West Texas Poison Center says ‘Don’t drink bleach under any circumstances’


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) –The director of the West Texas Regional Poison Center has a message: DO NOT DRINK CLEANING SOLUTIONS.

“These agents are caustic,” Dr. Salvador Baeza, Director of the West Texas Poison Center, tells KTSM. “By caustic, they have the potential to burn our tissues.”

Dr. Baeza tells us that the center has been receiving inquiries about the amount of bleach and other chemical disinfectants to use to prevent or kill COVID-19.

Health experts urge people to use cleaning products as they are intended.

Last week, President Donald Trump suggested ingestion or injection of chemical cleaning products as a way to control the spread of COVID-19. The White House has since clarified the President’s statement, saying the President was being sarcastic with members of the press.

Regardless, people around the country and in the borderland are taking the suggestion seriously.

“We’ve gotten calls from people about which disinfectants to use and how,” says Dr. Baeza.

Ingesting or injecting chemical cleaning solutions is extremely dangerous.

The bacteria and virus killing agents work by causing cell death, and do not distinguish between dangerous pathogens like a virus or a healthy cell found inside the body.

Ingestion can cause nausea, vomiting, severe burns, and death.

“We’ll see esophageal injury, where we take them and have them undergo endoscopy to see the full extent of the irritation or burns that they may suffer,” said Dr. Baeza.

If exposure or ingestion of chemicals occurs, Dr. Baeza urges people to call the West Texas Poison Control Center and their staff will provide guidance.

To reach the West Texas Poison Center, you can call 1-800-222-1222 for immediate help or visit the website.

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