UNIC comment on safety of finished leathers

15 January 2021

While this is supported by ISS, their national health service that the virus is more susceptible to environmental factors (temperature, sunlight, pH, etc.), as well as to physical factors (degree of dehydration of the matrix) and biological (microbial antagonism) compared to other human pathogenic viruses, UNIC provided further clarification for leather. 

There are 5 reasons given, firstly “Hides, from raw to finished, do not represent a suitable substrate for the multiplication of the virus”. ( The virus needs a vital host cell for its replication). 

Second: “Most of the wet and drying processes take place at temperatures above 55°C. And for a period of time long enough to inactivate viruses and their infectious power”. 

Third one: “pH conditions in the preliminary stages of the tanning process (liming, maceration) are incompatible with the maintenance of the structural integrity of Covid-19”. 

Fourth: “Where finishing and ironing activities are carried out, the temperatures with which hides are processed damage the virus, which thus loses its infectious capacity”. 

Fifth: “Leathers are porous materials that, even if they come into contact with the virus, do not release it easily”. 

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