Be careful when using sanitisers, says MMA

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has cautioned people to be careful when using sanitisers as it could be ineffective or even harmful.

MMA president Dr Koh Kar Chai said the use of sanitisers has been on an increase ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began. It is important for people to look at the labels which will outline the usage and other instructions.

With many of the sanitisers being sold, including online platforms, he urged buyers to ensure the product is registered with the authorities.

"Use of unregistered products is dangerous as there will be issues with its efficacy and safety," he said in a statement today.

He added that sanitising booths and guns served as the intended purpose and are not meant for spraying on persons to make it safer for entry into establishments.

Dr Koh said those who were Covid-19 positive do not carry the virus on their clothes or external surfaces, unless they employ unsanitary practices while coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose.

He said that the virus is found in their nasopharyngeal wall where it can be released into the air by sneezing, coughing and even the act of talking loudly as well as loud laughter.

Adopting standard operating procedures (SOPs) with the use of facemask and social distancing is more effective than spraying the whole body with disinfectant spray, he said.

Dr Koh said there may be harmful effects on a person's skin if they are allergic to the sanitising liquid or if the concentration of the active ingredient was too high.

"Inhalation of the aerosolised disinfectant may also cause medical problems which may be immediate if a person is allergic to it.

"Long term harmful effects need to be looked at.

"Though there are such studies available, do bear in mind that such long term frequent use of sanitisers, whether applied to the skin or inhaled unintentionally is unprecedented in our history," he added.

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