(CBS DETROIT)-As more households receive the COVID-19 home test kits, Poison Control is putting a warning out, especially to parents of a potential hazard located inside the kits.

This week households across the Country starting to receive their free COVID home test kits.

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The kits are convenient but officials with Poison Control say the substance inside some of the testing vials can be poisonous if ingested.

“Most of them do have a substance called sodium azide which can be toxic, but it’s such a small amount that the hazard of the material is not considered to be a threat,” said Dr. Asha Shajahan, Medical Director of Community Health Beaumont Grosse Pointe Hospital.

However, doctors say if the substance in the vial is swallowed, especially by a child side effects can be serious.

“You can get nausea, low blood pressure, you can have seizures, it could be very serious,” Dr. Shajahan said.


Again doctors say if taken in a large dose. Poison control also puts out a warning that the vial cap can be a choking hazard to children and pets, and for adults be mistaken for eye or nose drops. Just look at the similarity between the test vial and that of an eye drop vial. If they are mistaken….

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“Washing completely right away for at least 15-30 seconds and then call the poison control line, it could be very hazardous to your vision. So again, just making sure that when you’re doing this kit you don’t have other medications around, that you have it on a table where there’s not anything else around and you mistake it for something else,” said Dr. Shajahan.

Doctors say just remember to treat the kit like any other hazardous material in the house and keep it out of reach of children and pets and when you’re done be sure to dispose of it.


Contact poison control right away if the substance from a COVID-19 home test vial is ingested in the mouth, eyes or nose.

At 1-800-222-1222

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