Americans are putting household disinfectants including bleach into their bodies in a bid to ward off coronavirus, despite such “preventive” measures being ineffective and dangerous, according to a new study.
The report, posted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, asked 502 participants how they were using disinfectants to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 400,000 people globally and more than 110,000 Americans.
“These practices pose a risk of severe tissue damage and corrosive injury and should be strictly avoided,” the report said.
“Although adverse health effects reported by respondents could not be attributed to their engaging in high-risk practices, the association between these high-risk practices and reported adverse health effects indicates a need for public messaging regarding safe and effective cleaning and disinfection practices aimed at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in households.”
According to the CDC report, 4 per cent of those surveyed – 20 people – admitted they’d drank or gargled household agents including bleach.
A total of 19 per cent said they had put bleach on food, including fruit and vegetables.
A worrying 18 per cent confessed they’d applied cleaning agents to their skin. Nearly 10 per cent inhaled fumes from potentially toxic household disinfectants.
The report did acknowledge several limitations to the findings, such as not knowing whether the participants were truly representative of the entire US population.
The CDC continued to preach safe guidelines.
“COVID-19 prevention messages should continue to emphasise evidence-based, safe practices such as frequent hand hygiene and frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces,” the report said.