According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey conducted in May, about 1 in 3 adults used chemicals or disinfectants unsafely while attempting to protect their homes against the novel coronavirus COVID-19. This follows reports from poison control centers since the pandemic began that some people have used harmful methods such as swallowing bleach in an attempt to kill the virus.
According to the CDC, 25 percent of the people surveyed reported adverse health effects they attributed to unsafe cleaning, including nose, sinus, skin or eye irritation, dizziness, nausea and breathing problems.
The Alabama Department of Public Health advocates frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces as one important way to prevent the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decrease the amount of the virus that is on surfaces and objects.
Disinfection using Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants against COVID-19 can also help reduce risk. When these are not available, however, CDC recommends that alternative disinfectants be used. Examples include one-third cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70 percent alcohol solutions.
Follow this guidance about the safe preparation, use and storage of cleaners and disinfectants: