Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Change my view Dettol and thymol are effective for Covid_19!!!

  • pharma

    April 4, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    These are for hard surface disinfection and require registration i.e. efficacy testing by authorities. Nothing a layman should attempt making, let alone selling. That’s why.

  • fekher

    April 4, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    No @Pharma Dettol is found in List of approved hand sanitizers. Thymol with low level is also safe for the skin as I guess. 

  • belassi

    April 4, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    In San Antonio, TX, there is a large store that specialises in products from India and it sells Dettol.

  • lmosca

    April 4, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    Dettol contains, among the putative antiseptic (chloroxylenol), isopropanol and pine oil. Albeit at <10% each, those can kill viruses as well.
    Pine oil has shown virucidal activity against enveloped viruses (mainly by dissolving the envelope).

    If you look at list N from the EPA for covid 19 approved surface disinfectants, https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

    You can see that pine oil and chloroxylenol are not even appearing on the list.
    Thymol can be used to disinfect, and it is very formulation dependant. 

    The way this is assessed, so far, is not direct activity against coronavirus, but through a historical test of what kind of viruses, similar to coronavirus, are eliminated with said disinfectant.

    On an extreme, it is a wishful thinking experiment: we’ve seen it works for A-through-T, so it should work for U.
    That’s the reason all disinfectant say that it kills 99.9% of critters, because in that 0.1% remaining, you have got potentially thousands of different pathogens that have not been tested. Out of a 1000, your product will likely kill 999. Out of the remaining 1 pathogens, that disinfectant will inactivate 95% of it.
    It’s that 5% of one pathogen, out of the thousand different strains and species that have not been tested, which constitute the 0.1% of all pathogens, that your company will be held liable for in the court of law, if you had said your product is 100% effective, and yet somebody got infected.

    There are currently no resources to test all disinfectants to covid-19 on all surfaces. So we have to go by analogy/similarity. 

    If you look at those tables, you can see how the required contact times are long (10 minutes or so), because those actives are used at low concentrations because of their irritancy / corrosion potential. That’s part of why they work, and why they are used on surfaces instead of skin.

    As @pharma said, those are products that have been tried and tested and are produced by companies that could be liable for millions, if not billions lawsuits if they didn’t do their job properly. 

    As for us, we do not have the resources to perform such testing, nor the time to try it. So we must go with what is a) available to us, b) it is tried and tested.
    That gives us very few options: hydrogen peroxide, bleach (for surfaces), alcohol (for hands). Oh, and soap!

  • fekher

    April 4, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    @lmosca interesting comment, however Dettol is found in list of approved hand sanitizers according to the site government of Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19/hand-sanitizer.html#tbl1.
      So according to you this site is not a reliable reference?

      Just recently I readed even Singaporean government approved Dettol as effective active ingredient for Covid_19. 

     About  hydrogen peroxide which concentration is recommended  (I see very different proposed level) and what is the needed contact time? 

  • lmosca

    April 4, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    @Fekher, if you are referring to Dettol brand hand sanitizers, then those are alcohol based as all the others.

    If you look here:
    you can find all the SDS for the Dettol products.
    The Instant Hand Sanitizer is isopropyl alcohol-based.

    Also, on this other website: 
    you can find the SDS for the most common antiseptic/disinfectant product. The SDS clearly states that this product is not intended for use on skin.

  • fekher

    April 4, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    @lmosca very intelligent view about which product of Dettol the site meant? 
     The most logic and reliable product about question the one you said, however I made reaserachement to discover all products of Dettol that can be effective for Covid_19 so the answer is found in UK Dettol website which said  four other products of Dettol differents from Dettol brand hand sanitizer
      Also in the site the active ingredient for Dettol’s product is chloroxylenol so as conclusion desired product is not Dettol brand hand sanitizer. 

  • lmosca

    April 4, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    @Fekher, yes, it seems that the Canadian list has some evident mistake (or maybe RB sells a completely different hand sanitizer in Canada that we are not aware of).

    Dettol is known to use chloroxylenol as the main disinfecting ingredient.

    However, the 4 products mentioned in your picture (I assume taken from their UK website) all contain benzalkonium chloride (which has a limited virucidal activity) and not chloroxylenol.

    Chloroxylenol is not virucidal. 

  • fekher

    April 4, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    @lmosca not really as you said, I see Dettol Antiseptic liquid in link from UK website and it is based on chloroxylenol 4,8%.

  • lmosca

    April 4, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Fekher, no it’s not.
    RB produces Dettol Antiseptic (with chloroxylenol) and Dettol Disinfectant (with benzalkoniums). The latter is the one that is suggested for use against Covid19.

  • fekher

    April 5, 2020 at 12:06 am

    @lmosca you have right about suggested product, however Dettol Antiseptic liquid seems the right product listed in the site government of Canada. 

  • lmosca

    April 5, 2020 at 1:59 am

    If that’s the one, it is not intended for repeated use on skin, from what I can read on the SDS. It clearly say to use on the skin only upon dilution, which will basically render the whole of hand sanitization pointless. Dettol can be used to disinfect small areas of skin and very minor wounds.

    However, it is not recommended for covid19 by the people who make it (reckitt benckiser).

    Both CDC and FDA only recommend alcohol based hand sanitizers rubs. I am sure they have plenty of reasons/data to back that up. They also advise against using surface/medical/wound disinfectants (liquid, spray, or wipes) for repeated hand cleaning.

  • fekher

    April 5, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    @lmosca for sure the product will be diluted to adequat rate for hand using. This level can be effective for many virus and tested for hand according to WHO’s document. 

  • Agate

    April 5, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    @Fekher What WHO document are you referring to?

  • fekher

    April 5, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    @Agate take a look at 

  • lmosca

    April 5, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Again, if you read WHO recommendations you can see that chloroxylenol has a fair rating at deactivating “some” viruses. Chlorhexidine, is the other one, together with benzalkoniums and iodophors, that display virucidal activity.

    You will be exposing yourself, and whoever uses your product, to a sub-par sense of security.

    If you analyze list N from EPA, you can see that only hypochlorite, alcohol based, and quaternary ammonium compounds display high activity across the board, with averages of required contact times between 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Chloroxylenol does not even appear in list N, other phenolic disinfectant require 10 minutes of required contact time.

    The Canadian list, that reports chloroxylenol, does not report contact time, however, if you compare that with a similar class of “phenolic” disinfectants reported on EPA’s list N you see that they score faily bad, only 3 out of 9 received a YES on Emerging viral pathogen claim. And almost all of them require 5-10 minutes of contact time.

    I regularly sanitize my formulating table, tools. I regularly sanitize my kitchen counter, stove, and sink. And I regularly wash my hands (and use alcohol based sanitizer when needed). If I had to keep a surface wet with disinfecting solution (including my hands) for 10 minutes before wiping, I will probably blow a vent in my brain, spend and additional hour cleaning everything every day. That will, of course be for the first few days. After 3-4 days of this, my hands will probably be a bleeding mess of scaling skin. 

    Although, most people will probably not observe the 10 minutes contact time required to be effective, they’ll get bored, or impatient, wipe after 1 minute, and go ahead with their life as usual. This will instill a false sense of security, and will promote the selection of disinfectant-resistant strains (which is already happening for chlorhexidine, triclosan, hexachlorophene, and benzalkoniums). 

  • fekher

    April 5, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    @lmosca appriciate a lot your precious add. 

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