Udayavni Special

Need to exercise caution while using disinfectants directly on human skin: AMAI


PTI, Apr 21, 2020, 2:07 PM IST

New Delhi: Alkali Manufacturers Association of India (AMAI) on Tuesday stressed on the need to exercise caution while using disinfection chemicals directly on human beings as it could be harmful.

AMAI is the representative body of the entire the alkali industry in India that produces chemicals like sodium hypochlorite, chlorine, bleaching solution/powder, used for disinfection.

The industry body said that there have been recent reports in the media on chemicals like sodium hypochlorite solution and hydrogen peroxide being used for disinfection on human beings to control the spread of coronavirus disease.

“Sodium hypochlorite is a strong disinfectant to be used in recommended dilution to disinfect surfaces and objects that are contaminated or infected. Contact with skin can cause itching and irritation leading to skin problems,” AMAI said in a statement.

Similarly, hydrogen peroxide is a strong bleaching agent and its use should be restricted to objects and surfaces, the association said.

“The use of these chemicals on the face is even more harmful with chances of ingress into eyes, nostrils and mouth, causing health issues,” AMAI said.

The industry body said that there are also instances of special chambers being erected that spray a mist of disinfectant chemicals on people passing or walking through them.

“We are liaising with the government and civic bodies for safe usage of these disinfectants,” said Jayantibhai Patel, President, AMAI.

During these challenging times, AMAI said that its members have stepped up their efforts to maintain an adequate supply of disinfection chemicals to supplement the efforts of the government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite, chlorine, hydrogen peroxide and bleach solutions should be handled with utmost care, avoiding skin contact. In case of contact with skin, the exposed part should be thoroughly washed with a running stream of water,” IMAI said.

It recommended that alcohol-based sanitisers should be used to clean hands. Any other part of the body should be cleaned using ordinary soap and water only.

“WHO recommends use of disinfection chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite, chlorine, bleach solution (in recommended dilution) for disinfecting surfaces and objects,” AMAI said.

To maintain personal hygiene, WHO also recommends frequent washing of hands with soap and water, it added.

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