UVA toxicologist addresses concerns about COVID-19 test kit
UVA toxicologist addresses concerns about COVID-19 test kit

UVA toxicologist addresses concerns about COVID-19 test kit

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Den Blue Ridge Poison Center gets calls from people who think the home’s COVID-19 kit contains harmful chemicals.

The vial of liquid in the kit is filled with sodium azide, which is typically used for pest control, as a preservative and can also be found in airbags.

“It’s definitely a toxic chemical, but it’s about dosage,” said BRPC Director, Dr. Christopher Holstege.

He says the center has not seen an overwhelming increase in calls, but there have been many.

“The sodium azide that people have been talking about is a very small amount,” the doctor said. “Dose is so small, even if a small child got into it, I’m not worried it will cause toxicity.”

Holstege says that there is no reason to panic if you swallow the liquid: “There are many things in toxicology that at lower doses are not toxic, and higher doses are toxic. There are things that can be taken on a regular basis, like if you drink too much water, you get drunk on water, ”he said.

Dr. Holstege says that rinsing is important if the chemical gets in someone’s eyes, but there is no reason to call the poison center.

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