ATK solution can cause blindness, Thailand’s fact checking centre confirms

Photo by Marco Verch via flickr

ATK testing solution should NOT be used as eyedrops. That’s the takeaway from a warning Thai netizens are passing around, claiming that a harmful chemical compound called sodium azide found in ATK test kits could make people’s eyes go blind. The Anti-Fake News Centre of Thailand, together with the Department of Medical Science, has investigated the claim and confirmed it to be accurate.

The Department of Medical Science has shared that sodium azide is in fact included in tubes of lysis buffer, which is used to break open cells to analyze them for traces of Covid-19 RNA. But if used incorrectly, the chemical solution could also cause blind eyes or itchy skin. Moreover the solution could be fatal if consumed, depending on the amount. If it accidentally spills on the skin or eyes, the department suggested washing it off with clean water and visiting a doctor if irritation persists.

It’s not the first time the Anti-Fake News Centre of Thailand has taken on groundless social media claims about Covid-19 and standard testing procedures. Last month, the centre debunked a report making rounds on social media that taking a deep nasal swab could damage your olfactory nerve and rendering your sniffer useless.

According to the fake report, the olfactory nerve is one of two paths through the skull, connecting the nasal passage and the brain, through which bacteria and viruses can cross the blood-brain barrier. It argued that damage to the olfactory nerve could therefore affect your health and lifespan, Thai PBS reported. The Medical Services Department found that while a deep nasal swab may in fact touch the nose’s sensory nerve, it could not damage it. There’s also no evidence suggesting that a deep swab could cause you to lose your sense of smell.

The Anti-Fake News Centre of Thailand added that the residents could find additional useful information from the Department of Medical Science via their website and inquire for more information by calling 02 9510000.

SOURCE: Khaosod | Anti-Fake News Center Thailand | Thai PBS

ATK solution can cause blindness, Thailand's fact checking centre confirms | News by Thaiger

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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