Attention!! Caregivers of special needs, children, and seniors should be aware that an ingredient in the COVID-19 test kits that are available free from the U.S. government contains a liquid sodium azide in the extraction vial, which can cause low blood pressure, headaches, and seizures in large amounts (1). The sodium azide is the concern in the test kit, with reports from poison control of people mistakeably using the solution in their eyes or children putting it in their mouths (1). Test kits will vary, but most will have a swab, testing card and the problem is in the reagent solution in the extraction vial (1).
The Cincinnati Drug and Poison Information Center states they have seen a rise in “accidental exposures to a substance in these test kits. Poison control centers nationwide have been reporting the same finding.”
To keep your family safe from accidental poisoning from the home test kits for COVID-19, poison control centers recommend,
- Store the kit “up and away,” out of the sight and reach of children and pets. (I am adding-special needs persons, sight impaired, and seniors as well).
- Leave the kit sealed until needed and throw it away immediately after use. (I am adding-kids love to dig through the trash, so put it in a bag and bury it in the bottom of the waste can).
- Make sure to read and follow the instructions on the package before using (1). (I am adding-if you have questions, call your PCP, pharmacist, or poison control center).
Have a question or concern? Please call the 24-hour national poison control number at 1-800-222-1222.
Remember it only takes a few moments to secure the kits. Prevention is always better than the possibility of an emergency.
God bless you all.