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Using Alcohol as a Disinfectant

Workplaces of many fellow sisters, especially one-sex worker-apartments and foot spas/massage parlours are usually small. But in order to save time to dress up or money to eat out, it is not uncommon that fellow sisters do simple cooking at the workplaces. 

Due to the Novel Coronavirus, fellow sisters may now use alcohol more often as a disinfectant. Recently, the Customs revealed that there were pharmacies in Hong Kong selling industrial alcohol for profit. Alcohol for industrial use is methanol, a type of organic solvent which is harmful to the human body and might cause blindness or even death if accidentally eaten or misused.

For disinfection, fellow sisters can use medical alcohol which is 75% ethanol. It has to be noted that improper use of alcohol can cause fire. Also, disinfectant alcohol cannot be used for sterilising surgical mask for repeated use, even when it is difficult to find a mask. 

Although the chance of open-flame cooking is low, there are many small electrical appliances at fellow sisters’ workplaces such as electric cookers, electric stoves, fans and aroma dehumidifiers etc. When using disinfectant alcohol, fellow sisters should pay attention to the following reminders from the Occupational Safety and Health Council.

Precautions for Using Disinfectant Alcohol:

1. Try to use disinfectant alcohol by wiping and avoid using spray.

2. When using alcohol for disinfection, it should be carried out in an environment with sufficient air circulation and air extraction.

3. When using, keep away from hot objects, open flames, static electricity, and electrical appliances in operation, such as cooking stoves, incense candles, or people who smoke.

4. Avoid spraying disinfectant alcohol directly on clothing, as there is a chance to be ignited by an external fire.

5. Buy disinfectant alcohol which is for household use. Do not store too much at a time. Disinfectant alcohol should be stored in a cool place, away from fire.

6. Do not smoke during use.

Further Reading:
Disinfectant Alcohol Advisory Issued (news.gov.hk)
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