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Americans are gargling with bleach and drinking household cleaners to prevent coronavirus: CDC report

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 6/5/2020 Brian Niemietz
a man brushing his teeth: drinking bleach drink © Provided by New York Daily News drinking bleach drink

A new Centers for Disease Control report indicates Americans are putting household disinfectants including bleach into their bodies because they believe such practices can ward off coronavirus — “preventive” measures are both ineffective and dangerous.

The study, posted by the CDC Friday, explored how much its 502 participants knew about disinfectants and asked how those subjects were using such products to stop the spread of the deadly pandemic that has killed more than 110,000 Americans.

“These practices pose a risk of severe tissue damage and corrosive injury and should be strictly avoided,” the report said. “Although adverse health effects reported by respondents could not be attributed to their engaging in high-risk practices, the association between these high-risk practices and reported adverse health effects indicates a need for public messaging regarding safe and effective cleaning and disinfection practices aimed at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in households.”

Concerns about the ingestion of household cleaning products spiked in April when President Trump speculated during a press briefing that disinfectants, “by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” could someday be used to clean the lungs of people infected with COVID-19.

According to the CDC, 4% of those surveyed, 20 people, admitted they’d drank or gargled household agents including bleach. A staggering 18% of participants confessed they’d applied cleaning agents to their skin. Nearly 10% inhaled fumes from potentially toxic household disinfectants.

The median age of survey respondents was 46, with subjects ranging from 18 to 86 years of age. Those surveyed came from across the country and skewed slightly female.

The CDC said 63% of respondents identified as non-Hispanic white, 16% were Hispanic, 12% were non-Hispanic blacks, and 8% were multiracial or of other races and ethnicities.

The CDC continued to preach safe guidelines.

“COVID-19 prevention messages should continue to emphasize evidence-based, safe practices such as frequent hand hygiene and frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces,” the report said.

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