Michigan Poison Center Warns Of Disinfecting Product Dangers

Cleaning supplies
By WWJ Newsradio 950

(WWJ) A weighty warning from state poison control: Use caution when using cleaning products. 

The Michigan Poison Center says the number of chemical exposure calls are going up as people try to sterilize amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the shortage of household cleaning products, people are now buying industrial cleaning products and disinfectants to use in their homes. As a result, the center has received double the calls about accidental exposures to these products — including cleaning and disinfecting liquids and wipes.

As people are spending more time at home, this increases the risk of accidental exposure to these products.

"We ask everyone to read and follow the directions listed on packaging so that the products will be effective in keeping you and your loved ones safe," the center said.

Here are some tips/important notes from the  Michigan Poison Center:
  • Cleaning/disinfecting products can cause harm to skin, eyes, mouth and stomach.
  • Industrial-strength cleaning products and disinfectants are more poisonous than typical household cleaning and disinfecting products.
  • Ingesting or mishandling industrial-strength cleaning and disinfecting products can cause severe burns to the stomach, eyes and skin.
  • Never mix cleaning products. This does not make them more effective, and can release toxic gases causing breathing problems.
  • Store these products out of reach of children and anyone else who may not understand the products’ ability to hurt them.
  • Use child safety latches and locks on cabinets to help prevent accidental exposure to cleaning and disinfecting products.
  • Always keep cleaning and disinfecting products in their original containers.
  • Do not put disinfecting wipes near baby wipes, and never store cleaning and disinfecting products in the refrigerator.
  • Most unintentional exposures to cleaning and disinfecting products cause mild symptoms, such as irritation to the skin, mouth and eyes. However, some of these products are more dangerous if not handled properly.
  • If someone in your family drinks cleaning or disinfecting products, do not force vomiting; instead, call Poison Control immediately.
  • Skin and eyes can be rinsed for 15 to 20 minutes in the shower or sink.
  • Anyone who still has symptoms after rinsing should contact a health care professional or the Poison Center right away.

The Michigan Poison Center can be reached all day, every day at 1-800-222-1222.