Poison center issues recall for COVID test kits

SYRACUSE — As officials at the Upstate New York Poison Control Center are encouraged to see distribution of in-home Covid-19 test kits to local school districts and free distribution across the country through the Postal Service of the United States, the Poison Control Center reminds all families to remember to use proper safety techniques when using these new kits.

There are a number of different Covid-19 home test kits available. Each kit includes potentially dangerous compounds in the small bottles of liquid inside the package, the agency warns, including the liquid used to create the chemical reaction needed to produce a positive or negative result.

Fortunately, many of these home Covid-19 test kits contain low volumes of these toxic chemicals, meaning most people won’t get seriously ill from just one accidental exposure.

“For a good number of home Covid-19 test kits, it is unlikely that someone accidentally exposed to liquid from a test kit will become ill,” says the poison control center’s medical director, Dr. Vince Calleo, “However, determining the test, ingredients and volume are key to determining if the liquid was toxic. If you or anyone in your home develops symptoms, please call our poison control center or seek medical attention immediately.

“We just want to remind families that bottles of liquid can look like other common household products like glue or even eye drops. Young children might be attracted to the small bottle and might experience irritation. We want to help families avoid potential poisoning,” said center administrative director Michele Caliva,

To date, the Upstate New York Poison Center has received more than a dozen calls regarding these products.

Be sure to store the kit, like all medications and household chemicals, out of sight and reach of children. Be sure to read the kit instructions and follow the instructions to ensure accurate test results. When you’re done with the kit, throw it away immediately, the agency said.

In case of poisoning or for information, call the center toll-free at 1-800-222-1222. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Each year, the center handles more than 50,000 cases from health care providers, 911 operators, hospitals, industry, schools and the general public in its 54-county service area which includes all of central New York.

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