First reported the December 23rd, 2021 the article titled “Sodium Azide: Toxic Substance in COVID-19 Home Tests” revealed disturbing news. In February poison control centers across the country began issued a health alerts in response to the increase of concerned calls regarding COVID-19 test kits1,2,3,4,5. This has brought public awareness to the testing kit’s hazardous ingredients, confirming last year’s original report regarding the potential for Sodium Azide toxicity in COVID-19 tests. In addition, the National Institutes of Health released a medical report6 in January calling for the attention of Sodium Azide in COVID-19.
Sodium Azide has been used in the reagent solution for a number of COVID-19 testing devices. This was allowed under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), where a lack of regulatory oversight is conducted, and the primary research conducted for each review is created by researchers who are often investors themselves, leading to ethical conflicts of interest. These oversights include using cheap under-regulated ingredients, including potential toxins. As a result, hundreds of Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) have been revoked.
Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is a temporary measure implemented during health emergencies, when all other means are impossible. Under these circumstances, the FDA has not cleared or approved the product for use. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA rapid handed out thousands of EUA, to a large variety of companies with faulty products. Beyond the vast quantities of inaccurate testing devices, came a poisonous reagent solution as a preservative. The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization warns, “For in vitro Diagnostic Use Only7.”
National Capital Poison Center in Washington, DC.
Maryann Amirshahi, (PharmD, MD, MPH, PhD,) Medical Toxicologist warns of the toxicity of sodium azide, found in reagent solution of many brands of COVID-19 rapid test kits. This announcement comes as a shocking realization to the American populous that companies have taken full advantage of the potential for profit off of the pandemic. By utilizing cheap and potentially toxic chemicals to create testing devices while under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to create a profit, regardless of its long-term effects.
“It is important to know that the extraction vial in many rapid antigen kits includes the chemical sodium azide as a preservative agent. The BinaxNow, BD Veritor, Flowflex, and Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 rapid antigen kits all contain this chemical.”
“Sodium azide is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless powder that has been used as a propellant in automobile airbags, an herbicide, and a pest control agent. While it is now most frequently utilized as a laboratory preservative agent, sodium azide has also been used during the process of manufacturing beer, wine, and rubber.”
“When swallowed, sodium azide can cause low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, and heart palpitations. In more severe cases, seizures, loss of consciousness, and death may occur. Sodium azide is a very potent poison, and ingestion of relatively low doses can cause significant toxicity.”
“Fortunately, the amount of sodium azide in most rapid antigen kits is much lower than the amount expected to cause poisoning if swallowed by an adult.”National Capital Poison Center, Washington, DC
- “However, the extraction vials do look like small squeeze bottles or eye droppers.”
- “Some people may accidentally confuse them with medications and apply the drops into their eyes or nose, which may cause irritation.”
- “People also may spill it on their skin which can cause skin irritation or chemical burns.”
- “Small children may accidentally swallow the contents of the vial or choke on the vial’s small cap.”
“If you suspect someone has swallowed sodium azide, do not make the person vomit. For eye exposures, rinse the eyes for 15-20 minutes with warm tap water. For skin exposures, rinse the skin well with tap water. Immediately check the webPOISONCONTROL® online tool for guidance or call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. Both options are free for the public, and available 24 hours a day. If someone has swallowed part of a rapid antigen test and is choking, call 911 immediately.National Capital Poison Center, Washington, DC
Free COVID Tests
In New York, free COVID-19 tests have been given out to children in schools, where they are expected to properly transport the hazardous toxic chemicals home to their parents. The children, aged two and up, are expected to not tamper with the packaging or the contents, to avoid injury. The only instructions for the proper handling of the toxic substance, are “printed safety instructions,” which the child is expected to give to the parent before administering the test. The inconsistent safety measures lead to many dangerous situations surrounding the transport administering and disposal of the tests. The Poison Control Center warns against children drinking the solution or using it as eye drops. In these cases, severe damages could occur as a result. The bottom line, COVID-19 tests containing sodium azide should not be given to children.
On January 25th, 2022 Kathy Hochul announced that she would be increasing COVID-19 testing in New York State by providing millions of testing devices to New York residents8. These new measures included distributing 85 million testing devices to children across the state.
JANUARY 25, 2022
“We ordered up to 85 million, we’re 85 million, that’s any more than any state in the nation.”
Kathy Hochul – Governor of New York State
“No more of this, “Someone tests positive, and everybody goes home for 10 days.” They go back for three days, someone else test positive they’re home. That was almost as disruptive as the entire year and a half or a year of remote learning. So, keeping kids in school is best for their health. We keep them safe by making sure that they have test kits that go home with them if necessary. And I want to announce that as we’re approaching the winter break, schools have different times, but between February and March, I want to make sure that we have enough kits to have every child be able to have a test kit sent home with them before the break. They’re exposed during the break, they don’t go back to school if they test positive.”
Kathy Hochul – Governor of New York State
New York State Department of Education (NYS DOE)
Following Hochul’s speech, the New York Department of Education issued an official statement on take-home COVID-19 tests for children, even as young as two years old9. Starting on January 3rd, children in grades kindergarten and higher would be given two take home COVID-19 tests. On January 31st, the offer for two free COVID-19 testing devices was extended to two year old children. Sodium Azide should not be given to two year olds, despite the bright, neatly packaged box which houses the substance.
In an effort to prevent chemical burns or other injuries, the New York Department of Education suggested that parents “Please help your child take one of the COVID tests provided,” as if to further normalize the corrosive liquid, Sodium Azide, encapsulated in the confines of its thin plastic squeeze tube. The NY DOE website would not need to display this suggestion if the companies who produced testing devices warned users about the hazards, rather than displaying these facts in the fine print.
Despite the known toxins in the COVID-19 tests, rather than inform consumers about the potential toxicities of these testing devices, the New York State Department of Health offered a reassuring blanket disclaimer, “Please note that the following documents and videos were not prepared by the Department of Education and the Department of Education is not responsible for content or translated content.”
The New York State Department of Education also suggests that if children have recovered from a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last three months, they do not need to take a test, nor are they at risk on asymptomatically spreading SARS-CoV-2 to others. This outrageous display of misinformation highlights the discord between health officials, as residents are forced to flip-flop alongside the CDC’s daily changes.
Home Test Kits for Midwinter Recess
“To keep our school communities safe after the midwinter recess, we strongly encourage all students to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to school on February 28, regardless of vaccination status.”
“Your child will come home with two COVID-19 home tests, which may be packaged in one box or two.”
“Beginning January 3, schools will distribute free, take-home COVID-19 rapid test kits to any student (in grades kindergarten or higher) or any staff who exhibit COVID-like symptoms or have been in a classroom where a positive case has been identified.”
“[B]eginning January 31, children ages 2 and up who are exposed to COVD-19 at school will receive a home test kit.”
“Your child may not attend school until they receive negative results on both of these home tests”
“Please note, if your child has recovered from a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they do not need to take a test and should attend school on Monday, February 28, if they are feeling well.”Kathy Hochul, NYS Governor
Hochul’s plan involved sending children home with poisonous testing kits, in hope they wouldn’t open the kits themselves, or try to self-administer the tests. Kathy Hochul chose the brands ACON Flowflex, BinaxNow, Carestart, and iHealth.
Of the four brands given out through the New York State Department of Education, three of the brands [Flowflex, BinaxNow, Carestart] contained the toxic substance sodium azide.
Testing Device Package Inserts
Carestart’s package insert states nitrile or latex gloves should be worn when performing the test. It also warns against the inhalation of the fumes, and avoiding contact with specific substances. One of those substances includes copper, such as the copper in pipes. Sodium azide buildup can cause copper plumbing to form a “highly explosive metal azide.” In addition, sodium azide can create “very toxic gas” when exposed to acids. The ambiguous description of acids, gives concern to the scope of acids in which to avoid when disposing of the substance.
“Reagents contain sodium azide, which is harmful if inhaled, swallowed, or exposed to skin. Contact with acids produces a very toxic gas. If there is contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of water. Sodium azide may react with lead and copper plumbing to form highly explosive metal azides. On disposal, flush with a large volume of water to prevent azide build-up.”
The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self TEST states a warning that the product contains Sodium Azide, stating that the solution tube contains “a hazardous ingredient.” Why would a device of that description be given to children as young as two?
“The solution in the tube contains a hazardous ingredient”
“The Reagent Solution contains a harmful chemical (see table below). If the solution contacts the skin or eye, flush with copious amounts of water. If irritation persists, seek medical advice: https://www.poison.org/contact-us or 1-800-222-1222.”
ACON Flowflex contains two hazardous ingredients in their coronavirus contraptions: Sodium azide, and TX-100.
What is T-X-100?
Triton-X-100 is defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as a nonionic surfactant mixture13. These substances are traditionally used in detergents, cleaning products, and spermicide. The NIH states that this chemical causes “specific organ toxicity,” warning that its specific organ damage occurs in the brain. T-X-100 also produces “serious eye damage” and is a known “long-term aquatic hazard.”
“Nonionic surfactant mixtures varying in the number of repeating ethoxy (oxy-1,2-ethanediyl) groups. They are used as detergents, emulsifiers, wetting agents, defoaming agents, etc. Octoxynol-9, the compound with 9 repeating ethoxy groups, is a spermatocide.”
Source: PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004-. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 5590, Triton X-100; https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Triton-X-100
ACON Flowflex, BinaxNow, and Carestart are verified to be manufactured in China. This means the manufacturing facilities’ public allegiance resides under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Thriving Chinese businesses conducting international trade with foreign competition [America] provide opportunities for the CCP to gain intelligence of U.S. technology. This gives China’s economy the advantage, as many American companies dump millions of dollars into Chinese manufacturing facilities, which are also looking to make a profit. In exchange, American businesses can produce their products using foreign manufacturing techniques [laogai] which would not be possible under U.S. law.
Internationally, there are different, if any, regulations when it comes to quality control of the product’s sourced ingredients. In other words, the specific amount, and quality of Sodium Azide, as well as the packaging that contains it, is up for debate. To be clear, the lack of quality is due to forced employment, forced labor, and forced re-education when making cheaply available products. To the distributors of these devices, such as Carestart, the quality of the ingredients do not matter under the guise of an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
COVID-19 Testing Device Safety
Visiting local COVID-19 testing sites throughout Brooklyn, New York, the workers administering the tests admitted they were not informed beforehand of the hazardous chemicals they were handling. In addition, no proper disposal techniques, other than throwing the used tests away into plastic bags were implemented. It seemed that many of the workers behind New York City’s local testing facilities were there simply for a job. After the devastating impact to the city’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, many hardworking individuals people are deceived to unknowingly conduct testing using toxic chemicals while executing the handling and disposal of hazardous waste.
Despite the potential toxicity of long-term daily exposure to Sodium Azide, there is no regulatory process for the disposal or handling of the substance at COVID-19 testing sites, nor are the employees trained of the existence of such hazards in the workplace. Many simply seeking employment may soon find their own health impacted through work related injuries. As these devices knowingly contain poisons functioning under Emergency Use Authorization, removing the ability for a legal retaliatory response.
In December 2021, COVID-19 tests were in high-demand throughout New York City pharmacies were tests during before the holiday season. This resulted in a lack of rapid testing devices, causing the state to produce new measures which would enable more tests to be distributed14. Millions of tests were used and discarded during this time, raising concern for both the personal safety when using the devices, and its long-term ecotoxicity. What environmental impacts will the accumulation of the mass quantity of Sodium Azide from disposed COVID-19 tests produce?
At this stage consistent COVID-19 testing products pose a greater risk to human health than the personal decision for a COVID injections or to exist with natural immunity. This is proof that these products should not be given to children. While long-term effects of daily exposure to both Sodium Azide, COVID-19, and the prophylactic coronavirus mRNA vaccinations have yet to be revealed one thing is for certain: all three independently hold their own level of potential hazard. For this reason, residents should not be mandated to replicate any action, but instead offered information which allows an individual personal decision. To the same effect, COVID-19 testing contraptions should not be forced upon the public, while being completely unrestricted in the way in which they are properly disposed. The COVID-19 hysteria increased global pollution on a massive level, littering the oceans with masks, and flooding Sodium Azide into our society. Although the amount contained inside COVID-19 tests “is much lower than the amount expected to cause poisoning if swallowed by an adult,” billions of improperly discarded tests will ultimately lead to the accumulation of this poisonous substance, raising global concern.