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Complimentary OSHA Guide

By: Jim Pemberton- Cleaning Care Specialist; Jack Worthington Diablo Carpet & Floor Restoration an IICRC Certified Firm

We have done some research on how the wide variety of disinfecting products work, and, just as importantly, what interferes with how they work, and found an excellent resource. It was a study done by Iowa State University Center for Food Security and Public Health, entitled simply: “Disinfection 101”.

Here are a few quotes from the study that are critical for you to know:

“No single disinfectant is adequate for all situations. Disinfection protocols used on a daily basis will differ from those needed to control an infectious disease outbreak. However, both have one component in common; thorough cleaning and washing prior to the application of any disinfectant is essential.”
As much as potential clients might want us to just “fog or spray” something quickly into the area of concern and be done with it, cleaning first is essential.

Contact Time

“Appropriate contact times are essential. Disinfectants may vary in the contact time needed to kill versus inactivate microorganisms…..The minimum contact time needed is normally stated on the product label. Areas being disinfected should be well soaked with the disinfectant selected to avoid drying before the end of the optimum contact time.”
Reading the product label carefully is essential. Products available to cleaners and restorers have contact time claims from 30 seconds to a few hours. Many products will have a variety of contact times depending on the micro-organism or virus involved. Whichever product you choose to use, make sure you are using it according to all directions, including contact time. It’s easy to see why fogging or misting alone are unlikely able to keep a surface wet enough to have the needed contact time.

Instructions for use.

“Misuse of a product is in violation of its EPA regulation. The label of a disinfectant may include limitations of the product and must be followed carefully. This will ensure maximum effectiveness, as well as protect personnel, the treated items and the environment.”

There is no latitude here! If the product is to be diluted with water, the exact dilutions must be used. If it is a ready to use material, it must not be diluted. These products must not be mixed with other products, such as cleaners, deodorizers, etc. The label will also clearly state in what fashion the disinfectant should be dispensed. Many products that are made to be sprayed and wiped are being fogged, which violates EPA regulations and therefore the law.
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The entire report from the Iowa State University contains excellent information on how each type of disinfectant works, and what safety measures are important to follow with them as well. If you’d like to review the entire report, please contact Diablo Carpet & Floor Restoration- https://www.diablocarpet.com or email us at: cleancarpets@diablocarpet.com.