Surface Disinfection

Be In the Know

With COVID-19, disinfection awareness is moving out of clinical/professional environments into more public spaces. And while it’s easy to maintain social distancing, put on personal protective equipment and wash hands, we’ve discovered that the general public is not as familiar with the proper use of disinfectants. That inexperience and lack of knowledge may compromise the efficacy of their use and lead to a false sense of security. Here are some of the most common misconceptions and misunderstandings we’re seeing encountered by the public everyday. Also, please have fun answering some interesting questions as you scroll.

HOSPITAL VERSUS HOUSEHOLD DISINFECTANTS

Hospital disinfectants are registered by Health Canada or the EPA for use in healthcare facilities, veterinary practices, dental offices, spas, salons, clinics and other professional establishments where they are considered more effective against a broader group of pathogens including viruses, bacteria and fungi. While household disinfectants boast killing “99.9% of Germs”, this is insufficient for more heavily trafficked and higher risk environments where bacteria will multiply and potentially pose a risk of infection. A safe rule of thumb is to leave household disinfectants at home and use hospital disinfectants in commercial settings.

Should hospital disinfectants be made available to consumers during an outbreak?

GOTTA STAY WET TO DISINFECT

Unlike spilt milk, you can’t see pathogens, therefore it is hard to know if they have been removed by simply wiping. Instead, a contaminated surface must remain wet with the disinfectant for a prescribed amount of time indicated on the label—sometimes as long as 10 minutes! If it dries too quickly, it will not be effective. You may have to re-apply many times, so the shorter that wet contact time is, the better. Remember that bacteria left behind can multiply rapidly and re-contaminate a surface if not properly disinfected.

Is 10 minutes a realistic contact time to kill pathogens?

Disinfection Dysfunction

Not ALL disinfectants are created equal and can widely differ by what they kill (claims), how quickly they do so (contact time), personal safety precautions (e.g. need for PPE) and environmental impact. For a disinfectant to have efficacy against specific pathogens, it must be approved by federal regulatory bodies (such as Health Canada, the EPA or FDA).

What About the Planet?

It is a common perception that eco-friendly products come with compromise in terms of efficacy—or the power and speed with which they do their job: “to kill powerful pathogens, you need to use harsh and toxic chemicals”. And for decades we’ve poured these disinfectants down the drain or into the environment with a resigned view to the impact it was having on our planet. But that is simply no longer the case. While it’s easy to create chemical disinfectants, formulating products that are compatible with surfaces, gentle on users and sustainable for the planet is a far greater undertaking. That hasn’t stopped companies like Virox Technologies from overcoming this challenge with powerful disinfectants whose active ingredient breaks down into water and oxygen. Finally, the perfect balance of strength, safety and environmental responsibility—a legacy that can be handed down to future generations.

How concerned are you by the toxic side effects of harsh chemicals present in some disinfectants?

“Disinfectants have moved out of the clinical space and into the mainstream. I don’t see that changing in the foreseeable future.”

— Randy Pilon, President and CEO, Virox® Technologies Inc.

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