Liquid chalk, a disinfectant commonly used at fitness centers, reduced the infectious recovery of both influenza and SARS-CoV-2, according to a new study.

A recent study, published in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal, mSphere, evaluated the use of many liquid chalk products as antiseptics against the transmission of highly pathogenic human viruses such as influenza A virus (H1N1), SARS-CoV-2, (IAV), and norovirus in a mouse norovirus (MNV) model. The researchers applied chalk before or after virus inoculum and determined the recovery of infectious virus to mimic its use in the gym setting.

The researchers observed that the application of chalk before or after contact with the virus led to a significant reduction in recovery of infectious influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses but had a negligible impact on norovirus. These observations show that liquid chalk is an effective antiseptic that can be used in social gym settings and during major sporting events such as the Olympics to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community.