18th Century 19th Century

Don’t Drink Disinfectants.

Have a drink of: ANYTHING BUT BLEACH.
Disinfectants are not medicine.

Ask about: No. Don’t. Just DON’T.

I can’t believe I have to say this, much less marshal the historical evidence to prove it, but, please: don’t drink bleach. Don’t inhale bleach. Don’t inject bleach. DON’T USE BLEACH TO DO ANYTHING BUT CLEAN UP AROUND THE HOUSE.

For more on the dark history of what has happened every time people have tried to do this in the past (and, oh yes, they most certainly have) – click through to my essay at Medium.

Fun Facts:

Something we still know of today – and probably had our moms slather on our chests in childhood – has ties to the experimental urgency of historical pandemics: Vicks VapoRub exploded in popularity during the 1918 flu epidemic.

Just last month the FTC issued advisories about not using unproven methods – including essential oils, silver or tea – to cure coronavirus.

Onions at least won’t kill you.

Kerosene, though, might. From an 1892 news squib:

Windsor Ledger 2.18.1891

Additional Reading:

Tim Marcin, “This “Miracle Solution” is Marketed as a Cure for Cancer and HIV. It’s Bleach.Vice, August 13, 2019

Nicole Pasulka, “When Women Used Lysol as Birth Control,Mother Jones, March 8, 2012

Catharine Arnold, Pandemic 1918 (2018)