Some Americans Use Dangerous Cleaning Methods, Report Says

Category : Health

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. disinfection / ˌdɪs ɪnˈfɛk ʃən / (n) – the process of cleaning something, especially using a chemical substance, to kill bacteria

    Using cleaning sprays and bleach is one of the most common disinfection methods.

  2. misguided / mɪsˈgaɪ dɪd / (adj) – showing poor judgment or lack of awareness

    His insulting joke was a misguided attempt to break the tension in the group.

  3. gargle / ˈgɑr gəl / (v) – to wash one's mouth and throat with liquid and use the throat to blow bubbles through the liquid before spitting it out

    I usually gargle with salt water whenever I have a sore throat.

  4. adverse / ˈæd vɜrs / (adj) – harmful

    The new medicine doesn’t have any adverse side effects.

  5. disseminate / dɪˈsɛm əˌneɪt / (v) – to spread something widely

    The study’s findings were disseminated through online journals.


Read the text below.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that some Americans practice unsafe disinfection methods to fight Covid-19.

Last May, the CDC conducted an online survey among 502 US adults aged 18 to 86. The goal of the survey was to measure participants’ knowledge of household cleaning safety and practices that may prevent the transmission of Covid-19. The survey was conducted following a recent increase in reported incidents of exposure to disinfectants and cleaning solutions.

Thirty-nine percent of the respondents admitted to having intentionally practiced at least one disinfection method not recommended by the CDC. Some of the misguided practices include using bleach to clean food, spraying one’s body with cleaners and disinfectants, and gargling bleach, soapy water, or other cleaning solutions.

Additionally, 25% of the respondents reported experiencing adverse health effects after misusing disinfectants. Some of the negative effects were nausea, breathing problems, and eye irritation. The respondents believe that their health issues were caused by their improper use of cleaning solutions.

Following the results of the survey, the CDC called for the need for public announcements regarding safe cleaning practices. The agency said that the public messages should include guidelines on the safe use of disinfectants and the importance of following label instructions as well as wearing skin and eye protection. The CDC also advised that this information should be disseminated through credible organizations such as public health agencies and medical providers.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Why do you think the participants practiced unsafe disinfection methods (e.g. they were misinformed, didn’t know what to do)? Explain.
• Do you think sending out public announcements is an effective way to raise people’s awareness about safe cleaning practices? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• What can the world learn from your country in terms of safety during the pandemic? Explain.
• What do you think should be improved in your country’s measures in dealing with the pandemic? Discuss.

Category : Health