Bleach products touted as cure for autism or cancer can be life-threatening, FDA warns

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again urging consumers to avoid purchasing or consuming any bleach product marketed as a cure or medical treatment for an array of health diagnoses including autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS and even the flu. The products, often sold under variations of the name “Miracle Mineral Solution,” “MMS,” “Water Purification Solution (WPS),” and others, can cause serious or potentially life-threatening side effects due to its potent ingredients, the agency warns.

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“The FDA’s drug approval process ensures that patients receive safe and effective drug products. Miracle Mineral Solution and similar products are not FDA-approved, and ingesting these products is the same as drinking bleach,” FDA Acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless said in a statement posted on Monday. “Consumers should not use these products, and parents should not give these products to their children for any reason.”

Websites pedaling the product instruct consumers to mix the sodium chlorite solution with citric acid before drinking. But the FDA warns that when the acid is added to the liquid, it becomes chlorine dioxide, which is a powerful bleaching agent. Reports of severe vomiting, diarrhea, life-threatening low blood pressure and acute liver failure have been associated with drinking these products.

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The agency has been warning consumers about these solutions since 2010, but new reports continue to trickle in. Officials said they are not aware of any scientific evidence supporting its safety or effectiveness, and encourage consumers to consult a health care professional about medical treatments.

“The FDA will continue to track those selling this dangerous product and take appropriate enforcement actions against those who attempt to evade FDA regulations and market unapproved and potentially dangerous products to the American public,” Sharpless said. “Our top priority is to protect the public from products that place their health at risk, and we will send a strong and clear message that these products have the potential to cause serious harm.”

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Consumers are encouraged to report instances associated with these products to the MedWatch Safety Information program.

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