Accidental home cleaner poisonings spike during pandemic

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Action News coverage of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak

SEATTLE, Washington (WPVI) -- Health officials are seeing a worrisome new trend tied to the coronavirus pandemic: accidental poisonings with home cleaning products.

The Washington state poison center says calls of people overcome by the products are up 23% since a stay-at-home order went into effect there.

The way people clean masks is one new threats.

People are wiping them down with bleach-infused wipes, and passing out.

"The Clorox wipes you can directly inhale the byproduct of that which can be chlorine gas," says Erica Liebelt, of the poison centers.

Others are washing produce with vinegar, bleach, or even hand sanitizer.

Most people had mild symptoms, however, in all, 3614 callers were told to seek medical help.