Ingestion of Household Cleaners Doubled in NY After Trump’s Coronavirus Disinfectant Rant


Reports of New Yorkers ingesting household cleaners more than doubled over the same period last year after President Donald Trump suggested, on national television, that ingesting or injecting disinfectants could cure the coronavirus.

On Thursday, Trump riffed on the possibility of somehow shining very powerful light into the bodies of Covid-19 patients as a treatment for the disease, then added “I see the disinfectant, one minute. Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it’d be interesting to check that so that you’ll have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds interesting to me.”

The makers of Lysol, among others, issued a statement warning never to ever take disinfectants into the human body, but according to The New York Daily News, many more people than usual didn’t get the memo:

An unusually high number of New Yorkers contacted city health authorities over fears that they had ingested bleach or other household cleaners in the 18 hours that followed President Trump’s bogus claim that injecting such products could cure coronavirus, the Daily News has learned.

The Poison Control Center, a subagency of the city’s Health Department, managed a total of 30 cases of possible exposure to disinfectants between 9 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Friday, a spokesman said.

None of the people who reached out died or required hospitalization, the spokesman said.

But compared to last year, the number of cases was worthy of a double-take.

According to data obtained by The News, the Poison Control Center only handled 13 similar cases in the same 18-hour period last year.

The paper also reported that nine of those calls were specifically about ingesting Lysol.

Nationally, poison control calls over exposure to cleaning products were already up before Trump’s rant, but by a more reasonable 20 percent:

The fear of getting the coronavirus appears to have helped drive a 20% increase in U.S. poison center calls over the last three months as more Americans suffered from potentially toxic exposure to chemicals in cleaning and disinfectant products, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

U.S. poison centers received 45,550 exposure calls related to cleaners and disinfectants from January through March, a 20.4% increase from a year ago and a 16.4% increase from the same three months in 2018, according to a new CDC report published Monday, using data from the National Poison Data System.

Those calls included all forms of exposure, though, not just ingestion.

Ingesting or injecting disinfectants is very dangerous, and you should never do it.

Watch Trump’s original comments above.

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