Liquid Climbing Chalk Appears to Kill COVID-19 Instantly

James Pulfer | ClimbingClimbing
A good friend (JP Darden) social distancing with some low consequence solo bouldering. Photo Credit / J.T. Pulfer II

Encouraging new research coming from the Anschutz Medical Campus, regarding liquid climbing chalk and the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19. Two professors at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, along with a virologist have concluded through their research. Liquid climbing chalk does in fact kill the virus responsible for causing COVID-19. Ross Kedl and Michael Schurr are both professors of immunobiology at CU Anschutz. They teamed up with Virologist Thomas “TEM” Morrison for the project. Their findings may just give some hope for crushing gym sessions sooner than later.

climbing chalk,
Weathered climbing hands after a day at the crag. Photo Credit / J.T. Pulfer II

To be very clear, this research pertains only to Friction Labs liquid climbing chalk containing 80% ethanol alcohol. Standard dry climbing chalk contains no alcohol that would act as an antibacterial agent. Typical liquid climbing chalk contains a high percentage of Isopropyl or Ethanol alcohol, usually 45-70%. Friction Labs produced an even higher alcohol strength formula, in response to the current pandemic. The new chalk contains 80% alcohol, comparable with hand sanitizers. A noble attempt to battle the virus and get us back to the gyms, conditioning regularly.

Physical conditioning in the gym. Photo Credit / JP Darden

The findings were quite straightforward. After 5 minutes absolutely all of the virus had been killed off the testing surface. The vast majority was killed off instantly within seconds! This is great news for the gym climbing world since we repeatedly share the same holds with fellow gym members. “If you have a gym full of people who are wearing masks and all of them are using this chalk, your chances of getting a wall contaminated with coronavirus are pretty small,” says Ross Kedl of the study. I am hopeful that this is great news, to help assist in a productive winter climbing in the gyms. Safely.

Photo Credit / JP Darden

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