Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2021; 25 (3): 1738-1742

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202102_24884

Household disinfectant exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic: a retrospective study of the data from an Italian poison control center

P.M. Soave, S. Grassi, A. Oliva, B. RomanĂ², E. Di Stasio, L. Dominici, V. Pascali, M. Antonelli

Poison Control Center, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy. simone.grassi@unicatt.it


OBJECTIVE: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic it has been recommended that chemical disinfectants are used to protect surfaces. This study aimed to determine whether the number of exposure calls related to household disinfectants (HD) received between January 30, 2020 to May 18, 2020 varied from the same time period in the previous year.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of the poison control center database from the Fondazione Universitario Policlinico Agostino Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy, was conducted. Calls from Italian citizens, hospitals, and general practitioners received during the same time period in 2019 and 2020 were compared.

RESULTS: The center received 1972 exposure calls during the study period. A 5% increase in calls regarding exposure to HDs was noted from 2019 to 2020 (9.8% to 15.2%, p<0.001). The majority of enquiries regarded bleach-containing products, hand sanitizers, ethanol, and hydrogen peroxide. Most calls were received from patients in their homes (n, 259; prevalence, 86%; increase, 107%) and concerned accidental exposure (n, 280; prevalence, 93%; increase, 76%), while cases of intentional exposure decreased (n, 14; prevalence, 5%; decrease, 33%). The main route of exposure was ingestion (n, 170; prevalence, 57%; increase, 45%), but the highest increase was observed in inhalation cases (n, 82; prevalence, 27%; increase, 122%).

CONCLUSIONS: As the incidence of enquiries regarding products that can represent an important health hazard, when improperly used, increased in 2020 suggests that the COVID-19 public health messaging on the proper use of HDs should be improved.

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P.M. Soave, S. Grassi, A. Oliva, B. RomanĂ², E. Di Stasio, L. Dominici, V. Pascali, M. Antonelli
Household disinfectant exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic: a retrospective study of the data from an Italian poison control center

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2021
Vol. 25 - N. 3
Pages: 1738-1742
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202102_24884