Ethyl alcohol[edit | edit source]
Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol, can destroy any virus enveloped in fat, when used in the correct concentrations, including:
- the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19
- the SARS-CoV virus that causes SARS
- the different flu viruses
- Human herpes viruses including the Epstein-Barr virus
and some non-enveloped viruses, including:
Ethyl alcohol should be used at 60-80% concentrations.
Isopropyl alcohol[edit | edit source]
Isopropyl alcohol, also known as isopropyl, can destroy any virus enveloped in fat, including the coronaviruses that cause COVID-19, SARS when used in the correct concentration, but unlike ethyl alcohol it cannot inactivate non-enveloped viruses.
Isopropyl is also effective against a variety of bacteria, including:
Methanol[edit | edit source]
Methanol is not used in healthcare settings due to its low effectiveness against bacteria.
Limitations of alcohol disinfectants[edit | edit source]
Alcohols are not recommended for sterilizing medical and surgical materials principally because they penetrate protein-rich materials, and they cannot inactivate the spores caused by some forms of bacteria.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer[edit | edit source]
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers (ABHS) are effective against many different types of viruses and bacteria; a 60% strength concentration is recommended for the virus causing the 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic. However, washing hands carefully soap and running water is more effective against coronaviruses, including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have limited effectiveness when incorrect technique is used, not enough sanitizer is used, and when they are not used consistently.
Drinking alcohol[edit | edit source]
Drinking alcohol does not provide protection against coronaviruses, and drinking alcohol frequently or excessively can be extremely dangerous.
ME/CFS[edit | edit source]
A number of different alcohol-based disinfectants are effective against common viruses and bacteria which have been reported to trigger ME/CFS.
Alcohol intolerance is also found in a significant proportion of ME/CFS patients. Some ME/CFS patients also develop mast cell activation syndrome, which involves an intolerance to alcohol and many other substances.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
- Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19)
- Alcohol intolerance
- Mast cell activation syndrome
Learn more[edit | edit source]
- Disinfection methods: Alcohol - CDC
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Prevent getting sick - CDC
- Products with Emerging Viral Pathogens AND Human Coronavirus claims for use against SARS-CoV-2 - EPA
References[edit | edit source]
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a U.S. government agency dedicated to epidemiology and public health. It operates under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services.