Health Canada came out with a statement on February 24th stating the increased calls to poison control centers due to the accidental ingestions of Covid-19 antigen test solutions.
The instructions and the labeling on the test kits do not warn the user about any risks associated with accidental ingestion or spillage of the solutions.
The test kits are safe to use accurately, however, the solutions do contain chemical preservatives like sodium azide and Proclin with may be poisonous if absorbed through the skin or swallowed, especially for children and pets. In small doses, sodium azide may lower blood pressure yet in larger doses it may cause more serious health effects. Proclin has chemicals that cause skin and eye irritation as well as allergic reactions.
According to Health Canada, here's what to do to avoid the misuse of the testing kits:
- Keep rapid test kits out of reach of children and pets
- Do not swallow the solutions and avoid contact with eyes and skin.
- Wash hands thoroughly after use
- If spillage occurs rinse well with water
- Follow all instructions about proper disposal
- Report any health product-related side effects to Health Canada
- Contact your local poison Information Center in cases of accidental ingestion of chemicals or direct skin exposure.