The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that nearly half of the American citizens who took its survey misused household cleaning products on fruits and vegetables to prevent contacting COVID-19.
Poison control centers registered an increased number of calls regarding disinfectants and household chemicals since the Coronavirus pandemic settled in.
The CDC report states:
“Thirty-nine percent of respondents reported engaging in non-recommended high-risk practices with the intent of preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, such as washing food products with bleach, applying household cleaning or disinfectant products to bare skin, and intentionally inhaling or ingesting these products.”
The survey was carried out on 502 people from the U.S.; it was aimed at understanding people’s knowledge and use of household chemicals, especially disinfectants.
Those who took the survey were aged between 18 to 86, and the average age was 46.
Forty-eight percent of the respondents were men, and most of them identified as non-Hispanic white.
More than half of the respondents claimed they “strongly agreed” that they knew how to clean and disinfect their homes properly, but that might not necessarily be true.
The CDC is aware that there is a need to raise awareness of safe practices regarding household disinfectants.
The CDC stated a severe knowledge gap in the safe use of chemicals among U.S. adult citizens.
The most notable gaps were reportedly discovered “in knowledge about safe preparation of cleaning and disinfectant solutions and the storage of hand sanitizers out of the reach of children.”
The CDC highlighted that cleaning fruits and vegetables with disinfectants can produce severe tissue damage and corrosive injury, so people should avoid it.
Other ongoing studies about the knowledge gaps about cleaning products will hopefully improve the situation over time.