Health ministry warns businesses about spraying customers with unknown substances

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Health ministry warns businesses about spraying customers with unknown substances

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Ministry of Health and Wellness is strongly appealing to businesses to desist from spraying customers' hands with unknown solutions in bottles, prior to allowing them to enter their establishments.

Director for the Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services Branch at the Ministry, Dr Nicole Dawkins-Wright, said the practice is wrong and may have harmful effects.

She said that people who appear to be having reactions to chemicals that have been sprayed on their hands have been presenting at public health centres.

Dr Dawkins-Wright informed that business establishments should follow the guidelines issued by the ministry.

“Provide a safe solution to proper hand hygiene, wall-mounted sanitizers and hand-wash stations. You have little mobile ones that are ready to install with soap and water, which is really the best way and works better than an alcohol-based sanitizer,” she said. “Organizations are encouraged, if you are seriously concerned, to take this approach rather than having a security officer spraying people as they come in. The truth is that you may actually be doing more harm than good, both to the person you are spraying and even to the person who is spraying,” Dr Dawkins-Wright warned.

She added that not only are people unaware of what is contained in the spray bottle, they are also being exposed to it in excessive amounts.

The Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services Branch director also issued a strong warning against mixing chemicals to create the sanitising agents.

“It has come to our attention that people are mixing chemicals, and they don't know what they are producing when they mix chemicals. Some of these mixtures produce very noxious fumes, which can actually be very harmful, so please desist from that practice and install proper safe solutions to help with the sanitisation measures,” she said.

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