ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp’s office is warning Georgians not to ingest the bleach-like chemical chlorine dioxide following reports of people using the cleaning substance in an attempt to treat COVID-19.
The warning came Monday after state public-health officials received reports of people ingesting diluted chlorine dioxide, the active ingredient in certain disinfectants for drinking-water treatment and other industrial uses.
The governor’s office did not say how many people had reportedly ingested bleach-like substances but stressed that chlorine dioxide products “are not meant to be swallowed by people.”
“Chlorine dioxide products have not been shown to be safe and effective for any use including treatment of COVID-19,” said a statement from the governor’s office.
Kemp’s office added the substances “can have severe adverse health effects, including death.”
Ingesting chlorine products can lead to respiratory failure, potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythms, dehydration leading to life-threatening low blood pressure, liver failure, low blood cell counts, severe vomiting and severe diarrhea.
Those products are being marketed under the following names:
- Miracle Mineral Solution
- Master Mineral
- Water Purification Solution
- Aqueous Chlorine Dioxide
In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned a Florida organization that billed itself as a church to stop selling the chlorine dioxide product Miracle Mineral Solution as a COVID-19 treatment method.
The FDA stressed chlorine dioxide products “pose significant risks to patient health” and that the agency “is not aware of any scientific evidence supporting their safety and effectiveness,” according to a news release.
Chlorine dioxide products have also been peddled as false remedies for autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and flu.
The warning from Kemp’s office Monday came months after President Donald Trump speculated about the effectiveness of injecting “disinfectant” into patients infected with COVID-19.
The president said the idea “sounds interesting” during a news conference on April 24, but later portrayed the comments as “sarcasm” following intense pushback from health experts on the subject.