During every crisis, there are always people who would stop at nothing to take advantage of people’s vulnerabilities. Lebanon’s Customs seized large shipments of counterfeit rubbing alcohol that doesn’t meet the standard to be used for sanitation purposes.
According to LBC, the shipments are said to have contained a very low percentage of alcohol, not enough to be effective against the Coronavirus. It was being shipped to be sold at local stores in the southern region of Saida.
One of the perpetrators who was smuggling the counterfeit alcohol had been caught where they will be tried for their crime.
One sure-fire way that was demonstrated in the video in order to distinguish between counterfeit and authentic rubbing alcohol is to test its flammability. Alcohol is usually very easy to burn and therefore if the solution doesn’t seem to burn then it probably doesn’t contain the adequate amount of alcohol.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you are using alcohol for disinfecting surfaces, you should have a solution that contains at least 70% alcohol, and 60% at least for hands. Too much alcohol would evaporate too quickly to be able to break down the Coronavirus proteins.
The CDC also recommends that you don’t try to make your own hand sanitizer at home as it wouldn’t be as effective as commercially available products. However, if you are near a sink, then you are better off disinfecting your hands using soap and water.
In these desperate times, it is important for everybody to remain vigilant in the fight against the virus and to not allow those with malicious intent to take advantage.
This also counts for anything in life. One should always remain selective about which sources to believe. If people are not qualified to investigate claims on their own, then they must defer to the words of the experts and stay away from charlatans.
We have a dedicated coronavirus section where you can find the latest news/updates about the pandemic in Lebanon, inform yourself with WHO-verified resources, and track the number of cases in Lebanon in real-time. Click here.