Establishments Urged to Dismantle Disinfectant Booths

May 19, 2020

THE World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned about health effects of makeshift booths spraying disinfectants.

The WHO said spraying disinfectants can result in eyes, respiratory or skin irritations adding that certain chemicals, such as formaldehyde, chlorine-based agents or quaternary ammonium compounds, is not recommended due to adverse health effects on workers in facilities where these methods have been utilized.

“Spraying or fumigation of outdoor spaces, such as streets or marketplaces, is also not recommended to kill the COVID-19 virus or other pathogens because disinfectant is inactivated by dirt and debris,” the WHO also said.

Thus the environmental health group EcoWaste Coalition called on commercial and other establishments to cease from spraying coronavirus disinfectants on individuals, especially those not wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE).

The group urged concerned establishments to heed the advisories issued by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and stop the unsafe practice of spraying individuals with disinfectant solutions.

According to the advisories issued by DOH and DILG, “commonly used chemical disinfectants such as hypochlorite are irritant to the skin and the mucous membrane (eyes, nose, and throat), and may also have adverse health effects when inhaled in an enclosed environment.”

The Infection and Prevention Control Unit of WHO’s World Health Emergencies Programme had previously advised governments against spraying individuals with disinfectants for COVID-19 prevention.

‘We strongly advise that the spraying of individuals or groups is not recommended under any circumstances.  Spraying an individual or group with chemical disinfectants or detergents is physically or psychologically harmful and does not limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Maria Clara Padoveze, Infection Prevention and Control Expert, WHO.