NC Poison Control urging caution with increase use of household cleaning product

Updated: Apr. 28, 2020 at 1:00 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With everyone trying to keep their homes clean during the coronavirus pandemic, the North Carolina Poison Control (NCPC) has seen an increase in exposure.

According to a release, in March 2019, NCPC received 454 calls about cleaning products. In March 2020, the center received 682 calls—a 50 percent increase. NCPC is cautioning people to use cleaning products as directed on the label to avoid a poisoning exposure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that poisonings were up 20 percent in the first three months this year compared to the same period in 2018 and 2019. Roughly 40 percent of calls this year were about poisonings in children age 5 or younger, but increases were seen in all age groups.

The most used household chemicals include bleach, disinfectants, laundry cleaners and other kitchen cleaners.

To prevent harmful exposure and poisoning, the NCPC recommends:

  • Store cleaning products up and away from children.
  • NEVER swallow or inject cleaning product
  • Don’t mix chemicals.
  • Don’t confuse surface cleaning wipes with personal care wipes. While they may look alike, surface wipes contain harsh chemicals that can damage the skin.
  • Follow all instructions on the label, especially protective equipment like gloves

If you have any questions or suspect someone in your household might be poisoned by household cleaner or other ingestion you call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

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