- Aggressive hand hygiene is a vital measure against COVID-19: Experts
- Researchers have developed bio-compatible and non-eco toxic disinfectants
- It can be added while washing clothes to provide extra anti-fungal action
Pune: A team of researchers and academicians in Pune in Maharashtra has said that they have developed a nanomaterial-based eco-friendly and non-toxic hand wash and water-based disinfectant which can be used to clean edible items and toys amid the coronavirus outbreak. The formulations were prepared by a team led by Dr Ravindra Chaudhari of Shri Shiv Chhatrapati College at Junnar, in association with former Director-General of Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) Dr Dinesh Amalnerkar.
Dr Amalnerkar said, Everybody knows aggressive hand hygiene is of paramount importance to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The prevailing hand hygiene solutions, recommended by the World Health Organization, include alcohol-based hand sanitizers(rubs) as well as soap and water.
He said that there are concerns about the efficacy of hand-washing by soap and water (particularly in killing fatal viruses), while alcohol-based hand sanitizers suffer from drawbacks like flammability and reduced barrier function of the skin due to dryness after repeated washings. He said,
We have developed eco-friendly, fast-acting anti-microbial hand-wash formulation based on a combination of potential anti-viral nano-metal compound mixed with the aromatic medicinal herb. This formulation shows anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and potential anti-viral activity with a similar mode of action.
Dr Chaudhari said the formulation does not show adverse effect on plants and fish as confirmed by extensive toxicity investigations along with commercially available hand-wash, toilet and floor-cleaner samples. He added,
Our hand wash formulation is water-based and the constituents are totally bio-compatible.
Dr Amalnerkar said WHO, to contain the spread of coronavirus, has recommended repeated use of 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite bleach for disinfecting community premises by spraying and mopping or wiping common touch surfaces. He further said,
Use of 70 per cent alcohol is also suggested by WHO in certain situations. Although dilute sodium hypochlorite bleach solution is inexpensive and fast-acting against most viruses and bacteria, it is harmful to mucous membranes and skin upon contact.
He added that such disinfectants, however, cannot be used in case of edible items like raw vegetables, raw meat, raw seafood and fruits which are susceptible to contamination.
But the efficacy of washing only with water remains highly uncertain in a pandemic situation like COVID-19, where there is a possibility of handling of such items by asymptomatic people, he added.
Dr Chaudhari said their bio-compatible and non-eco toxic disinfectant formulation is based on nanomaterials embedded in silk fibre.
Anti-microbial activity and the non-eco toxic nature of such water-based disinfectants have been established in the laboratory and such formulations can be safely used to clean edible items as well as toys of the children, he added.
A team member, Dr Pramod Mane, said the disinfectant can be added with regular washing powder to clean clothes so as to provide extra anti-bacterial and anti-fungal action.