One of the ways to prevent Covid-19 is to pay special attention to cleaning, whether it be the hands or the house. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends, in addition to social distance and the use of masks, the use of gel alcohol and the disinfection of objects and surfaces to reduce the transmission of the new coronavirus. But care must be taken with this care. The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) released, last month, a technical note warning about the “increased toxic exposure by cleaning products in Brazil since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic”. According to the agency, the Toxicological Information and Assistance Centers received an increase of up to 33% in the registration of cases of intoxication involving adults between the months of January and April, when compared to the same period of previous years.
And the eyes have been harmed by this intensification of cleansing. “In the office, I have seen an increase in cases of irritation from toxic exposure to cleaning products, which are mostly due to the harmful gases that evaporate,” says Eliane Lamounier, an ophthalmologist with a specialization and a doctorate in eye plastic surgery. You need to be aware of symptoms such as red, burning, itchy eyes, and headaches. Typically, these symptoms will improve by no longer exposing your eyes to gases. But, if they persisted, it is important to see an ophthalmologist. Eliane says that some simple precautions are not to mix products, such as bleach with bleach or even vinegar, you should always read the product label – and follow the instructions – and, if possible, wear protective glasses when making the product. cleaning. Keeping your eyes lubricated is also essential.
Of course, they deserve more attention and are more dangerous in cases where chemicals come into contact with the eyes. And these occurrences are also increasing during this period of confrontation with Covid-19. “Chemical products in contact with the eyes and eyelids cause burns that produce major damage. Although they are more common cases of irritation% u0327a% u0303o burning eye, red% u0303o, itching and feeling% u0327a% u0303o foreign body and / or skin roughness, these products often cause serious damage, including with permanent reduction in the sight% u0303o of one eye or both “, says Eliane. She explains that the severity of the injury is related to the product and the contact time. The most common accidents happen with alcohol, cleaning acids, acetone, caustic soda and bleach. If there is eye contact with any chemical product it is important to wash with treated tap water for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, an emergency ophthalmological evaluation should be sought. “You should never apply or drip any product without medical advice,” says Eliane.
Check out some tips from Anvisa on how to treat cleaning products:
Keep products out of the reach of children and animals, as they can attract the attention mainly of young children, between 1 and 5 years old, and cause serious accidents
Avoid storing these products in different, untagged containers
Supervise children, not allowing them to access environments where such products are stored
Do not leave detergents and cleaning products in general under the sink or on the bathroom floor
Read and follow the instructions described on the product label
Avoid mixing chemicals
Ensure adequate ventilation when handling the product
Discard empty product packaging, as they are always left with residues (leftovers). Dispose of empty packaging, preferably in a separate collection system (separate from other waste)
In case of toxicological emergencies, do not induce vomiting and always have the Poison Center number 0800-722-6001 available (CIATox)