As the novel coronovirus pandemic unfolds, Canadians continue to stockpile cleaning supplies like hand sanitizer disinfectant wipes and bleach solutions.
When faced with empty store shelves, some people have reached for alternatives — like homemade sanitizer or baby wipes.
However, experts like Dr. Dina Kulk a paediatrician in Toronto, worry that people might overestimate the efficacy of baby wipes in killing germs and preventing the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Most baby wipes sold in stores do contain alcohol — the central germ-killing ingredient — but at a much lower percentage than what is required to kill the novel coronavirus.
“Wipes absolutely don’t have that much alcohol.”This is because baby wipes are intended for use on sensitive baby skin. Using 70 per cent alcohol would cause “significant rashes and potentially even burning of the skin,” Kulik said.
“(Baby wipes) have as little (alcohol) as needed to gently cleanse the skin, but they’re not sterilizing.”
Homemade hand sanitizer isn’t really ideal, either.According to Dt. Alon Vaismon a resident in the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto and an expert in infection control, DIY hand sanitizer may be an effective way to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus if it’s made correctly, but it’s not foolproof.
“In the right hands, done with a great deal of caution, it may be helpful,” h “But people might not do it effectively. People might not know what they’re doing and make concoctions that aren’t effective … and might be costly to them.