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Kill Coronavirus without chemicals

Kill Coronavirus without chemicals


The spread of coronavirus is increasing every day. Apart from a few countries, the number of daily cases are still increasing in most of the nations. We have to take all precautions to save us and our family. This include killing coronavirus on items like grocery, food and other materials brought home.

Now that coronavirus is airborne, there is a high chance of droplets/ aerosols travelling a long distance and landing on different surfaces. So its always safe to clean your groceries, fruits and vegetables before using it or for that matter even touching it.

coronavirus sunlight fruits vegetables
Use sunlight to disinfect non-cooked food items. Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels.

But how do you do it? We can clean airtight packages using detergent. But how to clean vegetables and fruits to kill coronavirus? Using detergents on food is dangerous or sometimes lethal. But science says we can use sunlight to kill coronavirus.

The sunlight posses Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. There are three types of UV radiation:
i. UV-A
ii. UV-B
iii. UV-C

Recently found that 20 minutes exposure to UV-B can kill about 90% of coronavirus. UV-C can kill 99.9% within 10 seconds but fortunately, we don't get it with sunlight.

The experiment with UV-B rays was performed for solar radiation in the USA. The light intensity changes with seasons, presence of clouds, distance from the equator and time of the day. Here we will tell you how long you should keep food items in sunlight.

A good Sagripanti and Dr Lytle indicate how long sun exposure we should give to kill coronavirus. We will combine their view, and the UV-B radiation across the globe data to suggest a final time.

Kill coronavirus using sunlight
UV-B radiation intensity across the Earth.
Image source: Vital Ozone Graphics 2.0


Kill coronavirus using sunlight
Roughly estimated time (in minutes) to keep things in sunlight to kill coronavirus. This is for one side. We have to invert things and expose the other side (previously below) also for the same time.

A. Your location decides the timing of sun exposure to kill coronavirus

Solar radiation depends on your distance from the equator. If it takes 20 minutes of summertime radiation in the US to kill 90% of the coronavirus, maybe 30 minutes of summer noon sunlight exposure will be enough in
As you can see, the USA mostly falls in moderate UV-B radiation range (Yellow and orange), So similar timing will be useful in other countries in the similar range like
The countries that fall in the red and pink zone such as
For countries falling in purple extreme UV zone such as
If you are in Green zone of the map, such as

B: Changes according to the season to kill coronavirus

In the rainy season, of fall, clouds hamper the sunlight. Interestingly, if its a partially cloudy day, it increases solar UV-B radiation in the atmosphere, so this inactivation will be faster. But if a dark cloudy day, this method kill coronavirus will not work.

sunlight kill coronavirus
Weather effect to use sunlight to kill coronavirus.

C. Kill coronavirus at the best time of day

This time mentioned is for the time around noon. If you are keeping it in the morning or afternoon, you can increase the time by about 50% as the light intensity is less in that time. That should be enough to almost kill coronaviruses.

So overall, if you keep food items in each side up for an above mentioned time, it will be enough to kill most of the coronavirus particles. Additionally, to be double sure, you can wash them well before sun exposure 

Other alternative methods to kill coronavirus:

1. You can spray surfaces of non-edible items with sanitizer or wipe with sanitizer soaked clothes. 
2. Air-tight packets can be washed with detergents.
3. If sunlight is not available, say in rain days, food items that are heated/boiled properly for cooking can be washed thoroughly and used directly. Heating will kill most of the remaining virus.
4. You can wash your food items with hot water followed by rinsing in running water for 10-20 seconds. Stay safe while using running water.
5. Although I personally don't prefer, you can use a vegetable wash if you feel the need. But make sure to wash fruits and vegetables for 2-3 minutes in running water after using any such food wash item.
6. With all due respect, please don't use Dettol, detergent or such disinfectants to wash food items. It can be very
7. If you want, you can buy a UV disinfectant to clean items like accessories, surfaces etc, but avoid using it for food. And make sure you don't get in contact with UV light as it can cause cancer.

Additionally, you should also take some sunlight to maintain a good immune system. More on it you can find

Disclaimer:
We are using term kill for coronavirus for general purpose application. Viruses are considered a non-living entity, so they are actually deactivated, not killed.

We hope this article was useful. If you also think so, share it with your loved ones and help them stay safe from coronavirus.

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