ClimateNews & Opinion

Disinfectants Against COVID-19

Disinfectants against COVID-19 are demonstrated to be destructive for Environment.

In recent months, COVID-19 is a hot topic that is under discussion. In shops, public transport, workplaces, and in the general public, people like to talk about COVID-19. One can easily hear about rumors and laugh about disinfectants used against COVID-19. Rumors are self-explanatory. For example, I heard yesterday in a Barbershop that it is actually for installing microchip in people by Bill Gates. One educated person told me “Sohail! Death is on time and COVID-19 cannot kill me”. Rumors are great, but with a silly version.

In this article, we will talk about Disinfectants against COVID-19. What world health organization, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of America and other organizations recommend. We will also extend our discussion toward large- and small-scale negative effects of disinfectants against COVID-19.

Speaking on a wider scale, disinfectants are those chemicals which affect the microorganisms and inactivate them. COVID-19, officially we call it SARS-CoV-19. The Environmental Protection Agency of America lists about 431  effective disinfectants against COVID-19.

Possible Threats

While WHO suggests disinfecting a surface, there should be extensive care. Disinfectants should be non-toxic or less toxic, a look at the contact time, less environmental degradation in measures. We mostly ignore such preventive measures. Disinfectants like dissolved chlorine compounds are on the recommendation list of WHO, about 1000ppm are effective against COVID-19.

A recent study by Ghulam Nabi and his colleagues in the Environmental Research Journal claims that massive disinfectant sprays pose a threat to wildlife.  Moreover, this study complains that instead of the effectiveness of these disinfectants, chlorine compounds, oxidizing agents, and ammonium cations are very degradative and corrosive in nature.

Dr. Ghulam Nabi says “Although some human residents of cities can avoid contact with these chemicals by remaining at home, urban organisms are directly or indirectly exposed to these chemicals”. He further adds that the animals of an urban area are at high risk as they visit the area with lockdown more easily without any disturbance from humans.

One research claims that disinfectant sprays against COVID-19 are not effective at all. This paper recommends governments and the general public immediately stop spraying.

Are we at risk?

According to Dr. Ghulam Nabi, our health is tied with the health of animals and also with that of the environment. If our environment is at risk, we are surely at risk. Disinfectants against COVID-19 are negatively affecting the environment and wildlife, it will surely kick us out of the scenario.

Regards to Dr. Ghulam Nabi, A scientist working on coronavirus (COVID-19) in China.



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Sohail Anjum

Sohail Anjum completed his undergraduate degree in Zoology from University of Malakand in September 2019. He is a young researcher in Ecology. He has also worked with IUCN as a Reviewer of Proposals for IUCN Congress 2020.

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