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Beware accidents with rapid test kits, Health Canada

Health Canada is advising about potential risks with the misuse or accidental ingestion or spillage of COVID-19 rapid antigen test kit solutions on the skin. This after they report a rise in calls to poison control centres.

Health Canada says the kits are safe and effective when used according to the instructions included. They note that the test kits include liquid solutions with chemical preservatives, sodium azide and Proclin which may be poisonous if swallowed or absorbed through the skin, particularly in children and pets.

Health Canada is reminding of the following safeguards:

  • Keep rapid antigen test kits and solutions out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Do not swallow the solutions, and avoid eye and skin contact.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after use.
  • If spillage occurs, rinse well with water.
  • Follow all instructions for proper disposal.
  • Report any health product-related side effects or complaints to Health Canada.
  • Contact your local Poison Information and Control Centre in cases of accidental ingestion or direct skin exposure to test kit solutions.

Health Canada is aware of about 50 calls made to poison control centres in Canada as a result of accidental exposure to solutions in a rapid antigen test kit.

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