The Toxicological Information Service (SIT) of the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences, Belonging to the Ministry of Justice, it has detected an increase in the incidence of telephone consultations for poisonings managed by its doctors and related to the mixture of various cleaning products in homes throughout this month.
SIT doctors have attended 11,337 telephone consultations during the month of March and the first two weeks of April, which represents an increase of 1,655 calls compared to the same period in 2019. Specifically, 1,846 telephone consultations for poisonings have been made related to the use of bleach and other surface disinfectants (they account for 55.6% of cleaning products), highlighting the fact that in 26.1% of cases bleach has been mixed with other products (ammonia 53 , 6%, salfumant 11.2%, vinegar 3.5%, alcohol 2.9%, antiscale 3.1%, household cleaner 2.1% and dishwasher 4.3%).
This increase seems to be related to the current desire to eliminate the coronavirus in the domestic environment. However, the association of various household cleaning products may be responsible for toxicological symptoms, both at the respiratory level with symptoms such as rhinitis, pharyngeal irritation, laryngeal irritation, cough or dyspnea, and dermatological with symptoms related to skin irritation, itching , flushing or inflammation.
In the case of the mixture of lyes with ammonia, which is the most common, a chemical reaction occurs that generates a gas called chloramine (NH2Cl), which is highly toxic, and when it comes into contact with our mucosa, it decomposes to produce hydrochloric acid that is toxic and highly corrosive, causing irritation of the mucosa and burns on the skin.
Therefore, as a National Antitoxic Center that watches over the safety of citizens, the Toxicological Information Service recommends, to prevent this type of poisoning, avoid mixing cleaning products and continue the recommendations established by the Ministry of Health for cleaning in the home and prevention of infections by Coronavirus.
The Toxicological Information Service works 24 hours a day uninterrupted 365 days a year on the phone 915620420.