Maryland Hotline Gets 100 Calls About Ingesting Disinfectants And Bleach After Reports Double In New York

by : Cameron Frew on : 25 Apr 2020 13:33
Company Behind Dettol and Lysol Denounce Trump's Advice As Bleach Poison Reports Surge In USCompany Behind Dettol and Lysol Denounce Trump's Advice As Bleach Poison Reports Surge In USPA Images

Two days after US President Donald Trump suggested injecting disinfectant to fight the global virus, Maryland’s outbreak hotline has received more than 100 calls regarding bleach as a cure, while poisonings from household cleaners have doubled in New York. 

In the US alone, the outbreak has surged to more than 905,000 confirmed cases and 51,000 deaths. This is a crucial time for accurate, progressive information. However, when the president suggests injecting bleach – regardless of whether it was genuine or ‘sarcastic’ – what chance do you have?


Medical professionals immediately decried Trump’s remarks. Yet, despite doctors and manufacturers’ warnings, there’s surging, dangerous curiosity in several states over whether bleach is a viable cure.

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPA Images

During a press conference on Thursday, April 23, Trump suggested: ‘And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute… is there a way we can do something, by an injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that… it sounds interesting to me.’

He then went on to concede he wasn’t a medical professional – but added he’s ‘a person that has a good you-know-what’. While it may be easy for some to immediately dismiss his advice as nonsense, the president’s words carry tremendous weight.

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPA Images

Maryland’s Emergency Management Agency reported a surge of more than 100 calls ‘regarding questions about disinfectant use’ and the virus. In a tweet, the agency wrote: ‘This is a reminder that under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route.’

In the 18 hours after the conference, the New York Poison Control Centre received 30 reports of exposure to Lysol, bleach and other cleaners – more than double the cases from the same time last year. Fortunately, nobody involved in the reports required hospital treatment, as per the New York Daily News.


Washington Emergency Management Division also noted a 23% uptick in exposures to household cleaning products compared to this time in 2019.

Let it be absolutely clear: injecting disinfectant is a no-go. Reckitt Benckiser, the British company behind Dettol and Lysol, recently wrote in a statement that as ‘a global leader in health and hygiene products’, it felt compelled to instruct that its disinfectant products should never be ‘administered to the human body through injection, ingestion or any other route’.


The company added: ‘As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information.’

In a harrowing twist of fate, life ended up imitating satire just a month after The Onion published an article in March based around a man stocking up on household disinfectants – just in case the president announced them as a cure.

Seriously, here’s a screenshot of it: 

The Onion Trump Disinfectants Coronavirus Cure ArticleThe Onion Trump Disinfectants Coronavirus Cure ArticleThe Onion

Hammering the final nail in the coffin of Trump’s brainwave, American Medical Association President Patrice Harris clarified in a statement:

It is unfortunate that I have to comment on this, but people should under no circumstances ingest or inject bleach or disinfectant. Rest assured when we eventually find a treatment… or vaccine… it will not be in the cleaning supplies aisle.

Just last night, Trump explained to reporters: ‘I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen.’ This is what happens, Mr President.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Health, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Donald Trump


Tom Knowles/Twitter and 3 others
  1. Tom Knowles/Twitter


  2. The Onion

    Man Just Buying One Of Every Cleaning Product In Case Trump Announces It’s Coronavirus Cure

  3. Anna Sanders/Twitter


  4. WA Emergency Management/Twitter