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Review Your Chemical Handling Practices During National Poison Prevention Week

March 23, 2022

As the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) commemorates the 60th anniversary of National Poison Prevention Week, March 20-26, it’s a good time for professional cleaners and business owners to review their policies regarding storage and handling of cleaning and disinfecting chemicals.

“Decades of diligence and collaborative efforts have contributed to a dramatic decline in children being poisoned,” said Alexander Hoehn-Saric, CPSC chair. “Yet, progress is not guaranteed. Recent increases in fatalities demonstrate the need for continued vigilance and work to limit and eventually eliminate these preventable tragedies.” 

As the use of hand sanitizers and cleaning products has increased during the pandemic, so has the risk of poisonings from these chemicals. Easy access to hand sanitizers in schools and public buildings makes it crucial that facility managers ensure these products are stored and dispensed properly.

Poisoning risks are not limited to children. Workers in facilities such as bars and nursing homes have improperly stored cleaning chemicals and bleach in containers that originally stored beverages, leading to unintentional poisonings.

Follow these tips from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to prevent poisonings in your facility:

  • Keep all cleaning and potentially poisonous substances in locked cabinets or out of the reach of children and facility residents
  • Keep products in their original containers 
  • Do not use food containers (such as cups or bottles) to store household cleaners

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