Maintaining that mist tunnels that spray chemicals with the right concentration are not only safe but have also been found to kill bacteria and disinfect people, CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory and ICT Mumbai have jointly recommended the chemical formula for deployment elsewhere.
Recently, the laboratory had installed the tunnel on the campus. An individual who walks through the tunnel is exposed to disinfectants, a maximum of 50 ml, for not more than eight seconds.
After such mist tunnels were installed in public places in Pune and other localities, some reports claimed that frequent spraying of chemical mist had harmful effects.
NCL performed tests on individuals who were subjected to the mist spray inside the tunnel. It was found that hypochlorite or bleach, when used from 0.02 per cent to 0.05 per cent weight concentration, showed anti-bacterial properties against standard microorganisms. Importantly, the chemical did not display any adverse effect on normal skin, making this concentration levels fit for usage.
The ICT Mumbai has also developed a solution for people who are allergic to sodium hypochlorite, one of the main disinfectants used currently. Replacing it with Benzalkonium (BKC)-based solutions, the joint recommendation has been to utilise BKC in 30ppm concentration.
“The scientific data gathered by NCL and ICT clearly show that there is beneficial killing effect of bacteria and microbes… and the contra-indications are minimal,” said a senior official involved in the collaboration.
The two organisations reiterated that the chemical mist was only disinfecting external body and clothes of those passing through the tunnel.
After carrying out reviews, the team plans to submit a scientific report to the government and health officials in the regard, so that more such tunnels are erected in near future and corona warriors are kept safe even after the lockdown is lifted.
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