Hypochlorite fanatic? Beware of poisoning Hypochlorite fanatic? Beware of poisoning

Upon the arrival of a delivery or package to your house, it is common to have a disinfection brigade with your family in an effort to prevent any possible infections. And while precautions are necessary, it must also be understood that indiscriminate use of these substances can cause greater problems.

The National Health Institute of Colombia (INS) issued a press release stating that poisoning from the use of common cleaning substances such as hypochlorite, ammoniums, detergents, creolin, disinfectants, and boric acid is increasing. “In general, exposure occurs because people tend to believe urban legends or false news related to supposed medicines and treatments to combat COVID-19,” commented Franklin Prieto, Director of Epidemiological Surveillance of the INS.

He stated that consuming this type of substances can cause irreversible damage to the body, and even death.

In the event of possible hypochlorite poisoning, it is necessary to act quickly, following the guidance of health professionals. The Medline website offers these recommendations:

  •   Seek immediate medical assistance. Do not make the person vomit unless instructed to do so by a professional.
  •   If the chemical came into contact with the skin or eyes, rinse with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes.
  •   If a person ingests the chemical, give them water or milk immediately, unless the doctor or paramedics state otherwise. Avoid giving the person water or milk if they have problems swallowing when having convulsions, vomiting, or are unconscious.

Remember that surfaces touched often should be cleaned with water and detergent at least once per day, according to the PAHO website. Then apply a 0.1% sodium hypochlorite-based disinfectant solution, with safe concentrations and prepared according to all protocols, as indicated on the above page.

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