iron steel coronavirus covid-19 aeci
World Health Organisation

A ‘partial lockdown’ is in place and proper hygiene is mandatory. To help businesses and essential services, AECI – Africa’s leader in the chemicals industry – has developed a bold new range of special purpose cleaners which are being manufactured according to the Covid-19-killing guidelines specified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as the American Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Given the urgency in the economy, the capacity for large volumes has been made available as a matter of priority.

The AECI range includes:

  • Liquid hand sanitiser
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Surface disinfectant (for buildings, floors and walls as well as equipment, pathways and roads)
  • Cabin wiping liquid (for buses, cars and taxis)

A variety of pack sizes are available such as 25l, 200l and 1000l. Although bulk orders are preferred, smaller packs can be arranged.

Very importantly, the AECI range is made from the proper grade, purity and type of ingredients such as alcohols and additives that are necessary to ensure the minimum dwelling time to kill Covid-19 and safeguard hands and skin from frequency of use.

Notably, the WHO recognises the isopropyl (IPA) blend being used by AECI to manufacture the liquid hand sanitiser. The EPA says the IPA blend will kill Covid-19 in under 30 seconds when applied correctly.

At the same time, the CDC says the blend being used by AECI to manufacture the surface disinfectant will kill Covid-19 in under 60 seconds when applied correctly.

The AECI liquid hand sanitiser is being used by the company’s 5 065 employees in South Africa, in the home and in the workplace, and by a number of leading mining companies. The IPA blend is also being manufactured by AECI Schirm in Germany for use by the government in that country.

Since there are so many hygiene brands claiming to kill Covid-19 flooding the market currently, AECI is urging people to buy from reputable manufacturers who have a proven track record in the category.

“For example, we’ve been manufacturing and supplying specialty chemicals since 1924 and run an ISO 9000 ‘zone one’ classified manufacturing facility in Johannesburg,” says Dean Murray, the AECI Executive responsible for the company’s Chemicals business.

“This means we offer the security of a Department of Trade & Industry permit to operate, a municipal permit to store chemicals and a SARS permit to procure ethanol as well as a fire-safe environment including underground storage tanks. We’re also a level two B-BBEE supplier and have a permit to perform essential services.”

One of the main issues identified by AECI is the prevalence of liquid hand sanitisers that are being made from either “industrial” grades of ethanol or n-Propanol.

Murray says people should know “industrial” grade ethanol contains harmful impurities, while n-Propanol isn’t recognised by the WHO and the additives which are necessary to improve its efficacy in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic are hazardous to human health.

This reality is being compounded by the fact that many businesses have “switched” to manufacturing and trading liquid hand sanitisers as a means of remaining viable during this period of uncertainty.

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“Their inventiveness is laudable, but the vast majority lack the technical know-how and end up sourcing poor quality ingredients that can cause serious problems,” adds Murray.

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“Because of AECI’s industry-leading role, we’re able to source supplies, which are increasingly scarce locally and globally, with the help of the Department of Trade & Industry and Sasol to name a few.”