February is the height of the cold and flu season and, of course, we are all paying more attention to COVID-19. As such, we thought we would share some helpful information regarding disinfectants, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) while using disinfectants, and areas of focus for disinfecting that are applicable for your home, home office, business, or even mobile office if you work on-the-go out of your vehicle!
According to the Spaulding Classification, enveloped viruses like Influenza A and B (the common flu) or COVID-19 are the easiest classification of microorganisms to kill. Think of enveloped viruses like a letter inside an envelope. Enveloped viruses are coated with protein or fat: When we puncture the envelope, we puncture the letter, and the message can’t be transmitted. This is what we want to happen with enveloped viruses like Influenza or COVID-19: We want to puncture the outer layer of the enveloped viruses so the contents – the virus – cannot be transmitted on. This outer layer made up of protein or fat is easily punctured by general purpose ‘spray and wipe’ cleaning. In particular, using a disinfectant that carries a claim against SaRS-CoV-2 (the precursor to COVID-19), will greatly reduce the risk of passing on viruses that remain on surfaces.
The EPA maintains a list of disinfectants approved in use against SaRS-CoV-2, and more than half of the approved disinfectants on the EPA list contain the active ingredient quaternary ammonium. Quaternary ammonium, or quats for short, have been around and used for a variety of purposes for the last 85 years, primarily for sterilization and disinfection. Different quats are used in items from antibacterial hand soaps to eye drops to mouthwash to disinfectant cleaners. The quat-based disinfectant cleaners should only be used as prescribed on the label and in conjunction with the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE). Aerosolized quat particles are known
to irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs. As such, we recommend your wear PPE when using quat-based disinfectants. Your focus for the use of disinfectants should be on high-touch points. These high-touch points should include, but are certainly not limited to, handles, light switches, door knobs, computer keyboards, computer mouse, steering wheel in your mobile on-the-go office in your vehicle, and most importantly, telephones. Surveys have routinely pointed out that the most overlooked surfaces for cleaning are our cellular telephones. We also happen to touch our cellular phones more than just about any surface; so again, remember – disinfect all high touch points!
Two of our most popular quat-based disinfectant cleaners that are in stock today ready to ship out are Procter & Gamble’s Microban 24-Hour Disinfecting Sanitizing Spray Citrus (EPA Reg. No. 4091-20-3573) and Chase’s Champion Sprayon Spray Disinfectant (EPA Reg. No. 498-179). If you decide to purchase these EPA-registered disinfectants for the use against SaRS-CoV-2, remember to wear the prescribed PPE, read and follow the instructions on the label, and disinfect those high touch points!