National Consumers League

Consumers should never ingest or inject disinfectants!

By Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director

The President of the United States speculated at a press conference this past week that since disinfectants kills germs on surfaces, perhaps someone should look into whether humans should ingest or even inject disinfectants.

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute,” Trump said during Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing. “And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

Under no circumstances should any of these cleaning products be ingested! THEY ARE POISONOUS!

Sadly, some consumers considered seriously Trump’s suggestion. Poison centers in New York and Illinois reported a doubling of calls after Trump’s statements.

Consumer and product safety groups like NCL have worked for years with makers of disinfectants and bleaches with brand names like Lysol, Chlorox, and Fantastic to prevent accidental ingestion of these products. Children used to die in large numbers from ingesting cleaning products, but they can harm or kill adults too.

To its credit, Proctor & Gamble, makers of Clorox, issued this statement after Trump’s remarks: “Bleach and other disinfectants are not suitable for consumption or injection under any circumstance.”

Makers of Lysol issued this statement: "As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route)."

Consumer organizations were behind passage of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970, which provides child-resistant packaging to protect kids from getting into products under the sink. Since the PPPA’s implementation, deaths in children aged five and under went down by 1.4 per million.

With COVID-19 overtaking this country, resulting in more than 53,000 deaths in the United States alone to date—and growing daily—we need accurate and honest information from our leaders. We do not want consumers exposing themselves to hazards from ingesting cleaning products.

Consumers: do not ingest or inject household cleaning products. THEY ARE POISONOUS if consumed. A network of poison control centers exist around the nation. Visit https://aapcc.org to get your questions answered 24 hours a day. They are the experts!