The Ministry of Health (MOH) has cautioned the public to not use nano mist sanitising spray guns on people’s bodies
In a statement today, 21 September, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry has observed a rise in public use of the powered spray guns.
He said the device’s effectiveness and safety is a concern, as well as the disinfectant solutions they are sold with.
“MOH would like to emphasise that the disinfecting solution is for the purposes of surface disinfection and not meant to be used directly on humans,” he said.
“Contact with some of this solution may cause irritation to the eyes, skin, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems.”
The issue was also recently brought up by various concerned medical and consumer groups
New Straits Times reported that the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) also recently warned users of the dangers of the use of unregistered products, given that sanitisers are widely sold online.
MMA president Dr Koh Kar Chai said sanitiser guns are not meant to be sprayed on humans as often seen enforced at some places before entry.
He explained that people who are COVID-19 positive carry the virus in their nose and throats, and not on their clothes or skin, unless they are unhygienic when coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose.
“Adopting standard operating procedures (SOPs) with the use of face mask and social distancing is more effective than spraying the whole body with disinfectant spray,” he said.
Dr Koh added that inhalation of the tiny droplets, or mist, created by these spray devices may cause long-term harmful effects to the lungs
The aerolised disinfectant may cause immediate irritation to a person’s skin, eyes, or airways, especially if they are allergic to the antiseptic.
Meanwhile, the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) said many sellers do not declare the ingredients, concentrations, manufacturers or distributors, and handling instructions of these sanitising liquids.
“Some even simply tout ‘proven active ingredients against viruses listed in the World Health Organization, the National Environment Agency, and the MOH’ on their labels,” said CAP president Mohideen Abdul Kader, as quoted by The Star.
He said while some of the chemicals they list may be approved for use in Malaysia, but safety also depends on the duration of exposure to and concentration of the disinfectants.
Speaking to Free Malaysia Today, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) pharmaceutical sciences lecturer Amirah Mohd Gazzali also voiced that these formulations are likely mixes of household cleaning products such as chlorine and bleach, with water, which may cause serious health problems if inhaled.
Source : SAYS
Nano-mist sanitiser guns are not safe for use on people, the health ministry said today, warning of adverse health effects upon coming into contact with or breathing in the spray particles.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said while such sprays can be used to sanitise surfaces, their effectiveness depends on how they are used, for how long and the types of chemical used.
He said nothing can replace regular wiping down of surfaces with a cloth soaked in disinfectant.
This follows FMT’s recent report where experts warned against the use of such sanitiser guns on humans, as seen in some retail outlets.
“Some believe these sanitiser guns can kill SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes Covid-19) in the air and on surfaces.
“However, the effectiveness of this device is dependent on its dispersion ability, the disinfectant used and its concentration, as well as the contact time between disinfectant and surface.
“We would like to emphasise that the disinfecting solution as mentioned above is for the purpose of surface disinfection and not meant to be used directly on humans,” he said in a statement.
Hisham, in warning against the use of such guns on the body, said the spray particles could cause irritation to the eye, and skin, as well as the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.
He added that surface disinfectants found to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 are alcohol with 70%-90% concentration, hydrogen peroxide, thymol, quaternary ammonia, and chlorine-based solutions.
Hisham said the international reference of recommended surface disinfectants against SARS-CoV-2 was available from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website.
He said there were also guidelines for those producing surface disinfectants and labelling requirements.
Previously, the ministry had also recommended against the use of “disinfection tunnels” that sprayed disinfectants as people walked in to malls, office buildings or supermarkets, in an apparent attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19 infections.
A review by the ministry last year found the efficacy of such tunnels to be “uncertain”, adding that it may cause harm to people.
Source : FMT