Nearly 40% of Americans misused cleaning products trying to kill COVID-19, CDC finds

By Anuja Vaidya for Becker’s Hospital Review

About 39 percent of Americans report misusing cleaning supplies to prevent coronavirus transmission, including using bleach on food, a new survey shows.

The survey, conducted by the CDC, polled 502 U.S. adults in May.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents reported intentionally engaging in at least one high-risk practice not recommended by CDC for preventing COVID-19 transmission, including applying bleach to food items to sanitize them (19 percent); using household cleaning and disinfectant products on hands or skin (18 percent); and misting the body with a cleaning or disinfectant spray (10 percent). About 4 percent reported drinking or gargling with diluted bleach solutions, soapy water and other cleaning and disinfectant solutions.

About 25 percent of respondents reported at least one adverse health effect that they believe resulted from using cleaners or disinfectants, including nose or sinus irritation (11 percent); skin irritation (8 percent); eye irritation (8 percent); or dizziness, lightheadedness or headaches (8 percent).

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