NEA: Not All Disinfectants Are as Useful As They Claimed As It’s All About Marketing

Disinfectants have been quite an important product in our life recently. Businesses have also started giving out free sanitizers and mask, certainly not to boost their branding. There was even a warehouse sales for hand sanitizers – wait, what?

Image: giphy

However, do you know that not all disinfectants work the same?

Disinfectant vs Sanitizer

Before we go on, let’s just clarify one thing – disinfectant and sanitizers, while similar, have different properties.

Image: zameen.com

While both sanitizing and disinfecting kills germs on surfaces, sanitization only reduces bacteria to a safe level. However, disinfectant kills everything on the surface.

Which goes to say, disinfectant is somehow a much stronger sanitizer.

So, for instance of COVID-19, disinfectant will be a more appropriate agent to clean the surfaces.

Now that we got that all cleared up, we shall move on to the main topic.

Not all Disinfectants are the Same

Just like how all of us are born different, disinfectants have their different properties as well.

According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), whether a disinfectant is effective in killing coronaviruses depends on the active ingredients it contains.

Despite having a handful number of products to claiming its effectiveness in disinfecting coronaviruses, not all of them are shown to be effective, because #marketing

For instance, remember when the news was released that a self-disinfecting coating was said to be applied to the surfaces of all HDB lift in Singapore?

NEA has said that they have yet to received sufficient scientific evidence that these coatings are actually effective.

Wait, what!?

Image: giphy

BUT! Please don’t start using your keys to press the lift buttons – who knows you may be the reason why it’s actually not working.

It’s just not 100% confirm, but you never know.

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List of Effective Disinfectants

With all that claims being made, NEA has provided a list of household disinfectants that are proven to be effective in killing the coronavirus.

For example, products such as Dettol Antiseptic Disinfectant Liquid and Fairprice Antiseptic Germicide are said to be effective.

There’s still a lot more, so do check out the link.

However, NEA has also emphasized that they may require adjustment in dilution ratio to meet the concentration requirement.

The authorities have also provided the contact period for the disinfection to work against COVID-19 viruses. Yah, it’s not like you touch it and the coronavirus would disappear into thin air.


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In conclusion, read the product labels to have a better understanding of the active ingredients in it! If you are unsure, just follow the list that NEA has provided with and your purchase will never go wrong.

Stay safe, stay home everyone. Don’t be like this lady who got charged for meeting her boyfriend during Circuit Breaker.

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