Alice decided it was time to clean the kitchen thoroughly. She got ready while Mikey, her 2 year old son, was playing in the adjacent dining room because she wanted to keep an eye on him. Alice started by mopping the floor with a disinfectant. She poured some, set the bottle aside on the floor and put the lid on the counter.
While she was rinsing the mop she was distracted for a moment. When she turned around, Mikey had the disinfectant bottle in his hands. He was holding it to his mouth and was ready to drink from it! She realized he thought it was a bottle of fruit juice!
She immediately took the bottle from his hands. Suddenly she also noticed the bottle of bleach on the counter looked like a jug of milk. She realized that what had just happened so quickly could happen again. Alice was very worried for her son’s health and called the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) right away for more information.
Click here to find out what Alice learned when she called NPIC...
The NPIC specialist explained that antimicrobials are pesticides because they kill germs. She said the risk when using pesticides depends on two things: toxicity and exposure. Children are more at risk from pesticides due to their small bodies and curious nature.
Alice told the NPIC specialist the EPA Registration numbers of the disinfectant and bleach from the bottles. Alice learned that her disinfectant contains pine oil as an active ingredient, and that the active ingredient for bleach is sodium hypochlorite. The specialist explained the health effects that can occur from exposure to these disinfectants. She reminded Alice that the risk of health effects also depends on how much a child contacts, and the concentration, or strength, of the product. Luckily, Alice stopped Mikey in time to keep him from drinking any of the product.
The NPIC specialist gave Alice some ideas for protecting children:
Alice felt much better knowing she had the tools to minimize the risks for Mikey. The NPIC specialist provided Alice the national phone number for Poison Control Centers, 1-800-222-1222, in case of emergencies.