It’s well known that commercial disinfectants fight germs and bacteria through the application of ingredients like chlorine, chloramine (produced by reacting chlorine with ammonia), alcohol, formaldehyde, and other hazardous chemicals. Because the efficacy of these disinfectants is temporary at best, lasting only until the next sneeze, cough or contaminated touch, users often find themselves repeatedly dousing a space in an attempt to fight repeat contamination. As a result, these surfaces and the spaces you occupy can become hazardously toxic independent of germs or bacteria within the environment.
COVID-19, like Influenza and other illnesses is more often spread through person-to-person and airborne transmission than it is through surface-to-person transmissions. While there’s a natural instinct to turn to harsh disinfectants to attack a virus – which at the very early stages of the pandemic, the CDC recommended – coronaviruses and more are relatively easily killed on surfaces with plain old soap and water (or regular cleaning solutions). New CDC guidance reassure us that we all can follow science to avoid a dangerous reliance on chemical disinfection. Doing so will avoid health risks ranging from cancer to serious respiratory disease – an especially grave risk for vulnerable populations such as children and the 1 in 13 Americans with asthma. Although the primary risk for Covid transmission is airborne we still must respect the possible transmission via fomites or commonly shared touch points. In order to create a safe and healthy environment, we must address all areas of possible transmission.
Research has shown that eighty percent of common infections are spread by our hands1. Although Covid is today’s greatest concern, we know based upon history that there will be another disease introduced to the United States after Covid is not a prevalent issue, let alone the influenza, norovirus and the common cold that impacts our health each and every day.
The reality is that standard disinfecting procedures are a one-and-done process, temporarily making treated areas “safe” until the next contamination. In high-traffic areas like office spaces, schools, fitness centers, restaurants, airplanes, and more, that’s a formula for disaster. That fact has caused increased frequency in disinfecting touchpoints resulting in an increased presence of harsh chemicals and the possibility of induced health risks.
It makes little sense to create a health concern by trying to solve one if there are safe alternatives.
The CDC’s latest guidance notes that “…cleaning with products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and may also weaken or damage some of the virus particles, which decreases risk of infection from surfaces.” ISSA and GBAC also emphasize the critical importance that cleaning and disinfecting surfaces must not only reduce exposure to COVID-19, but also to other pathogens.
“While there are still many uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, it is clear that facilities can better prepare for, respond to, and recover from outbreaks when they have a comprehensive program that starts with a risk assessment” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “There are many layers to this issue, but as authoritative leaders within the space, we feel it’s important to clarify that with the current pandemic, in addition to indoor air quality needs, cleaning professionals should continue their enhanced efforts in cleaning and disinfecting public facilities with added focus on high touch points.
When used correctly by trained professionals, proven products and equipment are very effective against SARS-CoV-2 as well as other viruses and bacteria.”
“There is a continuum of risk during the pandemic as new SARS-CoV-2 variants emerge, and beyond it due to the fact that illnesses like influenza, norovirus, and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can impact public health,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “When combined, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, air quality controls, the use of face masks, hand hygiene, and other measures can greatly reduce the risk of infection spread and give facility occupants and guests greater peace of mind that organizations are prioritizing their health and safety.”
At SPMC, LLC, eliminating the risks of highly volatile chemical disinfectants for a greener, safer, and more effective solution has been at the core of our ongoing research and development. Through Science-Proven Microbial Control® our licensees are able to reduce the presence of harmful germs and pathogens on surfaces without excessive disinfecting practices.
For more information or if you have questions pertaining to their Science-Proven Microbial Control® program or licensee opportunities from SPMC, LLC, you can contact John Bergman, SPMC, LLC President at [email protected] or go to their Web site at www.SPMCglobal.com
1: BC Centre for Disease Control http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/prevention-public-health/hand-hygiene
2: Tri-County Health Care https://www.tchc.org/blog/2018/12/12/hand-hygiene-and-germ-facts/