Use Disinfectants Wisely
Cold winter weather, now gripping most of North America, usually means cold and flu season is here and likely sticking around for a few months.Many cleaning professionals may be asked to use disinfectants this time of year more frequently than at other times. While disinfectants can be helpful because of their ability to kill germs and bacteria, they also can pose a risk to cleaning workers, building users, and the environment.Charlotte Products/Enviro-Solutions, a manufacturer of traditional and green cleaning products, has offered the following tips on how to use disinfectants wisely:• Use only disinfectants that have been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the EPA registration will be clearly printed on the label.• Look for and take note of signal words such as poison, danger, warning, and caution; the warnings are there first and foremost to protect cleaning workers.• Note the dwell time. The EPA requires that surface dwell time be printed on the label; this is the length of time the product must remain wet on a surface to effectively kill germs.• Wear personal protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles.• Read the directions label before use; this should provide clear step-by-step directions for safe usage as well as information on safe storage and disposal.• Create a list of all disinfectants used in the facility, the names of the products as well as emergency contact information, and keep it handy.• Select the type of disinfectant needed for a particular cleaning task. Many disinfectants are designed to kill specific viruses, such as hepatitis."As mentioned, using disinfectants wisely involves reading the product's label carefully," says Jennifer Meek, marketing director. "View this as a contract between the manufacturer and the user. The manufacturer suggests how to use the product safely and effectively, and expects the user to follow these instructions."