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Each year children and adults require hospital treatment because of corrosive injuries caused by drain cleaners containing sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. Drain cleaners of this kind are sometimes known as caustic soda or lye. They can quickly give rise to serious and lasting corrosive injuries in the mouth, oesophagus and eyes and on the skin.

If you wish to use a drain cleaner for cleaning out the drain, choose in the first instance a product which is not corrosive. Corrosive drain cleaners are chemical products which are so hazardous that families with children should avoid having them entirely in the home.

Prevent blockages in the drain by not flushing grease down it. Instead, clean out the frying pan with paper, for instance. Flush hot water down the drain now and again.

If you still have a blockage in the drain, use in the first instance mechanical methods, such as cleaning by hand or using a plunger or plumbing snake. Or else bring in a professional.

If you have drain cleaner in the home

  • Read the information on the packaging. Look for danger symbols and follow the instructions for use.
  • Keep the drain cleaner in its original packaging and out of reach of children. Do not rely on the childproof fasteners.
  • Avoid corrosive drain cleaners. If you have used one but still need to call in a professional, say that you have used a drain cleaner.

Call 112 and ask for Poison Information if anyone has got inside or on their body something that might be corrosive.

Swedish Poisons Information Centre 

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