SOUTH BEND — Data from the poison centers in both Indiana and Michigan show an increase in calls about household cleaners.
We’re told it’s likely due to people using them more to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Experts recommend using household disinfectants to clean surfaces for coronavirus. They also recommend washing your hands frequently. But medical experts at state poison control center are warning you to be smart when cleaning.
The Indiana Poison Control Center saw 417 calls about household cleaners in March. That’s 100 more than they saw last March — and the most cases in a single month.
Michigan breaks it down a little more—showing a 19 percent increase in household cleaning calls in March and a 49 percent increase in April.
There’s been a huge spike in calls regarding disinfectants—more than 3 times as many this April than last year.
Both doctors say most times the caller doesn’t need to go to the hospital.
“Most of the case is resolved and very minor to little affect,” said Dr. Blake Froberg, Indiana University health toxicologist.
Dr. Froberg says never to mix bleach with an acidic or ammonia product when cleaning.
“Both of those things can cause the production of a gas that can cause irritation as well, so something to be aware of.”
The majority of calls are related to kids, so if you have them keep products up high or locked away.
The best advice in using any product is to know what it should be used for.
“Following the manufactures instructions, so using these products in the way they were intended,” said Froberg.
Your state’s poison control center is there to deal with urgent situations for people worried about exposure, but they can also give advice about common chemicals.
After the president’s recent comments about disinfectants, the Michigan center received calls asking about using them.
“Bottom line, do not inject or ingest any of the products,” said Froberg.
Experts also say to be careful with hand sanitizers from distilleries. Since they aren’t as clearly marked, it’s easier to confuse them.
Although calls about household cleaners are up, the overall call volume is down at the center in Michigan.
Michigan Poison Center: (313) 887-0287
Indiana Poison Center: (317) 962-2335