Trichloroethylene is a chemical that is heavily used in the manufacture of a variety of products. Whilst versatile, it poses health risks to those exposed to it. It has been linked to an increased risk for Parkinson’s Disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and liver cancer.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chlorinated solvent that is commonly used for a variety of applications, from the pharmaceutical to the aerospace industry. It is used in the automotive and metal industry for degreasing. The textile industry uses trichloroethylene to extract greases, oils, fats, waxes and tars on cotton, wool, and other fabrics; additionally, it is used for dyeing and finishing. Trichloroethylene can also be found in some household products, such as adhesives, varnishes, wood finishes, carpet cleaners, and paint and stain removers. It is also commonly used as a spot remover by commercial dry cleaners.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chlorinated solvent used in industrial applications and manufacturing

TCE Facts:

• Non-flammable
• Easily evaporates
• Colourless at room temperature
• No odour at lower concentrations
• Has an ether-like odour at high concentrations

 

Dangers of TCE

For all its usefulness, TCE presents various health hazards to humans, with the levels of exposure depending on the dose, duration and the type of work a person has been doing using the chemical.


Some of its known effects include:

• May cause irritation to the eyes and skin
• Unconsciousness
• Liver damage
• Dizziness
• Headaches
• Sleepiness
• Confusion
• Nausea
• Death

Trichloroethylene is a known carcinogen. Over the recent decades, TCE has also been linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Linked to Parkinson’s Disease

Various medical studies have linked Parkinson’s disease to TCE. In a 2008 study, researchers led by Don M. Gash and John T. Slevin of the University of Kentucky, results showed a strong potential link between chronic TCE exposure and parkinsonism.

(Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, January 9). Trichloroethylene (TCE) Is A Risk Factor For Parkinsonism, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October
28, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080107181340.htm)

Another study, conducted by Dr. Samuel Goldman and Dr. Caroline Tanner of The Parkinson’s Institute in 2011, found that individuals regularly exposed to TCE had six times the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease.

(2011, November 15). Parkinson’s Linked to Industrial Solvent. Retrieved October 30, 2020 from https://www.couriermail.com.au/ipad/
parkinsons-linked-to-industrial-solvent/news-story/c40cb2ecbc5f40f43ffb6108978b2508?sv=1c0b5110774c21e34ac4f75481139fbb

Various medical studies have linked Parkinson’s disease to TCE.

In 2018, a former Australian serviceman received the first acknowledgment from the Navy that exposure to TCE during his service was the cause of his Parkinson’s disease.
In August 2020, Bastiaan Bloem MD, a Dutch neurologist and professor at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, stated that there will be an exponential increase in the number of people with Parkinson’s disease -from the present 6.5 million to 13 million. He points to widespread exposure to herbicides, toxic chemicals, and solvents, including TCE, as the culprit. An expert on Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Bastiaan Bloeme aims to raise awareness of the fact that “Parkinson’s is now the fastest-growing neurological condition on the Planet,” warning of a ‘Parkinson’s Pandemic’.

Luxner, Larry. (2020, April 6). Dutch Neurologist Warns of ‘Parkinson’s Pandemic’ Linked to Toxic Chemicals. Retrieved October 30, 2020. from https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2020/04/06/dutch-neurologist-bas-bloem-warns-of-parkinsons-pandemic/

Methods of Exposure

Exposure can occur by inhalation, ingestion and absorption through the skin. This is especially true for those who work with TCE.

Unfortunately, TCE may also be found in the air, water and soil at places where it is manufactured or used. Because it disperses slowly, readily permeates through soil and can accumulate in groundwater, and may pollute drinking water wells. It can also move into rivers or lakes, and then evaporate into the air. TCE can also evaporate from polluted soil and groundwater and rise towards the surface, entering through cracks in building foundations, pipes, or drains, resulting in contaminated indoor air. It can be present in the environment even for decades afterwards.

This can mean that the general population can also be exposed to TCE by inhalation of indoor or outdoor air, or ingestion of contaminated drinking water or food that has been washed or processed using contaminated water.

Reducing TCE Exposure

According to the Australian Code of Practice, the actions stipulated in the “Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace” should be followed to reduce the risk to employees and the environment. TCE should be replaced with a safer alternative if it’s use cannot be eliminated entirely.

People living in areas where the use and manufacture of TCE is known should avoid drinking water from wells; outdoor activities in these areas should also be kept to a minimum.

Contact your local authorities if you suspect that TCE might be present in your area to find out what needs to be done in order to reduce or eliminate the risks of exposure to you and your family.

Using Triple7 Eco-Scale for limescale removal presents benefits that are not found in traditional chemicals.

Traditional chemicals used for de-scaling, whilst effective, pose a variety of risks for people and the environment. They are corrosive and dangerous and can cause severe burns, a host of respiratory illnesses, eye damage, and even death. These substances also present long-term adverse environmental effects and drive waste disposal costs up.

Switching to Triple7 Eco-Scale will provide businesses large and small with a safer, effective, and more economical option for removing limescale.

Reasons to Use Triple7 Eco-Scale

Triple7 Eco-Scale is a non-toxic limescale remover. Its benefits include:

  • Improved worker safety

Unlike traditional de-scalers, Triple7 Eco-Scale does not contain harsh substances such as hydrochloric acid or sulphamic acid. It does not contain toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. The product is organic and plant-based, protecting workers from immediate and long-term health risks, and freeing employers from WHS compliance and litigation concerns.

  • Powerful and versatile formula

Triple7 Eco-Scale has a high-performance formulation that makes it effective at removing limescale, rust, barnacles, and crustacea. It does its job without damaging equipment. It is ideal for removing calcium and limescale deposits found in heat exchangers, boilers, condensers, pipes and valves, wet scrubbers, engine cooling systems, bilges and bilge pumps, marine pumps, chillers, and marine surfaces.

  • Eco-friendliness and sustainability

Unlike traditional de-scaling agents, Triple7 Eco-Scale is 100% bio-based and derived from natural resources. It contains no toxic or hazardous ingredients and will not harm water or air environments. Triple7 Eco-Scale is readily biodegradable.

  • Cost-effectivity

Triple7 Eco-Scale is a highly concentrated product, so a little goes a long way. Because it has no Hazchem rating, it needs no special storage areas, lowering the cost of transport, handling and storage. The product is eco-friendly and readily biodegradable, so it can be flushed into wastewater systems, reducing waste disposal and trade waste costs. Workers also require less PPE than traditional de-scalers. What’s more, Triple7 Eco-Scale is safe to use for removing calcium limescale from equipment without dismantling, allowing businesses to save on shutdown time, loss of production and labour costs.

Person-to-person transmission through respiratory droplets is believed to be the primary way that the coronavirus is spread. However, experts do not want to discount the possibility that indirect transmission can happen when a person touches a surface contaminated with the virus, and then touches their own mouth, nose or even their eyes. This makes not only hand washing an essential practice, but also cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and items, especially those that are frequently touched.

Strict adherence to cleaning and sanitising/disinfecting guidelines is recommended to reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease in this way. Recently, disinfectant products and surface films that claim to have residual effects against the coronavirus have emerged. But how well do these products really work? 

Efficacy of Residual Disinfectants in Real World Settings

Antimicrobial products, in liquid (spray) or film forms, are being marketed claiming to provide lasting surface protection. Whilst there is ongoing laboratory testing for such products, currently there is no real-world testing being done to determine their efficacy out in the field.

Some questions need to be raised when considering these residual products. It’s important to find out if the manufacturer provides detailed information about the product and the application process, including, but not limited to:

  • Surface preparation process
    • How do you ensure that the surface has been sufficiently cleaned of organic matter for the residual disinfectant film or spray to adhere to and coat the surface effectively and completely?
  • Surface suitability
    • Will the products adhere fully to all types of surfaces?
    • If a surface is uneven, scratched, nicked, or cracked, will the coverage of the product be affected?
  • Suitability of cleaning products, tools, and methods
    • Will organic matter that builds up on the surface over time interfere with the efficacy of the product? 
    • How quickly will organic build-up render the product ineffective?
    • If the surface needs regular cleaning to prevent organic matter build-up, won’t this wear away at the product and reduce its effectiveness?
    • Won’t ingredients found in most cleaning products interfere with the residual disinfectant product’s efficacy?
  • Product reapplication process
    • If the product is in film form, does the first layer of product need to be removed prior to applying a new one? If so, what is the best way to remove the first film? How long does this take? How difficult will it be to remove the film if it has adhered to the surface firmly?
    • If the first layer of film does not need to be removed prior to applying a new one, won’t this affect the new film’s ability to adhere to the surface and reduce its effectiveness?
    • How often does the product need to be reapplied?

The TGA and Disinfectant Claims

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) sets out instructions for disinfectant testing that must be conducted to validate specific claims. Disinfectant products claiming virucidal, sporicidal, tuberculocidal, fungicidal or other bactericidal activity are categorised as “specific claims” under the TGA legislation and are required to be Listed in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.[1]

The TGA must give express permission for disinfectant products to claim an effect against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 in advertising, including on the label. There are currently no TGA-approved testing protocols for residual activity, which means that no disinfectant product that claims residual effects can also claim to be TGA-approved. Companies doing so can potentially be in breach of the Therapeutic Goods Act.

Official Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidelines

These residual disinfectant products may seem to offer an easy and economical solution to the current situation; however, it is not the time to cut corners because you may be putting the health and lives of your workers, and the greater community, at risk. Until substantial evidence of real-world efficacy is available for these types of products, closely observing cleaning and disinfection guidelines recommended by Safe Work Australia and the Australian Department of Health is still best. Right now, it is of the utmost importance to ensure our workers’ health and safety and do all that we can to ensure that they are protected from COVID-19 as much as possible. 


[1] https://www.tga.gov.au/publication/disinfectant-claim-guide-specific-claims-and-non-specific-claims

 

Related Posts

Making Shared Workspaces Safe During the Pandemic

Across Australia, employees must adhere to restrictions on public gatherings which differ between states and territory governments. However, policies concerning physical distancing, good hygiene, and cleaning and sanitation practices are in place to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. COVID-19 has changed life as we knew it. The whole world is facing [...]

Why Handwashing is Effective at Stopping the Spread of Germs

It sounds so simple, but handwashing is the best and most effective way at stopping germs in their tracks.

Different Types of Disinfectants and Sanitisers and How to Choose Which One to Use

Disinfectants are commonly found in households, commercial businesses, and industrial facilities. There are different types of disinfectants and sanitisers available, and it is imperative to know how they work and what you need to consider when choosing which one to use. Bacteria and microorganisms, though we may not see them with our eyes, are found [...]

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration flagged several hand sanitising products manufactured in Mexico for containing potentially dangerous levels of methanol, or wood alcohol, a toxic substance that could ultimately result in death. 

Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are in greater demand as experts continue to emphasize the role of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of infections. These hand sanitisers usually contain ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, n-propyl alcohol, or their combinations. Whilst helpful when used according to manufacturer’s guidelines, these substances can become toxic to humans, but none more so than methanol.

What is methanol? Why is it dangerous?

Also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, or carbinol, methanol is a colourless, flammable liquid that naturally occurs in wood. It is mostly used to create fuel, solvents, and antifreeze. 

Whilst methanol is an alcohol like ethanol and isopropanol alcohol, it must not be used in hand sanitisers as it breaks down and produces different chemicals in the body than its safer counterparts. Ethanol and isopropanol produce acetate and acetone in the body, respectively. Meanwhile, methanol produces formaldehyde or formic acid, which is more toxic and harmful to humans and animals. In fact, it takes as little as 10-30mL of methanol, or about 1-2 tablespoons, to kill an adult.

In addition to its toxicity to humans, methanol has been found to be less effective at killing viruses compared to other alcohols, which would render it useless as a sanitiser.

How can exposure to methanol occur?

People can be exposed to methanol through inhalation (breathing), ingestion (swallowing), and eye or skin contact. 

The substance can be found in many household products, such as adhesives, resins, inks, and dyes. It is even found in pharmaceutical products such as cholesterol medicines, antibiotics, and some vitamins, as well as in some fruits and vegetables. However, the methanol found in these products are usually well below toxicity levels and would not be expected to have adverse results. 

What are the effects of methanol on the body?

Using products containing dangerous levels of methanol can result in poisoning that may present within 1 to 72 hours of exposure.

  • Eye-related symptoms: redness, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, partial to total loss of vision.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms: severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, lack of appetite.
  • Neurological symptoms: drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, headache, amnesia, acute mania, agitation, coordination disorders, seizure, decreased level of consciousness.
  • Chronic symptoms: redness, dry skin, rashes, disturbed tactile sensibility, cardiac and blood circulation effects.

Can methanol poisoning be treated?

If you or anyone you know are experiencing methanol poisoning symptoms, it is important to seek immediate medical attention to delay methanol metabolism.

Is methanol approved for use as a hand sanitiser ingredient by public health authorities?

Methanol has not received approval or recommendation from any public health authority as an active ingredient in hand sanitisers, in Australia or internationally. There is no safe level for methanol in hand sanitisers.

Sources: 

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-advises-consumers-not-use-hand-sanitizer-products-manufactured-eskbiochem

https://www.methanol.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Methanol-Safety-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic-3.pdf

Related Posts

Supporting RRT by Donating Australian-Made Hand Sanitiser

Envirofluid has been supporting RRT for several years and it is our pleasure to donate Triple7 SaniSkin hand sanitiser to the organisation to help them serve communities in need during the pandemic. Related Products Triple7 SaniSkin Gel Kills 99.9% of Germs Powerful Anti-Bacterial Action Leaves Skin Clean & Refreshed Designed for Daily Use - No [...]

How Purasolve Parts Washers Keeps Your Workers Safe During the Pandemic

“What else can I do to keep risks of infection to a minimum in the workshop?” “What should I do to protect my business and make sure it stays open during the pandemic?” These are just some of the questions foremost in the minds of many maintenance and workshop owners and operators. Whilst many other [...]

Why Handwashing is Effective at Stopping the Spread of Germs

It sounds so simple, but handwashing is the best and most effective way at stopping germs in their tracks.

“What else can I do to keep risks of infection to a minimum in the workshop?”

“What should I do to protect my business and make sure it stays open during the pandemic?”

These are just some of the questions foremost in the minds of many maintenance and workshop owners and operators. Whilst many other companies are allowing employees to work remotely, this industry depends heavily on personnel who must work onsite.

Workshops can implement best practices for shared workspaces, where appropriate, to ensure health and safety of employees and customers as COVID-19 continues to ravage. Investing in equipment that will help reduce the risks of infection is also a good move.

Benefits of Purasolve Parts Washers

Purasolve Parts Washers protects your workers’ health and safety and improves your business in these ways:

Improves Lives

Reduces the need for interaction, thereby reducing the risks of COVID-19 infection

Using Purasolve Parts Washers with recyclable solvent eliminates the need for biowaste trucks to come onsite. Considering that the same truck and driver would have been to multiple sites and the truck is carrying contaminated waste, the less interaction your workers have with them, the better.

Does not contain hazardous ingredients

Not only are Purasolve Parts Cleaning Solvents free of harmful and unhealthy chemicals, they are non-dangerous and non-explosive. You can rest assured that your workers are not exposed to health and safety risks that are present with traditional cleaners.

Does not contain any offensive odours

Purasolve Parts Cleaning Solvents contain no offensive odours, providing more pleasant working environments. Workers no longer have to put up with toxic smells that can cause headaches after prolonged use.

Improves Business

Provides options for servicing

With Purasolve you have the option of a 3 monthly servicing program, but it is not necessary as the solvent is fully recyclable, and we can provide cleaning options which allow the waste to go to sewer. This reduces the risk of contamination from trucks coming on site to change out the cleaning fluid.

Highly effective, providing cost savings

Purasolve Parts Cleaning Solvents are slow evaporating and can be recycled and reused for a minimum of 18 months, reducing the volume of cleaning solvent purchased and lowering disposal costs. In addition, these products have no Hazchem rating, so there are no special storage requirements, lowering the cost of transport, handling, and storage.

Extends equipment life

Because Purasolve Parts Cleaning Solvents are slow evaporating, they are able to thoroughly clean parts without leaving behind deposits. These deposits cause congestion and damage to equipment. These products do not dry out seals and hoses like traditional cleaners, extending the life of your equipment.

Consumers are now looking at how businesses are being proactive about their workers’ safety, as well as their customers’, when they consider customer service. At a time when hundreds of businesses are shutting down, millions are losing their jobs, it is more important than ever to ponder the different ways your workshop can stay safely open.

Across Australia, employees must adhere to restrictions on public gatherings which differ between states and territory governments. However, policies concerning physical distancing, good hygiene, and cleaning and sanitation practices are in place to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

COVID-19 has changed life as we knew it. The whole world is facing a dramatic shift in the way businesses are run and workforces are managed.

Case in point: in South Korea, 94 out of 214 employees on one floor of a crowded call centre tested positive for COVID-19. A study found that 90 percent of the cases were clustered on one high-density portion of the floor, showing that the virus can be extremely contagious in such crowded office settings.

Resuming Office Life

For many organisations, moving to remote work has become the ideal solution. There are, however, some companies that depend on workers whose jobs cannot be carried out remotely, such as industrial manufacturers. Moreover, depending on where in Australia you live, there may be plans underway to reopen businesses soon, which means workers will be returning to their workplaces.

Employers are coming up with various solutions to limit the number of people gathered in office spaces at one time, such as scheduling workers to come in shifts, staggered arrival times, re-configuring office designs to allow for 1.5 metres or more between desks, and directing foot traffic.

Best Practices for Shared Workspaces

In some cases, sharing workspaces, such as office desks or truck cabs, between shifts is inevitable. Cleaning, whilst still an important component, is not enough by itself to stop the spread of infections in such scenarios since coronavirus can survive for a long time on certain surfaces. It must be coupled with sanitisation and/or disinfection for maximum effectiveness.

Below are some best practices that employers can follow to protect their employees and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  1. Implement policies to ensure cleaning and disinfecting before and after using shared workspaces. Make it clear that this is a responsibility shared by all, not just janitorial staff.

Communicate these policies clearly with all workspace members before you allow them back to work. Posting signages around the office is a good way to remind everyone to do this regularly.

  • Explain the necessity of cleaning prior to disinfecting.

Certain disinfectants or sanitisers may not work effectively if visible contamination is not removed, so it is important that your employees know this.

  • Make sure your employees know the importance of following manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting.

Some sanitisers need to be wet on the surface for a particular amount of time to be actively working. Depending on the product you are using, contact time can be anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes. Other disinfectants must be wiped onto a surface using a cloth, whilst some sanitisers can be left to air dry.

  • Provide cleaning and disinfecting products to workspace sharers.

It will be easier for your personnel to remember to clean and sanitise their workspaces when they are equipped with the proper tools they need to do so. Some basic products they must have access to include hand cleaner and hand sanitiser, paper towels, sanitising sprays, and disposable wipes.

  • Educate your employees on the items that must be cleaned and disinfected in their shared workspace.

High-touch surfaces such as light switches, desks, hard-backed chairs and armrests, keyboards and mice, telephones (receivers and keypads), touchscreen devices, doorknobs, drawer handles, printers, and photocopiers are just some of the items that your personnel must remember to clean and disinfect regularly.

Related Posts

Supporting RRT by Donating Australian-Made Hand Sanitiser

Envirofluid has been supporting RRT for several years and it is our pleasure to donate Triple7 SaniSkin hand sanitiser to the organisation to help them serve communities in need during the pandemic. Related Products Triple7 SaniSkin Gel Kills 99.9% of Germs Powerful Anti-Bacterial Action Leaves Skin Clean & Refreshed Designed for Daily Use - No [...]

Why Handwashing is Effective at Stopping the Spread of Germs

It sounds so simple, but handwashing is the best and most effective way at stopping germs in their tracks.

Tips for Cleaning, Sanitising and Disinfecting Schools

Every day, schools open their doors to hundreds of students and faculty, making these institutions a hotbed of germs. Many of the items found in school are frequently touched and shared between students, increasing the risk of infection. It’s a common scenario in preschools: little Sara comes to school with the sniffles, feeling a little [...]

 

Envirofluid recognises the important work being done at Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation. Over the years, we have made it our mission to do what we can to support the team of researchers at Peter Mac as they make strides in their fight against cancer.

Right now, A/Prof Paul Neeson and his team is developing a drug combination that harnesses a patient’s immune system to help them beat their cancer and create long-lasting immunity to the cancer in the future.

We at Envirofluid are pleased to support the purpose and commitment of the Peter Mac team to help give patients a better chance at recovery and survival, and hope to their families and carers.

Find out more about them at https://www.petermac.org/.

Related Posts

Supporting RRT by Donating Australian-Made Hand Sanitiser

Envirofluid has been supporting RRT for several years and it is our pleasure to donate Triple7 SaniSkin hand sanitiser to the organisation to help them serve communities in need during the pandemic. Related Products Triple7 SaniSkin Gel Kills 99.9% of Germs Powerful Anti-Bacterial Action Leaves Skin Clean & Refreshed Designed for Daily Use - No [...]

Donating to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation

Envirofluid is proud to help the Indigenous Literacy Foundation in making a positive difference in the early literacy levels of Indigenous Australian children living in remote communities

Helping Save Lives with Donations to CareFlight

Envirofluid is proud to continue supporting CareFlight – an Australian aeromedical charity, whose mission is to save lives, speed recovery and serve the community.

Disinfectants are commonly found in households, commercial businesses, and industrial facilities. There are different types of disinfectants and sanitisers available, and it is imperative to know how they work and what you need to consider when choosing which one to use.

Bacteria and microorganisms, though we may not see them with our eyes, are found everywhere: from the kitchen to the boardroom, from the air we breathe to the bottom of the sea. They can live on rock, soil, oceans, and even snow. Some types of bacteria live in or on other organisms like plants, animals, and humans. Many of these microorganisms are harmless, or even helpful. However, there are those that are harmful and can cause dangerous or deadly diseases, known as pathogens, and disinfectants or sanitisers are required to eliminate or kill those.

To ensure the prevention of common sicknesses like the cold, flu, and other infectious illnesses, using the right type of product and understanding how they work are a must.

How Disinfectants and Sanitisers Work

Each disinfectant has an active ingredient that disrupts or damages the cells of microorganisms, thereby killing pathogens. There are some disinfectants that combine the active ingredient with additional cleaning agents to allow for cleaning and disinfecting at the same time.

Certain disinfectants and sanitisers have stronger formulations and are manufactured for environments where dangerous pathogens are likely to be present, such as hospitals. Meanwhile, low level disinfectants are also available for use in areas like homes and commercial businesses and applied on floors, walls, and countertops. These are places where the likelihood of dangerous microorganisms being present are low.

Manufacturers are required by law to follow all applicable label instructions, such as Usage Instructions, Dilution Rates, Shelf Life, Storage Instructions, Material Compatibility, Safe Use, and Disposal Instructions.

Main Types of Sanitisers and Disinfectants

There are several categories of disinfectants used in most commercial and industrial settings. Below you will find some of the most used types:

  • Alcohols – one of the most effective sanitisers and has been used as a sanitiser for centuries. Ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol are the most commonly used for sanitisation purposes. Absolute alcohol does not work very well and must be formulated between 62% to 80% concentration to be properly effective. Alcohols kill bacteria by a process of protein denaturation, making these formulations incredibly effective as a sanitising agent. Alcohol bonds with and breaks down the protective membrane surrounding the bacteria, exposing and dissolving the bacteria and quickly killing it. These solutions are normally air dry and do not need a cloth or rinse – making them quick and easy to use.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – a colourless liquid chemical that is used for a wide range of cleaning and personal products, from bathroom cleaners to toothpaste. This is commonly used in healthcare settings for cleaning and disinfecting. It is effective against a wide variety of bacteria, germs, and viruses. According to the CDC, three percent hydrogen peroxide is a stable and effective disinfectant when used on inanimate surfaces.
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Quats) – are odourless, colourless, non-irritating, and deodorising. Combining Quats with a variety of detergents enables its usage as a 2-in-1 cleaner and disinfectant. These are generally fungicidal, bactericidal and virucidal (against lipophilic or enveloped viruses); however, they are not sporicidal, tuberculocidal or virucidal (against hydrophilic or nonenveloped viruses). Additionally, its effectivity is inhibited by water hardness and when it encounters some soap or soap residues, detergents, acids, and heavy organic soiling.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Disinfectant

There are 5 primary factors to consider when evaluating a disinfectant or sanitiser to ensure that it meets the needs of your commercial or industrial facility.

Effectiveness

Make sure that the disinfectant or sanitiser product you choose is effective against the microorganisms or pathogens that are of top concern in your facility. It is better to choose a product that has a wide spectrum of activity, making it effective against various microorganisms and in their different physiological states.

Wet Contact and Kill Times

In order for disinfectants to kill pathogens, they need to be wet on the surface being disinfected to be actively working. Different disinfectants have different kill times; however, contact time of less than 10 minutes is ideal. When it comes to kill times, the faster a sanitiser or disinfectant works, the better. In the case of sanitisers that evaporate much quicker than the required contact time, rewetting is necessary. Using a spray and air dry product also prevents the possibility of contamination via a cloth.

Safety

There are disinfectants that are toxic, some that are corrosive, others that have an undesirable odour, and those that can stain surfaces. Making sure that disinfectants are safe to use, in terms of meeting health and safety standards, is of the utmost importance. Checking the product’s SDS for information on safety, toxicity signal word, flammability ratings and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements is crucial.

Ease of Use

The disinfectant or sanitiser you choose must have clear and straightforward directions for use to ensure that your cleaning crew will be able to understand how to use the product correctly. Other factors that can contribute are the product’s shelf life, acceptable odour, multi-functionality (cleans and disinfects in a single step), and its availability in various convenient forms (e.g., liquids, sprays, refills, etc.).

Other Factors

Aside from the above-mentioned, other factors for consideration include the overall cost (including the product’s capabilities, cost per use, etc.); available training and support from the manufacturer; and, the product’s ability to help minimise the number of cleaning products used in the facility.

Related Posts

Supporting RRT by Donating Australian-Made Hand Sanitiser

Envirofluid has been supporting RRT for several years and it is our pleasure to donate Triple7 SaniSkin hand sanitiser to the organisation to help them serve communities in need during the pandemic. Related Products Triple7 SaniSkin Gel Kills 99.9% of Germs Powerful Anti-Bacterial Action Leaves Skin Clean & Refreshed Designed for Daily Use - No [...]

Why Handwashing is Effective at Stopping the Spread of Germs

It sounds so simple, but handwashing is the best and most effective way at stopping germs in their tracks.

Triple7 Iodosan: an Active Sanitiser

Triple7 Iodosan is a powerful iodine-based cleaner and active sanitiser. The world has been on high alert since the discovery of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). To date, the number of people who have been infected has surpassed the 100,000-mark. Fortunately, more people are recovering from this disease than are succumbing to it; however, preventing [...]

The recent global pandemic has had people scrambling to protect themselves, particularly with hand sanitisers.


COVID-19 has been ravaging the entire world for many months now. Shelves have been emptied of hand sanitisers, with online stores such as Amazon starting to restrict sales of these products due to price gouging.  

Health experts have stated that handwashing is the most effective way of reducing the amounts of all types of germs. However, in some cases when water and soap are not available, using hand sanitisers are the next best option.

What most people don’t know is that they might be using ineffective hand sanitisers, particularly in the prevention of coronavirus transmission.

Not All Hand Sanitisers are Created Equal

Hand sanitisers with low-level (and sometimes, zero) alcohol content are popular with those who are allergic to alcohol-based ones. Experts warn against using these types of products as they can give one a false sense of safety and security when out in public.

For a hand sanitiser to function properly, it must be 60 to 80 percent alcohol (isopropyl, ethanol or ethyl alcohol, or n-propanol). These work to reduce the number of microorganisms on your hands, including the coronavirus. However, health experts have also warned that proper usage of hand sanitisers must be observed to ensure that you are adequately protected.

Forget the DIY Hand Sanitisers

Due to the recent shortage of hand sanitisers, people have been turning to recipes for homemade ones found online. Experts are warning against many of these ineffective formulations, stating that hand sanitisers must include ethyl alcohol, with higher concentrations of alcohol than is found in spirits such as whiskey and vodka.

In addition, these formulations may do more harm than good if mixed incorrectly. Keep in mind that store-bought hand sanitisers contain emollients to protect the skin, which many of the recipes found online do not have.

Proper Use of Hand Sanitisers

Follow these steps when using hand sanitisers:

  1. Apply the product on the palm of one hand (use the correct amount according to manufacturer’s guidelines).
  2. Rub the product on all the surfaces of your hands until they are dry.

It is important to note that hand sanitisers may not work as well if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy, which can happen after handling greasy food, working under the hood of your car, or playing sports. In these cases when hands get heavily soiled or greasy, handwashing is highly recommended.

Another important thing to note is that alcohol-based hand sanitisers may be effective against many types of microbes when used correctly, such as MRSA and E Coli, influenza A virus, rhinovirus, hepatitis A virus, HIV, and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV); however, there are certain types of germs that can only be removed by proper handwashing with soap and water, such as Cryptosporidium, norovirus, and Clostridium difficile.

Reference:

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html

Related Posts

Supporting RRT by Donating Australian-Made Hand Sanitiser

Envirofluid has been supporting RRT for several years and it is our pleasure to donate Triple7 SaniSkin hand sanitiser to the organisation to help them serve communities in need during the pandemic. Related Products Triple7 SaniSkin Gel Kills 99.9% of Germs Powerful Anti-Bacterial Action Leaves Skin Clean & Refreshed Designed for Daily Use - No [...]

Why Handwashing is Effective at Stopping the Spread of Germs

It sounds so simple, but handwashing is the best and most effective way at stopping germs in their tracks.

Triple7 Iodosan: an Active Sanitiser

Triple7 Iodosan is a powerful iodine-based cleaner and active sanitiser. The world has been on high alert since the discovery of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). To date, the number of people who have been infected has surpassed the 100,000-mark. Fortunately, more people are recovering from this disease than are succumbing to it; however, preventing [...]

The federal government is urging businesses to develop a plan for reopening and getting employees back in the workplace.

Early in May, the Australian federal government has announced a three-step plan, called the Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia, to help businesses safely bounce back from the epidemic and pave the way for economic recovery.

Each state is free to implement the plan according to their own timetable and based on local conditions; however, all the steps to be in force by mid-July.

Steps 1 and 2 of the plan encourage people to continue working from home if it suits them and their employer. Some companies across Australia are introducing more flexible working arrangements in order to keep their staff safe and prevent outbreaks from occurring onsite.

However, a return to workplace for most, if not all, employees is stipulated in step 3. If your business is planning to have your employees return to the workplace, then preparing a COVIDSafe plan is a must.

Preparing a COVID Safe Plan

Ensuring that you have a COVIDSafe Plan will give your employees the assurance they need that they will be returning to a safe and healthy workplace. It is important that businesses work with their employees in coming up with a COVIDSafe Plan. The plan must include:

  • An assessment of the way each member of staff works in order to identify and understand the unique risks to which employees and the community might be exposed once business reopens
  • Establishment of control measures to implement in order to address said risks and how and when these measures will be reviewed and adjusted (whether at regular intervals or after a trigger event)
  • Identification of workers who are most at risk of infection due to the nature of their duties or belonging to a vulnerable worker category
  • Adaptation and promotion of safe work practices such as social distancing, appropriate cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and excellent hygiene measures 
  • Application of the Hierarchy of Control Measures, where relevant, to actively prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace
  • Preparation for the possibility of COVID-19 cases in the workplace and readiness to decisively, immediately, appropriately, and effectively respond, consistent with advice from health authorities
  • Provision of hygiene supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Frequent cleaning and sanitising of common areas (conference rooms, kitchen/pantry areas), as well as public spaces (customer waiting rooms, elevators, entrances and exits)

Workplace Cleaning and Disinfecting

The implementation of appropriate cleaning and disinfecting protocols is of the utmost importance so that you, your employees, and the community will be protected from COVID-19 exposure. These protocols must include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Daily cleaning of workplaces
  • Cleaning in between shifts
  • Cleaning in between uses (for shared equipment/facilities)
  • Cleaning areas that get heavy foot traffic

Only after cleaning should surfaces and items be disinfected. This is because most sanitising or disinfecting chemicals will not work as intended if the surface or item is visibly soiled.

For workplaces or areas that have a high volume of people who are likely to touch surfaces, whether employees or customers, the frequency of cleaning and sanitation activities should be increased. There should also be a cleaning and disinfecting protocol in place in the event that there is a case or suspected case of COVID-19 infection at the workplace.

Safe Work Australia has released a guide for cleaning and disinfecting workplaces following a case or suspected case of COVID-19. Additionally, SWA provides useful checklists for maintaining good hygiene and cleaning in the workplace. You can download them here:

Safe Work Australia COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection Guidance

Safe Work Australia Cleaning Checklist

Safe Work Australia Health, Hygiene & Facilities Checklist

Reference: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces/other-resources/national-covid-19-safe-workplace-principles

Related Posts

Supporting RRT by Donating Australian-Made Hand Sanitiser

Envirofluid has been supporting RRT for several years and it is our pleasure to donate Triple7 SaniSkin hand sanitiser to the organisation to help them serve communities in need during the pandemic. Related Products Triple7 SaniSkin Gel Kills 99.9% of Germs Powerful Anti-Bacterial Action Leaves Skin Clean & Refreshed Designed for Daily Use - No [...]

How Purasolve Parts Washers Keeps Your Workers Safe During the Pandemic

“What else can I do to keep risks of infection to a minimum in the workshop?” “What should I do to protect my business and make sure it stays open during the pandemic?” These are just some of the questions foremost in the minds of many maintenance and workshop owners and operators. Whilst many other [...]

Why Handwashing is Effective at Stopping the Spread of Germs

It sounds so simple, but handwashing is the best and most effective way at stopping germs in their tracks.

Australian Made Industrial Degreaser - faster cleaning, safer and assists with oil water separation