(CNN) — The company that makes Lysol is urging customers not to consume its cleaning products after President Donald Trump suggested the possibility of injecting disinfectants to protect people from coronavirus.
Reckitt Benckiser, a British company, warned Friday that human consumption of disinfectant products is dangerous. It issued the statement following “recent speculation and social media activity.”
“As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route),” the company said in a statement.
RB said products should only be “used as intended and in line with usage guidelines.”
“We have a responsibility in providing consumers with access to accurate, up-to-date information as advised by leading public health experts,” the company said.
The EPA also issued a statement. The EPA says, “Never apply the product to yourself or others. Do not ingest disinfectant products.”
The statements followed remarks from President Trump on Thursday on the use of disinfectants and UV light.
“So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light. And I think you said that hasn’t been checked but you’re going to test it. Then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you could do, either through the skin or in some other way and I think you said you were going to test that, too. Sounds interesting. Then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute. Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside, or almost a cleaning because you see it gets on the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it will be interesting to check that. So, that you’re gonna have to use medical doctors. But it sounds interesting to me.”
William Bryan, of the Department of Homeland Security, said at the briefing on Thursday “emerging results” from new research suggest solar light has a powerful effect in killing the virus on surfaces and in the air.
But he said there was no consideration of internal use of disinfectants.
Ingesting or injecting disinfectants is dangerous, according to a medical expert employed by the Trump administration. Food and Drug Administration chief Dr. Stephen Hahn told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “I certainly wouldn’t recommend the internal ingestion of a disinfectant.”
The US Food and Drug Administration regularly warns the public against drinking bleach, or even inhaling fumes from bleach. It’s also irritating to skin.
On Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said calls about poisonings with cleaners and disinfectants had increased more than 20% in the first three months of 2020 — as coronavirus cleaning increased — than from the same period a year earlier. Among cleaners, bleaches accounted for the largest percentage increase in calls from 2019 to 2020.
The CDC recommends using soap and water or bleach to kill the virus. Rubbing alcohol that’s at least 70% alcohol will also kill it on surfaces; 60% for your hands.