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A cleaning blogger from Northern Ireland has issued a warning after a bottle of Zoflora, which accidentally got on her face and eyes, left her in A&E.
Andrea Brown, the woman behind popular Instagram account @letshinchandbehappy, described the terrifying moment a bottle of the much-loved disinfectant flung into her face while on a shopping trip, leaving her skin and throat feeling like they were "on fire" and her teeth feeling as if they were "about to fall out".
"I'm writing this post to show the implications, the danger of smelling products and to raise awareness of being extremely careful for yourself, for your household and for others," the blogger started in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
Andrea says that despite Zoflora being a product she "loves" and the disinfectant having clear instruction for use, "what happened to me has alerted me and warned me just how harmful the product is when not used correctly or when someone can't be careful within a shop."
Describing her horrifying story, the blogger started: "When Zoflora release a new scent we are each guilty of wanting to smell the newest scent to see if we like it. Some of us will buy just to support and have the newest scent however I urge you please screw the lid tightly on the bottle IF you smell the scent in store.
"On Friday I went to a store to get some items for my family. I seen a new Zoflora and decided to smell it to see what it was like as I lifted the bottle from the box the lid was not correctly put back on the bottle and with my grip on the box the liquid went all up my nose, soaked my face mask and went into my eyes. I was stunned but also scared. The staff within the shop were young and had looked at me was I just crying.
"I told my mum get out of this store but before we left I bought 6 bottle of still water to soak my face in as I've read the box before and if liquid touched skin water is advised if persistent irritation urgent medical attention is required ASAP."
Describing her gruesome symptoms, Andrea said: "We left and went home my skin was on fire. The irritation behind my nose honestly was extremely sore. The back of my throat was on fire and the irritation to my teeth made me feel they were honestly about to fall out.
"I rang the doctors who told me to get to a&e straight away. I went and seen a pharmacist who advised a&e as well so up to a&e I had to go."
Zoflora makes clear in its instructions that undiluted Zoflora antibacterial disinfectant may cause sensitisation or irritation when it comes into contact with the skin and the brand recommends users wear rubber gloves when using.
It says that if splashed in the eyes or on the skin, you should wash well with water and consult a doctor.
A spokesperson for the brand told Tyla: "As with all household cleaning products, Zoflora's packaging includes full details regarding the ingredients and how to use Zoflora, and the potential risks associated with the ingredients within the product.
"This product can produce allergic reactions, eye irritation and skin irritation if the instructions for usage aren't correctly followed, or the product accidentally comes into contact with skin or eyes. The pack also advises use of protective gloves and eye protection where necessary, especially when the product is undiluted.
"We strongly urge our users not to open bottles of Zoflora in store to smell prior to buying, and to always be extremely careful to replace the lid correctly after using the product. Effective household cleaning products such as Zoflora need to be handled with care and in accordance with the instructions on the pack, as they can be harmful when they come into contact with the eyes, mouth and skin."
They went on: "As @letshinchandbehappy has mentioned in her post, this was an accident due to someone not replacing the lid properly in a store, and we would urge all Zoflora users to avoid removing the lids of products before purchase, and to ensure that lids are replaced tightly after use.
"We appreciate @letshinchandbehappy for raising awareness of the importance of product safety when using her loved Zoflora disinfectant and other household cleaning products, and wish her a speedy recovery."
Let this be a warning to us all.
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