Palmetto Poison Center seeing shift in calls

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Poison centers across the country have had nearly 50 thousand calls related to cleaner and disinfectant exposure from January until March of this year.

Palmetto Poison Center tells News13 they have also seen an increase in calls related to the same chemical exposures.

To help prevent the spread of Covid-19, the CDC highly suggests washing your hands for 20 seconds and disinfect everything from cell phones to groceries.

The Palmetto Poison Center compared the state’s reported exposures from February to April of this year to the same time frame in 2019.

February, around the time of the first U.S. case, had a 100 percent increase in disinfectant poisoning. March had an alarming 400 percent increase and a 300 percent increase in the month of April.

Surprisingly, there wasn’t an increase in the number of calls, but an increase in the type of calls related to disinfectant exposures.

The center receives various poison-related calls including snake bites and carbon monoxide inhalation.

Jill Michels, Managing Director at Palmetto Poison Center said that there’s been a change in substance of poison reports.

“The substances have changed a little bit and we’ve seen a whole spike in disinfectant, bleach, and hand sanitizer calls,” Michels explained.

Bleach and hand sanitizer are the most common products related to the increase in accidental poisoning reports throughout South Carolina.

Michels also says that poisoning includes inhalation, ingestion, and chemical contact on the skin and eyes.

Exposure to disinfectants and cleaners can be prevented. For tips and more information on how to carefully use and store cleaning supplies visit Palmetto Poison Center‘s website.

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