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posted by martyb on Sunday June 07 2020, @10:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the Dunning–Kruger-Effect-or-Darwin-Award-Candidates? dept.

Americans are drinking bleach and dunking food in it to prevent COVID-19:

Americans are doing more housecleaning and disinfecting amid the COVID-19 pandemic and many are turning to wild and dangerous tactics—like drinking and gargling bleach solutions.

Back in April, the agency noted an unusual spike in poison control center calls over harmful exposures to household cleaning products, such as bleach. The timing linked it to the spread of the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (not statements by President Trump). But to get a clearer idea of what was behind the rise, CDC researchers set up an online survey of household cleaning and disinfection knowledge and practices.

In all, they surveyed 502 US adults and used statistical weighting to make it representative of the country's population. The findings—published Friday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report—are stunning.

Overall, 60 percent said they were doing more cleaning and disinfecting amid the pandemic and 39 percent admitted to doing at least one non-recommended cleaning practice the CDC considers high risk.

The questions and responses are fully available (NO paywall); read it here:

Journal Reference
Gharpure R, Hunter CM, Schnall AH, et al. Knowledge and Practices Regarding Safe Household Cleaning and Disinfection for COVID-19 Prevention, [OPEN] MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6923e2)

Questions from the survey:

Recommended Best Practices:

  • When making a dilute bleach solution, only room temperature water should be used
  • Bleach should not be mixed with vinegar
  • Hand sanitizers should be kept out of reach of children
  • Bleach should not be mixed with ammonia
  • For some household cleaning products, eye protection should be used during use
  • Hands should be washed with soap and water after using household cleaning products
  • For some household cleaning products, gloves should be used during use
  • Good ventilation (air flow) is needed when using cleaning chemicals
  • Household cleaning products should be kept out of reach of children

Risky Practices Performed:

  • Drank or gargled diluted bleach solution
  • Drank or gargled soapy water
  • Drank or gargled a household cleaner
  • Inhaled the vapor of household cleaners like bleach
  • Misted the body with cleaning spray or alcohol spray
  • after being in public spaces
  • Used household cleaner to clean or disinfect hands or bare skin
  • Washed fruits, vegetables, or other food products with bleach

Original Submission

 
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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Sunday June 07 2020, @11:01PM (10 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday June 07 2020, @11:01PM (#1004642)

    Washed fruits, vegetables, or other food products with bleach

    It's all a matter of dosage, but even if it is safe, it doesn't mean I have to like the residue of white stuff on the surface of the shaved carrot chunks in the bag...

    baby carrots have been criticized for being “unsafe” due to part of their cleansing process, which uses a chlorine bath. If you are unfamiliar with the standard food safety practices, the thought of consuming a product that has been soaked in chlorine might sound unhealthy and toxic. However, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), a chlorine bath is routinely used on finished fruit and vegetable products to prevent bacteria from growing that could lead to foodborne illness. As well, Moira assured us that the chlorine bath only contains a small amount of chlorine, which is added to water in compliance with the Food and Drugs Act and Regulation. It is a standard practice and is used for both regular and organic fresh produce in Canada as well as products imported from the US and other countries. The carrots are in contact with the chlorine bath for no more than 5 minutes and for additional safety measures, are rinsed with water to remove excess chlorine after the bath, and then packed up for consumption.

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    Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @11:42PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @11:42PM (#1004660)

    Packaged carrots of any type, really. They sit there way too long, and you end up with spoilage. I always used to buy fresh, loose carrots in ones and twos, now I just buy more of those. I can look at them to make sure they're not rotten or split. You can't do that in those bags, not very well anyway. Just buy fresh, loose carrots and clean them yourself. Problem solved. Added bonus, you cut out some packaging which has gone sky-high since this pandemic started. We've gone back to single-use plastic bags and everything. I'm still bagging the carrots of course, but in a thin produce bag, not a thick printed fancy bag that hides the quality (or lack thereof) from me. So there we go. I've ranted about carrots. There really is too much time on our hands these days...

  • (Score: 2) by dry on Monday June 08 2020, @03:43AM (8 children)

    by dry (223) on Monday June 08 2020, @03:43AM (#1004724) Journal

    I have some bad news for you. They add chlorine to your drinking water and the water you bath in. Even worse here, they then add ammonia just to make sure.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08 2020, @11:00AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08 2020, @11:00AM (#1004789)

      I have some bad news for you. They add chlorine to your drinking water and the water you bath in...

      Shhh, don't tell them that this early into the game, I was quite enjoying where it was all going, you've gone and dropped that bomb way too soon..

      (FWIW, the chlorine levels in the local water supply are enough to seriously fuck up any attempts at home brewing. and I've lived in places where the heavy chlorination of the tap water turned it into, more or less, a mild bleach solution...the alternative being lovely active cryptosporidium. )

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 08 2020, @12:41PM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 08 2020, @12:41PM (#1004804)

      They add chlorine to your drinking water and the water you bath in.

      Not ours - our household water comes from the ground, the Hawthorne (limestone) aquifer, same place they extract some of the better (or at least more popular) bottled waters from. Means that films of red algae tend to form in the toilets after a couple of days, and the kids aren't getting fluoride in their drinking water, but as terrible as their brushing habits are (and floss, what's that?) they are still cavity free.

      They started adding ammonia to the municipal water where I grew up when I was about 10, disgusting stuff, but with good reasons. If you're going to supply drinking water to millions of people through thousands of miles of nasty old underground pipes, it's the cost effective way to make sure you don't end up killing a bunch of them with a bacterial outbreak. I'll pay a little extra for our private water system, thanks.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
      • (Score: 2) by dry on Monday June 08 2020, @03:14PM (1 child)

        by dry (223) on Monday June 08 2020, @03:14PM (#1004845) Journal

        Your lucky. I have a shallow well that I don't trust for drinking, used to be a few springs that I got my drinking water from, good water, but they've all been shut down due to things like golf courses appearing. I do get my municipal water jsut before the ammonia adding plant so I avoid that but still get the chlorine.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 08 2020, @03:34PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 08 2020, @03:34PM (#1004851)

          Yeah, shallow wells used to be good for drinking around here, in the 1930s. Since then, you need to get to the deep aquifer for drinking water. Our well still has about 5' of "head" on it, so even without electricity (as in: after a hurricane) we still get a trickle in the low faucets like the bathtub. Used to be a lot more until the municipal water supply tapped the same aquifer - they actually paid for submersible pumps for everyone affected (in the 1960s) - our pump just died two years ago, $1200 to replace - small price for clean water.

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          Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08 2020, @02:43PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08 2020, @02:43PM (#1004832)

      Might differ by area, but around here they use chloramine instead of chlorine, because it persists longer.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by dry on Monday June 08 2020, @03:02PM

        by dry (223) on Monday June 08 2020, @03:02PM (#1004839) Journal

        Chloramine is what you get after adding the ammonia to chlorine.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday June 08 2020, @09:22PM (1 child)

      by VLM (445) on Monday June 08 2020, @09:22PM (#1005008)

      Don't hold back, give them the good news about flourine also.

      For extra fun talk about corrosion inhibitors, the whole Flint Michigan thing was caused by a lack of inhibitors. It certainly wasn't caused by lead pipes, those things had been installed for a century in some cases certainly no new ones have been added in at least half a century. What did change was not adding inhibitors anymore, probably to "save money".

      • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday June 09 2020, @02:09AM

        by dry (223) on Tuesday June 09 2020, @02:09AM (#1005063) Journal

        Hmm, interesting. Never heard of adding corrosion inhibitors to the water supply before, perhaps due to the water here being not particularly corrosive (snow melt). Looking at my governments guidelines , it does seem expensive just to monitor and educate the users about the lead in water, little well treating it. I guess the water company that served Flint was criminally negligent for not monitoring for lead, little well treating it.
        As for fluorine, well we all know about General Jack Tripper.