Coronavirus myth busted: Bleach gargles and drinking miracle mineral solution will not prevent COVID-19

Drinking bleach (or even gargling with it) will severely impact your health and MMS is a kind of bleach that could even be life-threatening if ingested.

Myupchar March 09, 2020 13:47:38 IST
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Coronavirus myth busted: Bleach gargles and drinking miracle mineral solution will not prevent COVID-19

With more than 110,000 affected in the world and about 3,825 deaths, coronavirus is all the talk these days. Scientists all around the world are trying their best to spread awareness about COVID-19 and possibly develop a vaccine within this year.

However, along with some sound precautionary recommendations, there has also been a hoard of myths doing the rounds. Some of the latest amongst them are ingestion of bleach, a miracle mineral solution (MMS) and even silver. A lot of people on social media are promoting the use of these to prevent coronavirus infection.

 

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Representational image. AP

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), USA, does suggest using bleach to disinfect surfaces but that is as far as it goes. Drinking bleach (or even gargling with it) will severely impact your health and MMS is a kind of bleach that could even be life-threatening if ingested.

Here are some important things that you should know about bleach and the miracle mineral solution: 

Bleach

Bleach is not a single compound but a generic name for a class of compounds that are used for cleaning, disinfecting and whitening clothes. Chemically, it could either be sodium hypochlorite (bleaching powder) or peroxide (peroxide bleach). Regardless of the type, bleach is corrosive. It would kill healthy tissue the moment it comes in contact with it. 

Ingestion of bleach (which can happen while gargling) can cause throat irritation, vomiting and stomach upset. 

If it somehow reaches your lungs, bleach can cause severe damage to the airways. It can cause suffocation and death.

Miracle mineral solution

Miracle mineral solution is described as containing about 28% sodium chlorite in a base of distilled water. Consumers are asked to mix it with some sort of acidic solution (lemon juice or citric acid) before consumption. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), when you mix both these things, you get chlorine dioxide, which is a type of bleach.

There is no scientific evidence to prove any of the claims that are being made in favour of MMS. The FDA has already got reports of adverse health effects linked to ingesting this product. These range from diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration, severely low blood pressure and acute liver failure. 

While we are at it, silver can cause permanent greying of skin (a condition called argyria) and it can interfere with the absorption of certain drugs. There is no evidence that silver can cure any condition, let alone coronavirus

For more tips, read our article on Coronavirus.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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