“Cleaners tend to go in with hugely toxic chemicals. We’re creating another problem for a whole group of people, and I’m not sure we’re actually controlling infections.” – Dr. Claudia Miller1
Following up on our last blog, Bloomberg just published an article that reinforces concerns over the rampant use of disinfectants. As we said last time, we know that cleaning professionals across the country are being called upon to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Realistically, this will involve the use of disinfectants.
The Bloomberg article goes into some depth about the potential risks of using disinfectants. Some key points:
Pre-Pandemic, cleaning staffs:
- Freshened lobbies every three hours
- Sanitized restrooms every four hours
- Cleaned other areas overnight
- Client expectation was emptied wastebaskets and clean carpet
Now, cleaning staffs:
- Public places like lobbies are cleaned 6-8 times per day
- Restrooms sanitized every two hours
- More cleaning and disinfecting is happening during the day
- Client expectations are regular sanitizing and disinfecting
While the EPA-registered products on List N have undergone a great deal of safety testing within certain limits, health experts warn that increased exposure increases their potential risks.
Another area of concern is the use of electrostatic sprayers. Although this can be an efficient way to cover large areas quickly, very few of the products on List N are approved to be used in these sprayers. The risks of this method of application are still being studied for disinfectants in general.
Remember, you should NEVER use a product in an electrostatic sprayer that hasn't been approved for this purpose. Never apply an EPA-registered product in a method other than the approved method in its instructions.
What Disinfectants Should I Use to Combat COVID-19?
- Seek out disinfectants with a favorable toxicity profile. Investigate the SDS sheets, like that of our Critical Care, to check out their ingredients and potential risks. This information should be readily available. Every product page on the EnvirOx website offers the relevant SDS sheet.
- There are no products on List N that aren’t Disinfectants. It is, by definition, a list of nothing BUT disinfectants. In the rush to do the right thing, some people have gotten the wrong idea about what this means. You MUST still incorporate cleaning products into your cleaning (See Video). It’s more important than ever to use cleaning products that do not have their own toxic components. Use green-certified or EPA-registered cleaning products that will help prepare surfaces for disinfectants and clean up the residue left behind by those disinfectants.