Spraying of body with disinfectant is not recommended by WHO

Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is shocked to see a photograph in a print media showing a lady spraying disinfectant from a spray bottle onto a group of children in a childcare centre (taska). We are sure that the Malaysian Health Ministry (MoH) and parents would be equally concerned with such practice.

As an immediate response, we would like to call upon all childcare centres which started operation from 2 June to stop the spraying children with disinfectant as the children’s eyes and mucous membranes are more sensitive to the chemicals they are exposed to.

Spraying students with disinfectant might turn rampant as more pre-schools, schools and institutes of higher education reopen.

The Malaysian Health Ministry (MoH) should ban the spraying of disinfectants onto a person passing through a disinfection box/ chamber/ tunnel /booth / partition/ gate, or in this case, with a spray bottle. It was pointed out that the duration a person sprayed in the process is about 20 to 30 seconds which is insufficient to inactivate the virus.

Such approach using fogging or spraying is not recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) spraying the external part of the body using chemicals such as alcohol or chlorine does not kill the virus inside the body. On the contrary spraying chlorine, alcohol, or other toxic chemicals on people can cause eye and skin irritation, bronchospasm and gastrointestinal effects.

CAP calls upon the government to state clearly in its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that any form of spraying of disinfectant on the body is disallowed. The recommendations adopted globally are the wearing of mask, washing of hands with soap, and the practise of social distancing.


Press Statement5 June 2020