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Stop using sanitiser guns on people, says Noor Hisham
Published on: Tuesday, September 21, 2021
By: FMT
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Spray particles from sanitiser guns can cause irritation to the eye, skin, and respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, says Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
PETALING JAYA: 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.

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