COVID-19 Disinfectants: Singapore Authorities Issues Guidelines About Disinfectants and Disinfecting Methods Against The SARS-2 Coronavirus
: The Singapore National Environment Agency has issued an advisory after a study conducted by its Environmental Health Institute (EHI) showed that not all disinfectants are effective against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus despite some claiming to be able to eradicate the virus. https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/public-cleanliness/environmental-cleaning-guidelines/cleaning-and-disinfection/advisories/advisory-on-surface-cleaning-and-disinfection-for-covid-19
Its Environmental Health Institute (EHI) also said that through it studies that the coronavirus can linger on frequently touched areas used by confirmed Covid-19 cases.
The research study detected the virus in two out of more than 400 samples collected from frequently touched areas in non-healthcare accommodations used by Covid-19 patients. Subsequent sampling of the same surfaces after disinfection did not detect the virus. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762692
EHI research scientist Judith Wong, who led the study said, "Laboratory tests by other researchers have shown that Sars-CoV-2 can survive on environmental surfaces for two to three days. Disinfection of spaces where Covid-19 cases dwell is thus essential."
The Singapore NEA recommends that to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, wiping down surfaces with an effective disinfectant is the main effective way and stressed that the way the disinfectant is applied is important.
The NEA warned that the use of handheld mist-sprays and electrostatic sprayers for disinfection as it is “not adequate” and that wipe downs are the only effective manner provided the correct disinfectant is used.
It should be also noted that WHO has also warned against the practice of spraying or fogging disinfectants in areas that are frequently used by people such homes, bedrooms, restaurants, hotel lobbies, offices, schools, discotheques or pubs etc as there are lots of health hazards connected with such practices.
The Singaporean agency also said that it has “not received any robust scientific evidence” to support the effectiveness of automatic misting systems and surface coatings that protect against the coronavirus.
Also products that have been shown to reduce bacteria, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an organic compound found in living cells or other virus counts are also not necessarily effective.
The NEA explained, “This is because bacteria and different viruses differ in their biological and chemical make-up, and viruses do not contain ATP”
Also the NEA warned that the application of processes such as whole-room fumigation and ultraviolet (UV) radiation is effective only if used in specific settings, such as in hospitals and laboratories.
The agency stressed, &
amp;ldquo;They must only be executed by trained professionals, as the processes are complex and exposure to chemical vapours and UV can cause harm.”
The agency also included in its advisory a list of common household products and disinfectants, such as the Mr Muscle multi-purpose cleaner AN dLysol home cleaner which have active ingredients like benzalkonium chloride and sodium hypochlorite that are effective against the coronavirus. https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/public-cleanliness/environmental-cleaning-guidelines/guidelines/interim-list-of-household-products-and-active-ingredients-for-disinfection-of-covid-19
Such products must contain the right concentration of an active ingredient to be effective.
Importantly, different active ingredients also vary in the amount of time required to thoroughly disinfect a surface.
Consumers are therefore advised to read product labels to look for the active ingredients and their concentrations to understand their hazards and to ensure that they meet the necessary guidelines for effectiveness against coronaviruses.
For disinfection of areas that are very likely to be contaminated with COVID-19 virus (e.g. bedroom of a person confirmed to have a COVID-19 virus infection), general household products that contain the appropriate concentrations of active ingredients (A.I.s) can be used.
The recommended suitable active ingredients and their effective concentrations are listed in the table below. The list provides guidance on the effective contact time (which is different among the various A.I.s) required by the A.I.s to act on a surface in order to be effective against coronaviruses. In addition to the use of cleaning agents, other treatments effective against coronavirus include steam and heat treatment. As the COVID-19 virus is new, no study has been published on the virus. This assessment is thus based on published scientific studies on coronaviruses, a group to which the COVID-19 virus belongs.
List Of Active Ingredients and Their Working Concentrations Effective Against Coronaviruses
Active Ingredient (A.I.) Contact Time(Minutes)
-Accelerated hydrogen peroxide#
-Benzalkonium chloride* (0.05%)b
-Ethyl alcohol (70%)d
-Iodine in iodophor (50 ppm)b
-Povidone-iodine (1% iodine)d
-Sodium chlorite (0.23%)b
-Sodium hypochlorite 5
(0.05 – 0.5%)d, e
or Active chlorine generated from other precursor(s)^ (ca. 0.476-4.762 g/L of available chlorine)
*Alternative name: alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride
Products with hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient will be assessed on a case-by-case basis; efficacy reports should be provided by the supplier.
Active chlorine could be generated from other precursors such as calcium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid, sodium chloride, sodium dichloroisocyanurate, tosylchloramide sodium, and tichloroisocyanuric acid, under certain conditions.
a Omisbahakhsh, N., & Sattar, S. A. (2006). Broad-spectrum microbicidal activity, toxicologic assessment, and materials compatibility of a new generation of accelerated hydrogen peroxide-based environmental surface disinfectant. American Journal of Infection Control, 34(5), 251-2571
b Saknimit M, Inatsuki I, Sugiyama Y, Yagami K. (1988) Virucidal efficacy of physico-chemical treatments against coronaviruses and parvoviruses of laboratory animals. Jikken Dobutsu. 37:341-5; Tested against canine coronavirus
c Dellanno, C., Vega, Q., & Boesenberg, D. (2009). The Antiviral action of common household disinfectants and antiseptics against murine hepatitis virus, a potential surrogate for SARS coronavirus. American Journal of Infection Control, 37(8), 649-652. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2009.03.012
d Sattar SA, Springthorpe VS, Karim Y, Loro P. (1989). Chemical disinfection of non-porous inanimate surfaces experimentally contaminated with four human pathogenic viruses. Epidemiol. Infect. 102:493-505; Tested against coronavirus 229E.
e Lai, M. Y. Y., Cheng, P. K. C., & Lim, W. W. L. (2005). Survival of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 41(7), e67-e71.
Important points to note when using disinfectants:
-Check the labels and use according to instructions, and be aware of the potential hazard of each product.
-Avoid contact with eye and skin when handling cleaning products, and keep them away from children.
-Do not mix different cleaning products and use in a well-ventilated area.
-For disinfection of highly contaminated surfaces or material, avoid the use of spray, and allow appropriate time needed for disinfection
For household brands of cleaning solutions found in supermarkets In Thailand, Magic Clean, Mr Muscle and Lysol products were found to be effective.
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