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Tips on the Safe Use of Disinfectants

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.

January 16, 2014
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chemicals on store shelfCold winter weather usually means cold and flu season is here and likely sticking around for a few months. Hence, 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.

Here’s a look at some tips on how to properly use disinfectants, via Charlotte Products/Enviro-Solutions:

  • Use only disinfectants that have been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 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. 

 

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