Tammy Noble, a registered nurse, and spokeswoman for the Iowa Poison Control Center, says under no circumstances should anyone inject bleach or a disinfectant. “That could actually be very harmful by injecting that into your bloodstream,” Noble says. “We don’t even recommend using disinfectants or bleach products on human skin because they can be very dangerous, cause burns to the skin, and lots of irritation.”
Noble says the Sioux City-based hotline has taken -no- calls about this topic, but since the pandemic began, there has been an increase in calls about a variety of problems related to hand sanitizers, bleach and disinfectants. Noble says, “Callers are usually reporting exposures because they accidentally swallow it or sometimes the adults, while they’re cleaning, are inhaling the fumes from it, or they’re ending up with eye or skin exposures.”
If you’ll be using any of those types of chemicals, Noble says to read and follow the directions carefully and keep the area well ventilated by opening doors and windows. “If you do breathe in too much of the fumes, oftentimes people will feel irritation in their nose, their throat, their lungs,” Noble says. “Sometimes, people can have difficulty breathing or tightness in their chest.”
Never mix bleach with ammonia or other chemicals or products, including vinegar, as it can create a toxic gas. Noble also reminds Iowans to store chemicals up and away, out of reach of children. The Iowa Poison Control Center is open around the clock, every day at 1-800-222-1222.