Chemists warn against use of gasoline as disinfectant after Duterte remark

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 31) — The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines warned the public that gasoline cannot be used as disinfectant, contrary President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks.

The group posted on its Facebook page about the harmful effects of gasoline when inhaled and used as disinfectant for face masks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pinapaalalahanan ng ICP ang lahat na hindi ginagamit ang gasolina upang gawing panlinis o disinfectant ng mga bagay bagay. Makasasama ito sa tao lalo na kapag nalanghap ang singaw nito,” it said.

[Translation: The ICP is reminding everyone that gasoline cannot be used as a disinfectant. It has harmful effects especially when inhaled.]

The chemists were responding to Duterte's advise to people to use alcohol or gasoline to clean their masks.

“It's okay if you reuse it as long as you spray alcohol. If you don't have a disinfecting spray, you can disinfect it with gasoline or diesel. The coronavirus will die,” Duterte said a recorded address televised on Friday.

It was the second time that he called for the use of gasoline to disinfect masks. Officials dismissed his first remark as a joke, but Duterte clarified Friday that he was not joking.