MORRIS PLAINS, NJ: Listerine is making it clear to consumers that it is not a COVID-19 cure, following reports that mouthwash can kill the virus within 30 seconds of exposure in a laboratory.
Listerine was trending on social media after the story, which covered research conducted by Cardiff University in Wales, circulated on Tuesday morning. The academic research indicated that over-the-counter mouthwashes containing at least 0.07% cetylpyridinium chloride show “promising signs” of being able to destroy the virus when exposed in a lab setting.
The brand’s parent company said it is not a coronavirus miracle cure. However, Listerine is an antimicrobial mouthwash that is clinically proven to kill germs that cause plaque, bad breath and the early gum disease gingivitis, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health said in a statement.
“[Listerine] is not intended to prevent or treat COVID-19 and should be used only as directed on the product label,” the company said in a statement. “To date, the available data and research is not sufficient to support a conclusion that the use of Listerine mouthwashes could be helpful in the prevention or treatment of coronavirus as further research is needed. As a company firmly rooted in science, we will be active participants in the scientific exchange on this topic.”
Of course, not everyone on social media took the study seriously. Here’s a sample of what people were saying about Listerine on Twitter.
Why are we surprised that @Listerine kills COVID? Anyone who’s ever used it knows it’s like gargling with lava.— John Henson (@John_Henson) November 17, 2020
It won't be long until Listerine brings out this edition pic.twitter.com/S6PovGH2u3— Garry Vaux Illustrator (@GarryVaux) November 17, 2020
All I can hear right now is the stampede to buy some Listerine. https://t.co/uLwcCTjiCj— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 17, 2020