“Nuking” the White House “with chemicals is not needed” to protect the incoming Biden administration from COVID-19, J. David Krause, an environmental and occupational health consultant, told Stat News, yet that appears to be the plan to disinfect the building before the transition.
Multiple outlets have reported that a Virginia-based contractor has been tapped to spray a disinfectant throughout the East and West Wings before President-elect Joe Biden moves in next month, but Krause — the past chair of the American Industrial Hygiene Association — and many other experts have said that strategy is not only ineffective, but also could be dangerous, both for people and for works of art.
“It’s a huge waste of time and effort,” Krause said. “It probably isn’t as effective as people say it is. And it runs the risk of somebody actually breathing this stuff in where it may be extremely hazardous. You really only need to be treating the surfaces that people have been exposed to or can be exposed to.”
Instead, a deep clean followed by another round of frequently-touched surfaces like elevator buttons and light switches should do the trick, Jason Marshall, the laboratory director of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, told Stat. And both Marshall and Krause agree leaving the White House empty for a week between administrations could be the easiest solution, since studies have found the coronavirus only lasts for a few days on surfaces. Read more at Stat News.
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