The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has issued a warning about a concerning new social media trend in which people are breathing in hydrogen peroxide through nebulizers to treat or prevent COVID-19.
In a Tuesday blog post, the AAFA said that the “dangerous trend” was circulating on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.
“DO NOT put hydrogen peroxide into your nebulizer and breathe it in. This is dangerous!” the association said
Still, the trend is one of many that people have claimed are home remedies to treat or prevent COVID-19.
“Only use asthma medicine prescribed by your doctor in your nebulizer,” the AAFA noted. “Other chemicals can be harmful to your lungs.”
A nebulizer is a breathing machine that is used to treat asthma, turning liquid asthma medicine into a mist that is inhaled through a mask or mouthpiece.
Hydrogen peroxide is a type of antiseptic frequently used to treat minor cuts and burns or as a household germ-killer.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that while hydrogen peroxide is generally considered safe for human exposure at low doses – and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) affirmed it as Generally Recognized as Safe with certain limitations – “acute irritation and systemic toxicity is possible in humans exposed to moderate to high doses of hydrogen peroxide.”
Pulmonary, respiratory and gastrointestinal irritation can occur depending on how diluted it is.