PHAC Says Using Vaseline To Distort COVID-19 Test Results Could Actually Be 'Hazardous'

Influencers from the Sunwing party plane reportedly tried it.👇

Senior Editor
PHAC Says Using Vaseline To Distort COVID-19 Test Results Could Actually Be 'Hazardous'

Putting Vaseline up your nose to distort COVID-19 test results is not a good idea at all, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

In an email on January 7, PHAC responded to reports that passengers on the Sunwing party plane may have used the drugstore product in an attempt to produce a negative test result.

"Petroleum products can be an inhibitor for molecular tests and would likely invalidate the test, causing an inconclusive result, and requiring that another test be performed," a spokesperson for the agency told Narcity.

"It is unlikely this would yield a negative test result," they added.

In fact, PHAC says that it could actually be "hazardous" to use Vaseline in this way, as it is "outside the scope of its recommended usage."

According to Global News, some passengers on the controversial privately-chartered flight from Montreal used petroleum jelly in their noses to try to trick the COVID-19 tests into showing a negative result.

Those involved reportedly believed that Vaseline is not soluble in water and therefore "has no pH," meaning a positive result is impossible.

The Director of McGill Office for Science and Society, Joe Schwarcz, debunked this in a post on the university's website.

"It is extremely unlikely that this ruse would work," he said. "The test requires very few viral particles, and in any case, these would become embedded in the Vaseline."

However, he added that it would be impossible to confirm with absolute certainty whether or not it would actually work "without testing in a proper systematic fashion."

In an email to Narcity Quebec, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (Quebec's Ministry of Health and Social Services) shared a similar response. "Inhaling Vaseline in the hope that it will falsify a PCR test result is an zany, ineffective practice, and can potentially have harmful effects," they said. "Don't do it."

Not only is the practice potentially harmful, trying it could land you in big trouble too.

"Providing false information to a Government of Canada official upon entry to Canada is a serious offence and may result in penalties and/or criminal charges," PHAC told Narcity.

The agency added that making a false declaration when boarding a flight to Canada — including presenting a fake test result — could result in a fine of up to $5,000.

"Violating any instructions provided when you enter Canada or putting others at risk of a serious communicable disease are offences under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to three years in prison and/or up to $1 million in fines," they said.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.