Many Disinfectants Act Against Ebola | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 92 Issue 45 | p. 23 | Concentrates
Issue Date: November 10, 2014

Many Disinfectants Act Against Ebola

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: Ebola, disinfectants, antimicrobials, EPA

EPA has published a list of more than 100 approved antimicrobial products that meet the criteria for use as a disinfectant against the Ebola virus on hard, nonporous surfaces. All of the products can be used in hospitals, and 77 of them are approved for residential use. None of the products are allowed to claim that they are capable of killing the Ebola virus, because there are no data to back up such claims, EPA says. The products can claim, however, that they are capable of killing viruses that are harder to kill than Ebola. Criteria for use of disinfectants against Ebola were outlined in a guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in August. Ebola belongs to a class of viruses called enveloped viruses, which are readily susceptible to numerous disinfectants. Nonenveloped viruses are more resistant to such chemicals. CDC suggests that disinfectants used against Ebola should be as potent as disinfectants that are used to kill nonenveloped viruses. Such products can inactivate both viral classes.

 
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Comments
Jim Parsons (November 17, 2014 4:52 PM)
There was an article the I once read in ‘Nature’ I think in the late 1960s or 70x (?) that claimed that about 2/3 of the viral samples tested were disrupted or destroyed by the food additive that is often used in potted meats such as hotdogs and the like --- butylated hydroxytoluene (2,6-di-butyl-p-cresol, C15H24O) or more commonly ‘BHT’. I think that the article claimed that it was because that BHT was fairly lipid soluble that the effects the viral partial destruction. I don’t think that BHT had much of an effect of either the polio nor the smallpox virus, according to what I recall of the article. I thought that it was pretty interesting, and didn’t think too much of it. A decade or so later I purchased the book, ‘Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach’, by Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw (1982), and read where a Medical Doctor in San Francisco had used something like daily 25 mg oral doeses of BHT to successfully control outbreaks or flair ups of the lesions associated with the genital virus, herpes. There was a bit in the back of that paperback where one could send away for several pounds of food grade BHT. I did that as it was touted in the book to be a great antioxidant besides helping with some viruses. And that was one of the health crazes at that time. Later I worked in a factory that employed several hundred people, I was told. Many of the younger women had school age children that would pick up viruses that cause diarrhea, which the women would bring to work for others to catch. It turned out that the BHT worked quite well, in my case, against these free but debilitating viral diarrheas. I was able to hold my job at the factory a bit better because of my previous BHT acquisition. When the AIDS problems began to be more commented about on the TV news programs (mid 1990s -- PBS and so on) I tried to find out the structure of the virus particles associated with AIDS with no luck. The Ebola outbreak that is now devastating parts of West Africa caught my interest again, and I looked up some of the virus structures on the Internet over the weekend. And low and behold the information was available and suggests (I think) that the use of small amounts of BHT might be useful. I am writing this because I have yet to hear that BHT has been tried. If it works, great and pass the word. If it doesn’t we are not worse off than we were. As I understand it one can often get food grade BHT at a butcher shop or on eBay, of all places. Hope that this helps.

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