A misleading viral video recently suggested that the swabs used for Covid-tests were extremely dangerous and could cause diseases such as cancer. In this video that has reached more than 100,000 views on YouTube, a woman who claims to be a registered nurse and a medical investigator explains that the packaging of the swabs show that they are “saturated with”, “coated with” ethylene oxide (EO), a chemical that, according to her, can cause cancer and alter DNA. In the video, she mentions the fact that ethylene oxide is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a human carcinogen and adds that “ethylene oxide is mutagenic, which means it can change the DNA in your cells.” As you may have guessed, this video caused a lot of reaction from all over the world and once again raised speculations in regards to a possible diabolical agenda of the government to “kill us all purposefully”.

First of all, as researchers explained, the swabs are not coated with ethylene oxide, they are simply sterilized with this substance. It is true that the Environmental Protection Agency stated that “ethylene oxide is carcinogenic to humans by the inhalation route of exposure” and that it is “mutagenic“, but here it is not relevant since it is only used for sterilization purposes. Following the guidelines, any leftover residue is below that of the safety levels set by national and international standards and the chemical is most likely gone by the time the swab is inserted into your nose. If you look it up, you’ll find that ethylene oxide (EO) is a very common chemical to use when sterilizing medical equipment, and that the sterilization process is crucial to ensure that any tool is used safely.

In conclusion, no, a covid test won’t give you cancer or alter your DNA.