As awareness of the coronavirus pandemic has spread throughout the United States, doctors who monitor activity at poison call centers have noticed an alarming trend: a significant increase in accidental exposures to household cleaners and disinfectants.
A study released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that calls to poison hotlines this year for cases involving cleaners and disinfectants rose significantly compared with the same period over the previous two years, and charts a dramatic spike in March for both categories.
Some of the physicians who collaborated on the research with the C.D.C. had discussed their observations with one another last month.
“I was like: ‘Am I the only one seeing a big increase in exposures to these disinfectants?’” said Dr. Diane P. Calello, the medical director of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System, and one of the authors of the report.