Health Canada says there has been a clear jump in the number of accidental poisonings from household cleaners since the novel coronavirus pandemic began.
According to the agency, February and March combined had a 58 per cent increase in the number of reported exposures to cleaning products and disinfectants compared to the same months in 2019.
These include poisonings by exposure to bleaches, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, chlorine and chloramine gases. The most common reports involve bleach, which made up 38 per cent of calls to poison centres in March.
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While it’s difficult to prove a direct link, Health Canada believes the spike is due to increased exposure to these products in the home because people are stockpiling items during the pandemic and cleaning more due to fear of spreading COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
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The agency says that people spending more time at home due to the pandemic is also a considerable factor.
There has been a similar spike in accidental poisonings seen in the U.S.,