Americans Are Poisoning Themselves In Large Numbers With Bleach, Hand Sanitizer And Quack Covid Cures Like Ivermectin

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), accidental poisonings due to misuse of cleaning products or unproven Covid treatments is still much higher than pre-pandemic levels. This worrying trend continues as health officials attempt to counter misinformation.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there were more calls to poison control centres. getty

The Key Facts

According to Poison Control, there were 1,143 calls regarding ivermectin exposure between January 1st and August 31. This is 184% more than the number of calls received in the same period in 2019. Most of these calls459 were about ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug falsely claimed to be a cure for Covid-19. They also included reports that people had taken versions meant for livestock. Nearly 17,000 poison control calls were made regarding disinfectants. There were nearly 23,000 for hand sanitizer, and almost 30,000 for bleach. These numbers are up by 23%, 58%, and 7% respectively from the same time in 2019. Although most poison control calls regarding bleach and disinfectant were made by very young children (0-5 year olds), calls for ivermectin were more common among adults, especially those between 40-59 years.

Important Background

A number of factors have contributed to a spike in poison control hotlines calls. Children were more likely to have accidents due to cleaning supplies. Cleaning and disinfection products can also cause skin irritations and damage. Chemicals such as bleach and vinegar can combine to create deadly chlorine gas. High alcohol hand sanitizers can cause death if they are ingested, especially if the product contains methanol or have a high alcohol content. People have called poison control after trying unproven preventatives and cures for Covid-19, such as ivermectin. After then-President Donald Trump spoke of hydroxychloroquine, calls regarding it jumped by twofold. Also, people calling poison control about drinking bleach or disinfectants rose after he suggested injecting them to combat the virus.

What we don't know

The AAPCC data does not include all exposures to hazardous substances. The actual figures will likely be higher than the reported amount.

Big Number

43% According to the latest available data, this is the percentage of poison control cases involving children younger than 5 years. The majority (77%) of poison control cases were accidental and nearly all (92%) occurred in a residential setting. The most common calls were about prescription painkillers (11%), followed closely by household cleaning chemicals (7%), personal care products (6%), and antidepressants (5%).

Call the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison control centre. Text POISON to 7797979 to save the number on your mobile phone.

Continue reading

Ivermectin frenzy - The advocates, anti-vaxxers, and telehealth companies driving the demand (Guardian

Internet Vigilantes Fighting Ivermectin Misinformation with Memes and Explicit Horse Cartoons (Forbes).

Ivermectin Widely Used To Treat Covid-19, Despite Not Being Proven (Forbes).

Demand for Deworming Drugs for Covid is Rising Despite Lack of Evidence (NYT).

These Are the States That Search Most for Unproven Covid Cure Ivermectin. (Forbes).

According to Forbes, some Americans are still drinking bleach as a Coronavirus cure (Forbes).

Calls to poison centers explode after President's comments about using disinfectants to treat Coronavirus (Forbes).

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