Canadians are accidentally poisoning themselves as they isolate and stockpile cleaning products to prevent being infected with coronavirus, according to reports.
Health Canada said February and March showed a 58 per cent increase in reported exposure to cleaning chemicals and disinfectants from the same period in 2019.
The federal health agency has put the rise down to people isolating at home and stockpiling cleaning products.
Calls to poison control centres in relation to hand santisers, disinfectants and bleach leaped by 103 per cent in March compared to last year, reports CTV News.
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Complaints reportedly include burning eyes and breathing problems after extensive cleaning, as well as children drinking hand sanitizer.
Jim Chan, a health consultant and retired City of Toronto public health inspector, told CBC News people can die from a combination of fumes from cleaning chemicals.
He said one memorable case involved a woman mixing vinegar and chlorine bleach to clean her kitchen counter but ended up in hospital due to the breathing in the high volume of fumes.
“In more serious cases, that could be fatal,” he added.
Toronto mum Kate Wallace, meanwhile, told CBC she has stepped up her cleaning habits with bleach in a bid to stave off the killer bug.
But she said she has been taking precautions to ensure kids Charlie, two, and Emmett, four, are kept clear of toxic chemicals.
Canada’s official Covid-19 figures show 62,046 confirmed cases and 4,043 deaths.
Warnings about lockdown-related poisoning comes after three men in neighbouring US drunk liquid cleaning products after Donald Trump ‘sarcastically’ questioned whether it could be a treatment for coronavirus.
Last month the US president said scientists should explore whether inserting light or disinfectant into the bodies of people infected with Covid-19 might help them treat the respiratory illness caused by the virus.
After an outpour of disbelief and warnings over how this could be fatal and is very dangerous, Trump said his comments were “sarcastic”.
The director of the Georgia Poison Centre, however, reported that two men had drunk cleaning products the following weekend.
Gaylord Lopez said both men, who had histories of psychiatric problems, are expected to recover.
Reckitt Benckiser has said 2020 results are set to beat expectations after posting a record 13.3% hike in like-for-like sales growth in the first quarter to £3.5 billion thanks to surging demand for disinfectants and health remedies amid coronavirus.
Shares in the consumer goods giant lifted 5% as it revealed soaring sales of its cleaning products Dettol and Lysol, as well as Mucinex cough treatment and painkiller Nurofen.