Alaska Poison Center receives exposure calls during the pandemic

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Along with the increased use of cleaning products has come a rise in calls to the Alaska Poison Center.

    Alaska families are spending more time cleaning and disinfecting their homes and hands to protect loved ones from COVID-19.

    Bleach, hand sanitizer, and other cleaners and disinfectants work to kill viruses and bacteria. As COVID-19 spread worldwide in early 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention heightened recommendations for proper cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas using household disinfectants and cleaning products.

    Cleaning and disinfecting continue to be important COVID prevention strategies; however, Alaskans should be aware that some products have been recalled. Other products can be poisonous when handled improperly or when adults and children accidentally swallow or touch them.

    During the first six months of 2020, the Alaska Poison Center received 196 calls related to household cleaning and disinfecting products.

    Nearly one out of three calls this year involved exposure to bleach. Almost half of the calls that were related to cleaning and disinfecting products involved children ages 5 or younger. Most calls related to cleaning supply exposures among young children involved bleach (23%) and hand sanitizer (22%).

    Poison control centers can be reached nationwide by calling (800) 222-1222.


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