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Disinfection 101

Disinfection / September 30, 2020

Disinfection 101

Coronavirus has exposed the need for disinfection to protect ourselves, our homes, schools, and businesses.  Since Infectious disease is always present in our environment, the need for effective disinfection is constant.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of wrong information being presented, causing many to incorrectly use disinfectant products.

Misleading information has been such an issue, that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered Amazon Services LLC and eBay Inc. to stop selling a wide range of products in June 2020.  Many of these products were unregistered, misbranded, or made false and misleading claims.

To help educate the public, SpectraShield Technologies is offering regular information on disinfection products and processes to help teach correct disinfection methods.

What is disinfection?

Disinfection is the treatment of surfaces / equipment using a physical or chemical process that reduces the amount of micro-organisms present to an acceptable level.

What Is Required to disinfect a room?

  • A Chemical or physical apparatus that has been proven to kill microorganisms.
  • A delivery method to apply the disinfectant onto surfaces. These devices can be a simple spray bottle and rag or a mechanical device like a sprayer or fogger.
  • Protocols and processes to correctly apply a disinfectant.

But before you can start disinfecting a space, the correct product needs to be selected.

Two questions should be asked.

  • Effectiveness Does the disinfectant kill the bug that is a concern to you?

Not all disinfectants are “broad spectrum” with the ability to kill a variety of pathogens.  Some only kill a limited type of bacteria, while others may kill some viruses, but not others.

For Coronavirus, only products Listed on EPA’s List N have been confirmed to be effective against coronavirus.

  • Kill/Dwell Time – How quickly does a disinfectant product work? Does the application keep surfaces visibly wet as needed?

Many people incorrectly use disinfectants.  It is common to see someone spray a disinfectant and then immediately wipe the surface dry with a rag.

Dwell time is the length of time a surface needs to remain wet in order for the disinfectant to work.

Many disinfectants can require a 10+ minutes to be effective.  Other products can work in 2-5 minutes.

To successfully use a disinfectant, you need to know how long a surfaces needs to remain wet in order for the disinfectant to work.

These are two important features to understand when choosing, and using a disinfectant.