In the middle of one of the worst cold and flu seasons in recent history, everyone is probably a little more diligent about washing their hands. Parents are trying to isolate sick children from the rest of the family. Schools are cleaning classrooms more often to try to decrease the spread of illness among students and staff, but illness is still spreading rapidly.
So why is it so hard to disinfect properly?
It’s Difficult to Find the Right Chemical Disinfectant for Every Job
Depending on the type of disinfectant you are using, it may or may not effectively kill everything. For example, ammonia-based cleaners or vinegar are eco-friendly cleaners, but they can’t disinfect staph bacterium. Antibacterial soap may kill some bacteria, but no more than regular soap, and it doesn’t fight off viruses.
An article in Real Simple highlights 5 areas that you should disinfect during cold and flu season (cell phones, keyboards, doorknobs, countertops & faucets, and stuffed animals & blankets) – each one requiring a different type of cleaner, wipe or process to sanitize without the risk of damaging what you are trying to clean.
Your Cleaners May Take Longer to Kill Germs Than You Realize
How closely do you read the labels on your current disinfectants? You may or may not know that most household wipes and cleaners require the surface to be visibly wet for 3-4 minutes or more to kill 99.9% of some types of bacteria or virus.
Are you using alcohol to clean? Alcohol may need 2-10 minutes on the surface to do the job. This processing time is complicated by alcohol’s rapid evaporation rate. While wiping away dirt and grime are important, you still may be leaving bacteria and viruses behind if you don’t ensure adequate contact time for the chemical cleaner with the surface.
You Are Likely Leaving Bacteria or Viruses Behind
Without the right tools, it is difficult to eliminate the bacteria and viruses that may linger on your surfaces. A study by UC Davis found that after the use of traditional mops and cloths, there was only a 30% reduction in bacteria. Even if you have the right tools and chemicals, you may miss surface areas or not use the correct chemical for the job. Another study conducted by Carlin in acute care hospitals found that only 49% of tested surfaces had reached the required compliance with cleaning standards.
Products May Be Harmful to You & the Environment
You may think that the products you are purchasing are keeping you healthy by killing germs, but they may also be harmful to you and the environment. While Bleach is effective against dirt, mold, bacteria and viruses, “bleach is also one of the most harmful disinfectants to human health and has been linked to respiratory problems and birth defects.” It may also be hazardous to wildlife and the environment. In addition, it may permanently damage everyday fabrics like clothing, upholstery, and carpet. Furthermore, bleach is corrosive to most metals in high concentrations.
Antibacterial soap products have been very popular lately, however the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently banned certain active ingredients because manufacturers were unable to demonstrate that these ingredients were safe for long-term daily use. The agency issued the ruling after reviewing data provided by the manufacturers on the safety and effectiveness of the ingredients. Essentially, the manufacturers were unable to prove that the ingredients are more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections:
"Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water," said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). "In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term."
The ruling further noted that some data suggested that long-term exposure to certain active ingredients used in antibacterial products, including triclosan and triclocarban, could pose health risks for humans, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.
uv room disinfection - A Better Way to Disinfect
Consumers need options for cleaning that can kill bacteria and viruses effectively and safely, which shouldn’t mean the necessity to have 20 different cleaning products to be able to disinfectant every surface and situation in your house.
That’s where ultraviolet light has historically proven to be extremely effective. The new S.A.G.E. (Surface & Air Germ Elimination) line of products from Violet Defense uses ultraviolet light to safely and effectively disinfect the air and the surrounding surfaces. Violet Defense technology has been shown to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.
With options like S.A.G.E. Micro, a unit about the size of a book, you can simply place the unit in the room you want to disinfect, plug it in, and return to a space that is truly clean without worrying about damaging the surfaces, contents or spreading chemicals throughout the environment of your room or home.
For a better way to disinfect, contact the team at Violet Defense.