News Excerpt
In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, various state governments are conducting sanitizing drives, disinfecting the streets with Sodium Hypochlorite (NaOCl)- a salt of hypochlorous acid.

Sodium Hypochlorite (NaOCl)
•    It is a compound that can be effectively used for water purification. It is used on a large scale for surfacepurification, bleaching, odour removal and water disinfection.
•    NaOCl is a clear, slightly yellowish solution with a characteristic odour. Sodium hypochlorite solution is a weak base that is inflammable.
•    Sodium hypochlorite is unstable. Chlorine evaporates at a rate of 0.75-gram active chlorine per day from the solution.
•    It is used on a large scale in agriculture, chemical, paint- and lime, food, glass, paper, pharmaceutical, synthetics and waste disposal industries.
•    It is also used to detoxify cyanide baths in metal industries. Hypochlorite can be used to prevent algae and shellfish growth in cooling towers.
•    In water treatment, hypochlorite is used to disinfect water. In households, hypochlorite is used frequently for the purification and disinfection of the house.

Impact on Health
    There is no threshold value for to sodium hypochlorite exposure. Various health effects occur after exposure to sodium hypochlorite.
    People are exposed to sodium hypochlorite by inhalation of aerosols. This causes coughing and a sore throat.
    After swallowing sodium hypochlorite, the effects are stomach ache, a burning sensation, coughing, diarrhoea, a sore throat and vomiting.
    Sodium hypochlorite on skin or eyes causes redness and pain. After prolonged exposure, the skin can become sensitive.
    Sodium hypochlorite is poisonous for water organisms. It is mutagenic and very toxic when it comes in contact with ammonium salts.

Advantages as a disinfectant
    It can easily be stored and transported when it is produced on-site. Transport and storage of sodium hypochlorite are safe.
    Dosage is simple.
    Sodium hypochlorite is as effective as chlorine gas for disinfection. Sodium hypochlorite produces residual disinfectant.

    Sodium hypochlorite is a dangerous and corrosive substance.
    While working with sodium hypochlorite, safety measures have to be taken to protect workers and the environment.
    Sodium hypochlorite should not come in contact with air, because that will cause it to disintegrate.

§    The low cost greenish yellow solution is also called liquid bleach which acts as a germ-killing mechanism — effective against viruses and fungi.
§    Its duration of action may last for a few hours, not exceeding 24 hours. Thus, it can be used as a disinfectant, but not as a preventive dose.
§    The Mumbai fire brigade will spray 554,000 litre of diluted sodium hypochlorite across the city to contain the spread of corona virus.

There is a need to take caution while using the disinfectant as it may harm the people who directly came in to contact of this.