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Banner Poison Control warns of harmful chemical in at-home COVID-19 tests

Some at-home COVID-19 antigen tests contain sodium azide, which Banner Poison Control Center warns is a potentially harmful chemical.

If used correctly, there should be no direct exposure to the chemical when using at-home tests.

But, Banner’s Dr. Daniel Brooks says there have been some mild cases of exposure in Arizona.

“Like some irritation to skin or ocular irritation, or maybe just a taste of it where someone has caught their child either putting a drop on their finger or putting it in their mouth, but we haven’t had any clinically significant exposures yet,” said Brooks.

Brooks says some reports include mistaking the test’s buffer solution as a container for eye drops.

He says it’s unlikely that there is enough sodium azide in any at-home tests to cause any serious health problems, but still recommends keeping tests away from children and calling poison control immediately upon exposure.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.