Industry, Research bodies for safe usage of disinfectants against Covid-19

Alkali Manufacturers Association of India (AMAI), National Chemical Laboratory, Pune(CSIR-NCL) and the Mumbai-based Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) have come together to spread awareness on the safe use of disinfectants that is at the centre of on-going fight against Covid-19.
“We are privileged to get the support of two leading organisations involved in scientific research who have endorsed our views on safe disinfection after conducting laboratory tests”, said Jayantibhai Patel, President AMAI, the representative body of the alkali industry that produces sodium hypochlorite, chlorine, bleaching solution/powder, etc. the major chemicals used for disinfection.

“Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) or bleach or hypo must be used with utmost precautions as disinfectant so as to avoid skin contact as it may harm the skin and cause irritation. Eyes should also be protected by using proper goggles / face shields”, said Ashwini Kumar Nangia, Director, CSIR-NCL. “High concentration of disinfectants can increase chemical exposure to users and may also damage surfaces. The diluted disinfectant solution should be uniformly applied to surfaces and allowed to remain wet and untouched for at least one minute for the chemical to inactivate pathogens and kill any microorganisms”, he added.

“The Bureau of Indian Standards has classified sodium hypochlorite of 4-6% concentration for household use. This concentration available commercially must be diluted with water by a skilled person to make the solution for disinfection”, said Prof. A B Pandit, Vice Chancellor ICT

CSIR-NCL, ICT Mumbai and AMAI are jointly suggesting 0.05% (500 ppm) of bleach as a safe concentration for localized direct spray on abiotic surfaces, but excluding general misting and indoor/ outdoor fogging or fumigation. WHO guidelines do not allow use of any type of mist tunnel, fogging or fumigation of outdoor spaces.

“Spraying individuals with disinfectants (such as in a tunnel, cabinet, or chamber) is not recommended under any circumstances. This could be physically and psychologically harmful and would not reduce an infected person’s ability to spread the virus through droplets or contact”, WHO has state