Americans are drinking bleach and dunking food in it to prevent COVID-19

BleachAdina Firestone

Americans are doing more housecleaning and disinfecting amid the COVID-19 pandemic and many are turning to wild and dangerous tactics—like drinking and gargling bleach solutions.

Back in April, the agency noted an unusual spike in poison control center calls over harmful exposures to household cleaning products, such as bleach. The timing linked it to the spread of the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (not statements by President Trump). But to get a clearer idea of what was behind the rise, CDC researchers set up an online survey of household cleaning and disinfection knowledge and practices.

In all, they surveyed 502 US adults and used statistical weighting to make it representative of the countrys population. The findings—published Friday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report—are stunning.

Overall, 60 percent said they were doing more cleaning and disinfecting amid the pandemic and 39 percent admitted to doing at least one non-recommended cleaning practice the CDC considers high risk.

The most common risky practice was washing fruits, vegetables, and other foods in bleach solutions. A total of 19 percent said they did this. From there, 18 percent said they used household cleaners—not hand soap—to wash their hands and/or other body parts. Ten percent said they misted themselves with household cleaners and disinfecting products.

  • 39% of respondents reported a high-risk cleaning practice CDC
  • Knowledge of safe cleaning practices CDC

Most concerning, 6 percent of respondents said they intentionally inhaled the fumes of household cleaners, including bleach. And 4 percent of people reported gargling or drinking household cleaners, soap solutions, and bleach solutions.

Unsurprisingly, 25 percent of respondents also reported unpleasant health effects from exposures to cleaning products, such as dizziness, skin irritation, nausea, and breathing problems.

On a set of questions about safe cleaning practices, theRead More – Source