One of my patients recently asked me about a recent dangerous trend and touted "cure" for autism spectrum disorders. Sold under various forms online, including "Miracle Mineral Solution," Miracle Mineral Supplement," "Chlorine Dioxide Protocol," and "Water Purification Solution," these drinking solutions contain sodium chlorite, which, when combined with citric acid (as per the instructions in these products), becomes chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleach agent. There has been no scientific evidence supporting the safety or benefits of these products. Last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to stop purchasing and using these products.
Using these products, which the FDA states is "the same as drinking bleach," has resulted in reports of severe vomiting, severe diarrhea, dangerously low blood pressure, and acute liver failure. It can be especially dangerous if it reaches the lungs. There have been at least seven deaths of people who have ingested these products since 2009. Other adverse effects are likely underreported since vomiting and diarrhea are listed as potential "side effects" from the products.
I told my patient's family that these products are dangerous and should absolutely be avoided.
If you suspect a child has come in contact with this type of product, call the Poison Control Center at CHOP at 1-800-222-1222 immediately. Information and treatment guidance is offered to the public and healthcare professionals 24/7, at no charge. Click here for more information about chlorine dioxide exposure.
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