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Calls To Poison Centers Up Amid COVID-19

Red and gray 3D model of COVID-19. Looks like a sphere with red trees on it.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
As public health officials encouraged cleaning and disinfecting to help combat the spread of COVID-19, calls to poison centers across the country increased.

As public health officials encouraged cleaning and disinfecting to help combat the spread of COVID-19, calls to poison centers across the country increased, a report Monday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Calls to poison centers for exposure between January and March totaled 45,550, an increase of 20.4 and 16.4 percent over calls made to the centers during the same time frame in 2019 and 2018, respectively, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report indicates.

The analysis tracks calls for exposure to cleaners and disinfectants. It is based on data submitted to the National Poison Data System by 55 poison centers in the country.

The report does not contain a breakout of state data.

The Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa did not immediately return a request for comment from The News Service of Florida.

Bleaches accounted for 62.1 percent of the increase in calls related to cleaners. Non-alcohol disinfectants and hand sanitizers accounted for the largest percentages of the increase among disinfectants, each accounting for 36 percent of the increased calls.

“Although the NPDS (National Poison Data System) data do not provide information showing a definite link between exposures and COVID-19 cleaning efforts,” the report said, “there appears to be a clear temporal association with increased use of these products.”