COVID-19 precautions: Six sanitisation and disinfection mistakes people may still be making
The sanitisation and disinfection practices will protect against all types of viral, bacterial and fungal infections.
Proper sanitisation and disinfection of all surfaces, including your hands, is one of the primary non-pharmaceutical interventions that everybody, from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Union health ministry, has recommended for the prevention of COVID-19 infection. Even though the lockdowns are now being lifted and the economy is gradually opening up again, the pandemic is far from over.
This means that you have to continue taking precautions against COVID-19 . And that works out fine because the sanitisation and disinfection practices recommended can provide you and your loved ones with protection against all types of viral, bacterial and fungal infections.
But you have to do these things right to make them effective. Making mistakes will not only render these practices useless but can also pose dangers you didn’t anticipate. So, here are six sanitisation and disinfection mistakes that you’re probably still making, but shouldn’t:
1. Using bleach without protection
Whether the bleach you’re using is a sodium hypochlorite solution or a hydrogen peroxide one, you have to remember that these are chemical compounds and not meant to come in direct contact with your skin. You’re not supposed to drink it, gargle with it, or touch it without protective gloves one - no matter how diluted in water it may be. Not only can these chemical compounds harm your skin, but if they enter your body in any way, your internal organs could burn and that could turn fatal too.
2. Spraying disinfectants on all surfaces
You might have observed municipality-led disinfection spraying drives from across the world. You might also have seen people being sprayed with disinfectants. The WHO said in mid-May 2020 that this type of disinfectant spraying is not only ineffective — because it doesn’t cover all surfaces that are considered to be “reservoirs of infections” — but highly dangerous. The chemicals can affect your skin and body. A single brush against such a disinfected surface can land you in trouble when residue is indirectly transmitted to your food or drinking water.
3. Using soap/detergent to clean groceries
Soaps and detergents might clean your clothes, but using them on your food products is as bad an idea as using bleach on fruits and vegetables. Even if you wash these food products thoroughly with water after dunking them in soapy water, the chemical residues can stick to them and enter your body on consumption. Washing veggies in warm water and cooking them thoroughly should be enough.
4. Using too much sanitiser/soap
A few drops of soap or sanitiser are all you need to properly disinfect or sanitise your hands. Taking too much of either to clean your hands won’t help you stay clean for longer or clean you more in any way. Instead, it can remove the moisture from your skin and lead to irritation, rashes and other skin issues. Remember to moisturise after every wash too.
5. Using DIY sanitisers with little or no alcohol
Any sanitiser you make at home should contain 80 percent ethanol or 75 percent isopropanol, and the proportion should be 2:1 of alcohol to aloe vera gel. These proportions ensure that the total alcohol level of the sanitiser is 60 percent -- which is the recommended lower limit you need to kill germs. If your alcohol levels are lower, you can use as much of it as you want but it wouldn’t be as effective.
6. Cooking, touching surfaces after sanitising
Touching any other object moments after using a sanitiser all over your hands can contaminate that object too. Let your hands dry completely before touching any other surfaces, especially someone else’s skin or any food products. Also, avoid going near a stove immediately after as sanitizers are flammable.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
The day is celebrated with an intention to raise awareness around vision impairment, which includes blindness too
Centre withdraws travel advisory that added COVID-19 checks, restrictions on passengers arriving from UK
This comes after the British government ordered discontinuation of mandatory testing and quarantine norms for those vaccinated with Covishield travelling from India
In India, environmental impact contributes to 30 percent of the deaths, the reasons being infectious, parasitic, neonatal and nutritional issues, non-communicable diseases and injuries