CDC says some Americans surveyed have gargled bleach to prevent coronavirus

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 11: Bottles of Clorox bleach sit on a shelf at a grocery store on February 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Shares of Clorox stock rose 7.6 percent to close at $71.26 after billionaire investor Carl Icahn disclosed (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says some Americans are using unsafe practices in an attempt to prevent getting the coronavirus, including gargling with bleach.

FOX NEWS reports that over a third of Americans who took the CDC survey also reportedly misused household cleaners by using them on their fruits and vegetables in the attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Calls to poison control centers regarding disinfectants and household cleaners reportedly went up since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the CDC report: 

  • 19% of people have applied bleach to food items like fruits and vegetables
  • 18% have used household cleaning and disinfectant products on their hands and skin
  • 10% have 'misted' their bodies with a cleaning or disinfectant spray
  • 6% have inhaled vapors from household cleaners or disinfectants (6%);
  • 4% admitted to drinking or gargling diluted bleach solutions, soapy water, and other cleaning and disinfectant solutions 

“Thirty-nine percent of respondents reported engaging in non-recommended high-risk practices with the intent of preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, such as washing food products with bleach, applying household cleaning or disinfectant products to bare skin, and intentionally inhaling or ingesting these products,” the CDC report read.

Those surveyed were between the ages of 18-86, with a median age of 46. Fifty-two percent of the respondents were women and the majority of respondents identified as non-Hispanic white.

Over 50 percent of the respondents said they “strongly agreed” that they knew how to properly clean and disinfect their homes safely.

“This survey identified important knowledge gaps in the safe use of cleaners and disinfectants among U.S. adults,” the CDC reported. “The largest gaps were found in knowledge about safe preparation of cleaning and disinfectant solutions and about storage of hand sanitizers out of the reach of children.”

The CDC recommends diluting bleach (five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water) when using it to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. 

When used correctly, bleach can be very effective against the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC said.

For a list of recommended products to use against the coronavirus, click HERE.

Fox News contributed to this report.