Safer to stick with conventional sanitisation measures

THE Covid-19 pandemic is providing vast opportunities for innovative individuals to come up with new products and services to combat the spread of the disease.

All sorts of devices that purportedly reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19 are currently flooding the market. These include various brands of hand sanitisers, different designs of face masks and shields, walk-through sanitising chambers, and now, the hand-held nano spray gun.

There are no objections to people pushing their products, but those that involve the use of chemical solutions may need approval from the Health Ministry before they can be released in the market.

Currently, a wide range of chemicals are used as sanitising agents, including sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide and ethyl alcohol.

In general, chemicals that kill other organisms are hazardous and could cause harmful effects to humans, particularly those who have illnesses. The routes of entry into the body are via the skin and through inhalation.

Spraying people with sanitisers is not recommended under any circumstances. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that this could be harmful and would not reduce the transmission of the virus. This is because Covid-19 is transmitted mainly through respiratory droplets or contact.

Spraying sanitisers onto a person, even outdoors, is dangerous, particularly when the product contains ethyl alcohol, as there is an additional risk of fire and explosion.

Business owners and operators should instead use standard control measures to manage the risk of Covid-19 transmission, such as providing adequate ventilation in their premises and regular cleaning.

WONG SOO KAN , Petaling Jaya

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