after using cleaning products.
· Onlyuse water at room temperature to make a diluted bleach solution.
· Keepall disinfectants out of the reach of children and pets.
· Usebleach to wash fruits, vegetables or other food products.
· Spray,bathe in, or apply household cleaning and disinfectant products on skin.
· Inhale,gargle with, or ingest cleaners and disinfectants, including soapy water.
· Mixbleach solutions with vinegar or ammonia.
Mixingthese chemicals can be deadly because it can generate gases that mightresult in severe lung tissue damage when inhaled.
Frequentdisinfection of household surfaces and objects touched by multiple peopleis important in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratoryillnesses in households. Be sure to keep safety in mind to prevent adversehealth effects.
For moreinformation, visit alabamapublichealth.gov.