Without a doubt, disinfectants have moved to the top of the shopping list at every household. Stores have gone a step further to place these products at the very entrance to make sure it does not miss the eye
Fremont, CA: Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, global scales have changed beyond imagination. From governments to businesses to day to day activities, people are learning to adapt to live with the virus as the world continues to wait eagerly for a vaccine. One significant change brought about by the pandemic is the way we shop. Without a doubt, disinfectants have moved to the top of the shopping list at every household. Stores have gone a step further to place these products at the very entrance to make sure it does not miss the eye.
The demand for these products has seen an exponential rise, resulting in a shortage of stock across regions. The ripe smell of these disinfectants overpowers most other products in the store. However, the novel coronavirus is not like anything faced previously. Despite having a low fatality rate, the disease lacks a definitive cure and can spread progressively. Households and companies must assess these disinfectants before purchasing and ensure that they fulfill the purpose.
There is a lot yet to be learnt about the virus and its transmission patterns. Initial reports have suggested that the virus is more likely to spread through respiratory droplets than through surface contact. However, it is still necessary to understand what kind of products can be used to kill the virus. Many of the disinfectants available in the market today are highly toxic. There is a high amount of risk involved with the usage of traditional chemical disinfectants. It has been noticed that disinfectants that contain EPA registered pesticides can be highly toxic and result in asthma in the case of long term exposure. Children are more prone to be affected by these chemicals.
A study by the University of Washington School of Public Health reported that some disinfectants could harm reproductive health or even cause cancer in case of overexposure. A 2019 study of a large cohort of U.S. female nurses found that regular exposure to chemical disinfectants during cleaning puts them at higher risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Not to forget, the impact of these disinfectants on the environment also needs to be considered. University of California’s “Green Cleaning Guide for Early Care and Education” explains that disinfectants, cleaners, sanitizers, and fragrances can pollute our water, air, and soil. The disinfectants used are washed down the drains, sent to treatment plants where the sewage is treated and is then discharged back into groundwater, rivers, reservoirs, and oceans. Although the discharge may be treated before being released, many of the treatment plants in use today are not equipped to remove the chemicals in these products. This can have grave impacts on marine life and also affect drinking water.
Under the given circumstances, it is not possible to survive without adequate sanitation. The chances of spreading the virus from different surfaces may not be high, but it is not a risk that we can afford. It is necessary for people to understand their role and chose their disinfectants wisely.