Corona lockdown; exposure to cleaners and disinfectants on an increase

Swachh Bharat Mission 2 for Cleaning Cities

The number of chemical exposures to cleaners and disinfectants has seen a sharp increase in the United States of America, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said that poison centers received 45,550 exposure calls related to cleaners and disinfectants during January-March 2020, an overall increase of 20 per cent from the same period in 2019. The Centre said that it received 28,158 distress calls with respect to cleaners and 17,392 calls with respect to disinfectants during January-March 2020.

Though the data from National Poison Data System did not show a definite link between exposures and Coronavirus cleaning efforts, there was a temporal association with increased use of these products, the CDC said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the calls to poison centers increased sharply at the beginning of March. Pointing out that there was an increase in total calls across all age groups, the CDC said that exposures among children aged less than five years represented a large percentage. It also said that bleaches accounted for the largest percentage of the increase. The centres received 1,949 calls, which came to 62.1 percent. The next in line are the nonalcohol disinfectants with 1,684 calls received (36.7 percent) and hand sanitizers (1,684 calls; 36.7 percent).

The CDC said the timing of these reported exposures was related to increased media coverage of the Coronavirus pandemic, shortages of cleaning and disinfection products and stay-at-home orders. It also said that improper use, mixing multiple chemical products together, not wearing protective gear and applying in poorly ventilated areas could have led to the increase in distress calls.


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