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Uses of lime in the battle against pandemics

Past pandemics suffered by humanity gave some important lessons which the health authorities are now applying, and today, more than ever, are of great use.

One of the oldest measures in the fight against pandemics were quarantines, which were first employed during the epidemics that spread around Europe in the XIV Century. Curiously, their name comes from the times of Noah and the 40 days that the flood lasted, and the other 40 days that he had to wait afterwards, until the time was right for normal life to return.

In addition to these measures of contention and isolation, quicklime played an important role in disinfection and was used as a barrier to the growth of bacteria on corpses. More recent examples are the use of lime in the battle against swine fever and bird flu, being applied to dead animals as well as for disinfecting stables, farms, and water supply systems, allowing biosecurity measures to be complied with.

Lime is a natural product that has accompanied human-beings throughout their long history of epidemic controls because until microbiology was developed at the end of the XIX Century the method of spread and transmission of diseases were unknown.

Even with the scientific advances that have been made, and the current level of health and technical knowledge, lime is still a product that is called on to maintain public health and has become an essential product because of its proven efficiency.

During the current socio-healthcare crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus lime and its derivatives are being used in the following situations:

  • Waste-water analysis is a key factor in epidemiological monitoring as it can, at all times, guarantee the safety of any water that is recovered and reused. In consequence, the WHO recommends the in-situ use of lime milk in the treatment of septic tanks containing water from patients suspected of having or confirmed cases of coronavirus.
  • The French laboratory Sanofi Pasteur has confirmed that the coronavirus disappears or is inactivated at pH 13-13.5 for 24 hours. Therefore, the use of lime based paints that reach these very basic pH levels can be used to improve the hygiene of walls and surfaces, something that since time immemorial is a well-known application for lime on buildings all over the world.

We are therefore talking about calcium oxide as a natural product that has proved itself to be one of humanity`s greatest allies in the battle to stay healthy and which at this very moment in time, in the fight against the latest coronavirus, we are very proud of because CALCINOR is the leading producer at national level.

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