Health experts warn against excess usage of disinfectants

Hyderabad: It has been little over six months since the novel Corona virus (COVID-19) was identified in the country and ever since, people have turned extremely conscious of the surroundings they are living in. Sanitizers and disinfectants have become a common sight (and smell) these days in many offices, banks and public spaces. 

However, it seems that many are going overboard with the use of disinfectants, so much so that it might even end up becoming more harmful than its intended purpose. Across Hyderabad, many offices are marked with an omnipresent smell akin to that of a hospital. The smell is due to the excessive use of disinfectants like bleach, Naphthalene, Phenol and Antiseptics in the office blocks.

The metallic smell that engulfs office blocks and public places is not only nauseating but also harmful after prolonged exposure, health experts saod. According to a senior biologist from the premier Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), who requested  anonymity, the use of disinfectants has no proven effects on COVID-19 but can surely have adverse effects on human beings if used in excess.         

“Disinfectants have to be used in prescribed amounts for pest and microbe control in particular regions. Since most of the disinfectants are volatile they can contaminate food and water which can have adverse effects on us,” the scientist said.

In fact, when this reporter visited the Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSSPDCL) and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the same metallic odor, in excess, was present. 

Many offices are also purchasing these chemicals in liters to disinfect the office premises. This is, despite the World Health Organisation stating, “Spraying of individuals with disinfectants is not recommended under any circumstances. This practice could be physically and psychologically harmful and would not reduce an infected person’s ability to spread the virus through droplets or contact.”

According to some reports, people also associate the distinct smell of a hospital with negative emotions of sickness and the smell takes no time to trigger a memory of the unfortunate time they had spent in the hospital.

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