Some at-home rapid COVID-19 tests contain a toxic chemical that may be harmful to both children and adults, according to health officials.
The Cincinnati Drug and Poison Information Center reported an uptick in accidental exposures to a possibly toxic substance, sodium azide, in at-home COVID-19 test kits, according to a blog post. Meanwhile, the National Poison Control Center issued a warning about the chemical.
“It is important to know that the extraction vial in many rapid antigen kits includes the chemical sodium azide as a preservative agent,” the center said. “The BinaxNow, BD Veritor, Flowflex, and Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 rapid antigen kits all contain this chemical.”
Sodium azide is a colorless, odorless powder that testers dip cotton swabs into. The chemical is found in herbicides, pest control agents, and airbags for cars.
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“Small doses of sodium azide can lower blood pressure, and larger doses may cause more serious health effects,” an advisory from Health Canada also said. “ProClin is also found in many kits. It contains chemicals that can cause skin and eye irritation, as well as allergic reactions.”
Some hospitals around the United States say they have received a surge in phone calls about exposures to the chemical.
“We started getting our first exposures to these test kits around early November,” said Sheila Goertemoeller, pharmacist and clinical toxicologist for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “It was, really, all ages.”
“Mostly, I’ve been very worried about our young children.”
Accidental exposure is occurring among both children and adults, said Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor, with the National Capital Poison Center in Washington, told WNEP over the weekend.
“People might mistake them for eye drops. Children might drop it onto their skin. Adults will sometimes mistakenly put them into their eyes,” she said.
“You don’t want to leave it on the skin because it could potentially cause an allergic reaction or a skin rash.
“If someone drinks the solution, it’s really important to contact poison control right away. The solutions have different ingredients. Some have non-toxic ingredients and others have more dangerous ingredients.”
Officials told WNEP that there’s no need to throw away the test kits, but people should be mindful when using them.
“Use them properly, dispose of them properly, and it won’t cause an issue,” Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, with St. Luke’s University Health Network, told the outlet.
If you suspect you or someone you know has ingested the chemical, officials recommend not to make the person vomit. For eye exposures, rinse the eyes for 15 to 20 minutes with warm water. For skin exposures, rinse the skin well with tap water. Immediately check the Poison Control Center’s online tool for guidance or call poison control at 1-800-222-1222, the website says.
Have you received Salvation from Jesus the Messiah? Time is running out. Jesus will return very soon. The signs of His return are everywhere in this crazy world we are living in. Please read below so that you can be saved. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. The Words below are directly from the Bible, so you can trust them.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all )is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
For those of us who persevere and do what Jesus says to do, we have this to look forward to in eternity: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
The Bible – New King James Version, NKJV