Unilever to introduce mouthwash technology in India with potential to reduce COVID-19 by 99.9%
Global FMCG major Unilever said it will bring to India its mouthwash formulation, which, it claims, will reduce 99.9 per cent of coronavirus after 30 seconds of rinsing. "Unilever has confirmed that preliminary lab test results show that mouthwash formulation containing CPC Technology reduces 99.9 per cent of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, after 30 seconds of rinsing," the company said in a statement.
The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose, which has been detected before, during, and after the acute phase of illness, as well as in asymptomatic cases.
"Therefore, reducing the viral load in the mouth could help to reduce transmission. The findings indicate that mouthwash could become an important addition to other everyday protective measures like handwashing, physical distancing and mask wearing," it added.
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Unilever Oral Care Research and Development Head Glyn Roberts said, "While we are clear that this is not a cure or proven way to prevent the transmission of coronavirus, our results are promising." Roberts added that given the critical stage of the pandemic, the company feels it is important to share the results of the mouthwash.
This technology will be brought to India by Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), Unilever's arm, in Pepsodent Germicheck Mouth Rinse Liquid, which will be launched in India in December 2020, the company said.
Unilever said the test for its mouthwash containing CPC (cetylpyridinium chloride) technology was conducted by an independent and internationally accredited testing facility, Microbac Laboratories, on behalf of Unilever Research Laboratories in the US.
The company, however, said, "The tests do not suggest that the formulation is a treatment for COVID-19, nor a guarantee that it will prevent transmission on its own.
What is CPC?
Cetylpyridinium chloride is a widely used cosmetic ingredient, also used by the dental industry, and is known for its antibacterial and anti-virus benefits.
How was the testing carried out?
The tests were carried out by independent laboratories in the United States. It tested for both 30 and 60 seconds, rinse times, aiming to replicate the real-life use of mouthwash in an in-vitro context.
What do the results show?
The preliminary results show a mouthwash formulation containing CPC (cetylpyridinium chloride) is effective in reducing the viral load by 99.9% after 30 seconds of rinsing2, which is consistent with typical usage of mouthwash. The tests do not suggest that the formulation is a treatment for COVID-19, nor a guarantee that it will prevent transmission on its own. Established protective measures advised by health authorities should be followed, including hand washing, physical distancing and wearing masks.
What about alcohol in mouthwash?
Mouthwashes that contain alcohol (ethanol) typically contain it at 11-14%. Data suggests at this concentration and time relevant to mouthwash use, ethanol is unlikely to be effective against viruses.
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