Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Be Safe and Don’t Mix Cleaning Supplies

During a pandemic, fears can sometimes get the best of us. Many Americans are cleaning and disinfecting more than ever to ensure they, and their loved ones, stay healthy. Keeping items clean in the home is a good idea but try not to get too creative in how you clean. If you mix certain cleaning supplies, it can be a bad combination. 

While most cleaning products are safe when used as indicated, if they are mixed with other products, it can cause a chemical reaction that can result in potentially toxic fumes and even explosions. Remember to ALWAYS read the label and warnings thoroughly. Here is a list of some household items you should never mix:

1.       Bleach and Ammonia: When these are mixed together, they can produce a toxic gas called chloramine. This toxic gas can cause irritation to your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs and can even be deadly. If you do accidentally mix these two chemicals together, get out of the room immediately and into fresh air and call the poison center right away.

2.       Bleach and Vinegar: Both products are powerful on their own. Mixing bleach and an acid like vinegar can create a chlorine gas that can be very toxic and potentially deadly at high levels. It can cause breathing issues, coughing, and burning/watery eyes.

3.       Baking Soda and Vinegar: While these two chemicals mixed together turn into mostly water, if they were contained in a tight container, they could explode.

4.       Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar: Many people use these two separately to clean fruits and countertops.  What you do not want to do is mix these two chemicals together. By combining them in the same container, it creates a peracetic acid. This toxicity can cause irritation to the lungs, eyes, and nose.

5.       Bleach and Rubbing Alcohol: These two chemicals together cause a nasty chemical called chloroform. It can cause irritation to your nose and eyes and can be a toxic mix. You are probably seeing a theme here: do not mix anything with bleach!

6.       Drain Cleaner and another Drain Cleaner: Never mix two different types of drain cleaners. These are packed with powerful chemicals and if mixed can cause explosive reactions.

7.       Pesticides and Water: Some pesticides, when mixed with water, can create a deadly phosphine gas. Make sure to read the labels when using pesticides and follow the directions carefully. 

There are many other combinations of chemicals that can be harmful.   If you find yourself in a situation where you have mixed chemical agents, either on purpose or by mistake, please do not hesitate to call the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222. They can answer your questions or concerns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also visit their website at

Monday, August 10, 2020

Be Cautious with Gummy Vitamins

Vitamin gummies are very popular. If you can find a vitamin, you can most likely find it in gummy 

form these days as well. Their similarity in taste and texture to candy gummies can make them very enticing to children. While this encourages children (and adults!) to take their vitamins, it also raises concerns that children might take more than recommended thinking that it is candy. Since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S., the Texas Poison Center Network has seen a 55% increase in calls involving children and vitamins compared to the same time last year. That’s why it is incredibly important to keep any vitamin, especially gummy vitamins locked, up and away like you would do with any other medications in your home.

When it comes to gummy vitamins, they can sometime contain more sugar in them than vitamin benefits. In other cases, vitamins can be downright harmful to children. It is not beneficial to children to get more than the necessary number of vitamins their bodies need, and most children get the nutrients they need from the food they eat every

day. While vitamins can act as a positive supplement where needed, too much of a vitamin can cause harm.

Here are some examples of what can happen if a child gets too much of a certain type of vitamin:

  •       Large quantities of Vitamin A can cause brain swelling, vomiting and distorted vision.
  •           Large quantities of Vitamin D can cause nausea and vomiting as well as liver damage.
  •           Large quantities of Calcium can cause heart problems.

These are just a few examples of how too much of any vitamin can be harmful. Keeping this

information in mind, if children find or have access to gummy vitamins, they might eat them like candy and end up sick. The Texas Poison Center Network has these tips to help keep vitamins and medicines stored safely:

  • Put all medicine up and away and out of sight. Most children easily get into medicines of their parents and grandparents.
  • Consider where you keep your medicines and vitamins stored. Children get into nightstands and purses very easily
  • Save the Poison Help line in your phone: 1-800-222-1222. Put the toll-free number for the Poison Center into your cell phone so you always have it when you need it.

For more information on gummy vitamins or any other type of vitamin or medicine, you can always reach out to the Texas Poison Center Network with your concerns.