Intoxications increased in Foggiano during Covid-19 emergency, from Policlinico Riuniti: “Damage due to frantic house cleaning”


The particular moment of Covid-19 health emergency caused an increase in toxicological exposures to household chemicals, with the involvement of all age groups.

As part of the regional project “Implementation of new management models in the reporting of cases of intoxication in the Apulian regional territory”, in fact, there was an increase in exposures due to chemical products, in the quarter February-April 2020. The damage is due to a frantic and repeated cleaning of domestic environments, in the majority of cases performed with little information and knowledge of the products.

“Toxicological exposures from chemicals have increased by about 10-15% compared to the same period of last year, bringing the chemical category to 50% of the total number of consultations that the Poison Control Center has managed in this period, “explains Dr. Anna Lepore, head of the CAV of the Policlinico Riuniti of Foggia, the only reference center in the Puglia Region.

“In this period of health emergency, all the structures of the Policlinico Riuniti were involved. The Poison Control Center is part of the Emergency-Urgency Department and in addition to being active 24 hours a day in support of all users, it has tried to support and raise awareness among the people through simple but effective advice, “said Director General Vitangelo Dattoli.

Specifically, the toxicological exposures to chemical products stood on the following percentages: 88.6% of the cases concerned the Apulian regional territory; in 64% of cases the private citizen contacted the CAV directly; 96% of the cases were classified as new clinical cases; 80% of the cases concerned products used for household cleaning; in 60% of cases medical management was conducted at home, avoiding access to hospitals and following the patient repeatedly follow up.

“The right practice is first of all to buy responsibly products that do not have the same function, but that are specific, by carefully reading the labels – he explains Lepore.

It is also advisable to use only the amount of disinfectant indicated on the label, if the detergent is also disinfectant, to use it only once and to open doors and windows for a few minutes, after having finished cleaning “. “You should never mix two products together, transfer one product to another container and leave the product unattended during use, especially in the presence of children at home – continues the head of the Poison Control Center of the Policlinico Riuniti of Foggia -. It is important to use one product only at a time in the manner and in the quantity indicated on the label, close the product after use and store the product immediately after use in places not accessible to children. And if, unfortunately, the accident should occur or for requests for information on chemical products, it is advisable to call the Poison Control Center of Puglia which is active h / 24 at toll free number 800183459“.

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