The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that unscrupulous sellers have sold “miracle” bleach elixirs for decades, claiming that they can cure everything from cancer to HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, flu, hair loss, and more. Some have promoted it to parents as a way to cure autism in children.
The health claims are false, not to mention abhorrent. When users prepare the solution as instructed, it turns into the potent bleaching agent chlorine dioxide, which is an industrial cleaner. It’s toxic to drink and can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, life-threatening low blood pressure, acute liver failure, and damage to the digestive tract and kidneys.
Stocknews Brief reports that poison control centers across the country have seen 16,500 cases involving chlorine dioxide since 2014. At least 50 of those cases were deemed life-threatening. Eight people died.
FDA says that the products have been hard to scrub out because of claims on social media, where the drinks are promoted along with false health information.