Spraying Disinfectants Ineffective, Can Cause Health Risks: WHO

17 May, 2020 13:22 IST|Sakshi

GENEVA: As per a release by the World Health Organization (WHO), spraying disinfectants on the streets, is not only ineffective, does not eliminate coronavirus and in fact could even pose as a health risk for humans, it warned on Saturday.

If disinfectants are to be used, this should be done with a cloth or wipe that has been soaked in disinfectant, it said.

In a guideline released about cleaning and disinfecting surfaces as part of the response to the virus the WHO said that, "Spraying or fumigation of outdoor spaces, such as roads and public places is not recommended to kill the COVID-19 virus or other pathogens because disinfectant is inactivated by dirt and debris," it explained.

"Even in the absence of organic matter, chemical spraying is unlikely to adequately cover all surfaces for the duration of the required contact time needed to inactivate pathogens," it said.

The WHO said that streets and pavements are not considered as "reservoirs of infection" of COVID-19, adding that spraying disinfectants, even outside, can be "dangerous for human health".

It is said that spraying chlorine or other toxic chemicals on people can cause eye and skin irritation, bronchospasm and gastrointestinal effects.

The organisation is also warning against the systematic spraying and fumigating of disinfectants on to surfaces in indoor spaces, citing a study that has shown it to be ineffective outside direct spraying areas.

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