ARS Technica reports that the Food and Drug Administration is alerting Americans to the potential danger of at-home COVID-19 tests after reports that people were misusing them, resulting in injuries.
In a safety communication posted on their website, the FDA said it had received reports of injuries after people used the liquid test solution in the COVID kit incorrectly.
At-home tests all have slightly different protocols but they often involve combining a nasal swab sample with a liquid test solution on a test on a test card. According to the FDA, some people have been using the liquid test solution as eye drops or have even been sticking it up their noses.
The FDA also reported that some children had been injured after putting test components in their mouths or swallowing the solution. Said the FDA on their website, “The liquid solutions may include chemical ingredients, such as sodium azide, that help the test work properly or act as preservatives. The test chemicals can be irritating or toxic if they get on your skin, nose, or eyes or if they are swallowed.”
It’s unclear how many people have been injured by these testing snafus, or how serious their injuries were, however, the FDA would like you to stop. They recommend that you keep your test kits out of reach of pets and small children and once you’re ready to use your kit, make sure you read the directions and follow them.
At-home COVID-19 tests have become an important and convenient tool that people can use if they or a family member are currently infected. They’re also perfectly safe to use… when you follow the directions.