Some people in the United States have resorted to drinking or gargling diluted bleach and other risky methods to try to find off coronavirus, a new survey says. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report finds that 8% of those surveyed say they had tried either method in the previous month. The survey of 502 adults, conducted in May, found that 39% reported engaging in risky cleaning practices to try to prevent catching coronavirus, the CDC says.
The survey showed that 19% tried washing fruits and vegetables in bleach, while 18% tried bathing with household cleaners or disinfectants. Another 10% tried rinsing with disinfectants or detergents, and 6% inhaled vapors from cleaning products. According to the CDC, 25% of those surveyed reported adverse health effects attributed to unsafe cleanings, such as nose, sinus, skin or eye irritation, dizziness, nausea, and breathing problems. Another 60% of those surveyed reported cleaning or disinfecting their homes more frequently than usual, which the CDC does recommend.
But the survey found that many were unclear on safe cleaning practices. For example, 65% did not know that you should not mix bleach with vinegar, and 42% did not realize that mixing bleach with ammonia can be deadly. But 64% did know to wear eye protection while cleaning, and 71% knew about wearing gloves.