Four Things You Need To Know About No-Touch Disinfection

As we’ve always known, schools are where most students need to be, and they are now reopening while we’re still in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, we will also be entering another annual cold and flu season with its attendant absenteeism and other adverse health impacts. It’s enough to make anyone responsible for providing and maintaining healthy environments lose some sleep!

Disinfecting all of the critical high-touch objects in our buildings is a challenge for any housekeeping program at the best of times, even more so during periods of increased illness rates and outbreaks. However, we believe that an established technology known as No-Touch Disinfection (NTD) can help solve this problem. 

Through the use of electrostatic spray devices, NTD augments your current daily cleaning and disinfection practices, allowing you to ensure complete disinfectant coverage of all high touch surfaces economically and efficiently.  As you are probably aware, this approach is now being used to provide enhanced disinfection for everything from nursing homes to passenger planes to schools.

Implementing NTD can be easy once the facility’s requirements are appropriately matched to the correct application technology and disinfectant chemistry.  Once the technology is selected, education and training enable the safe deployment of NTD.

Here are some guidelines when evaluating NTD:

What is electrostatic spray application?

During periods of heightened threats of infection or actual outbreaks, you need to be able to ensure 100% coverage of all frequently touched surfaces and objects. Imperial Dade offers electrostatic and spray disinfection systems that can meet everyone’s budget and application requirements.  These units impart an electrostatic charge to the disinfectant to achieve 360 degree surface coverage. As a result, large areas can be effectively and efficiently treated economically.

Handheld Victory Electrostatic Sprayer

What needs to be considered when instituting a NTD program?

In an educational setting, the disinfectant needs to be matched to the organisms of most concern, be it the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes the infection known as Covid-19, Influenza, Norovirus, MRSA, or any number of other bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Then, is it necessary to treat the high-touch objects on a weekly or more frequent schedule?  Also, will the areas to be treated be adjacent to occupied spaces?  Can corded equipment be used in the desired regions, or is there a need for battery-powered devices for portability?

Which disinfectants can be applied electrostatically?

Most importantly, the disinfectant chemistry for NTD needs to be compatible with this type of application equipment.  Is the disinfectant product approved or authorized for this application method, with electrostatic spray, mist, or fog?  What is the label dwell time requirements and the efficacy against the microorganisms of concern?  Regarding SARS-CoV-2, is the disinfectant on the EPA List N of products approved for use against the coronavirus?  Fortunately, according to the EPA website, products on List N are effective against all strains of SARS-CoV-2 as genetic changes to the virus do not impact the efficacy of disinfectants.  Finally, regarding your staff, what is the safety profile of the product and the recommended Personal Protective Equipment?

What types of NTD devices and disinfectants are available?

There are several manufacturers of NTD devices and chemistries that are available.  Many customers have found success with the corded Clorox Total 360 systems. However, many others prefer the ease and portability of the Victory Innovations line of battery-powered electrostatic sprayers.  Furthermore, the Victory units are designed to use a wide range of disinfectants, including peroxide and chlorinated tablets, so the chemistry can be tailored to meet the individual educational facility’s budget and infection prevention needs.

Clorox Total 360 System

Your Imperial Dade sales consultant has the resources, knowledge, and expertise to make the correct product recommendation for your specific needs.  Don’t hesitate to contact a branch near you to learn more about how No-Touch Disinfection can benefit your school.

Hand Hygiene – An Important Way to Beat COVID-19, the Flu, and Other Illnesses

If we have learned anything from our experience with COVID-19, we know that we are supposed to wash our hands.  Study after study shows that proper hand hygiene is the most critical thing we can do to prevent the spread of infection in education, healthcare, or any other field serving the public.  This is mainly in viral diseases, such as COVID-19, influenza, and other respiratory maladies. Even gastrointestinal viruses like norovirus can be controlled through proper hand hygiene.  Beyond COVID-19, the stakes remain high as colds, the flu, and norovirus outbreaks result in millions of lost school and work days and costs the economy tens of billions of dollars.

Unfortunately, even during the pandemic, research shows that poor compliance to proper hand hygiene continues to be a significant obstacle to controlling these illnesses, even in the highly regulated healthcare field where healthcare-associated infections are a constant threat. For example, while over 50% of students wash their hands in schools, less than 20% use soap.  Men are also less likely to wash their hands properly – come on, guys, we need to get into the game.

Poor compliance can be attributed to several different factors we can control.  The condition of the restroom and the supplies provided throughout the facility can and does encourage people to help keep their hands in a more hygienic condition.  The following four considerations can summarize these key actions.

1.            Hand Care Products that Encourage Use

Get rid of the bulk soap dispensers.  There has been significant development in hand soap formulations that improve performance and reduce skin irritation. In addition, hand soaps from many manufacturers come in hygienically sealed cartridges, eliminating contamination.  These are the types of products people are looking for when washing their hands away from home.  Remember, the idea is to encourage hand hygiene and not look at the expenditure only as a cost.

2.            Convenient Dispenser Locations

There should be sufficient dispensers in the restroom to facilitate the hand washing process.  In addition, hand sanitizer dispensers should also be available throughout the building.  As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol hand sanitizer is effective against the SARS_CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as those pesky colds and flu viruses. It is a viable option for hand hygiene when hand washing isn’t an option.  However, as with hand soap in the restroom, empty hand sanitizer dispensers are a common complaint.  Dispensers need to be routinely checked and filled. 

3.            Access to Paper Towels and Facial Tissue

Simply put, most people like to dry their hands with paper towels, and most people don’t actually like hand dryers.  Paper towels provide for higher compliance, and the mere wiping of wet hands can remove bacteria and viruses through mechanical action.  But, just as with soap and sanitizer, empty dispensers discourage compliance.  Lastly, where practical, providing facial tissues is a great way to control cross-contamination from sneezes and runny noses. 

4.            Established Educational Programs

As with any behavior change, education is key. Every primary hand care and paper company can provide educational programs and materials appropriate for a wide range of audiences.  Whether it be elementary students, college campuses, or the workplace, tools are available to help promote effective hand hygiene.  Talk to your Imperial Dade sales consultant and find out if there is more that you can be doing to encourage this vital health and wellness behavior.

Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations to find a branch near you.

Best Odor Control Practices for Carpets, Restrooms, Dumpsters, and More

Controlling odors in and around a facility is a common problem for most cleaning professionals. Odors can lurk in many places: carpets, restrooms, dumpsters, and more. The best way to eliminate odors is to understand the cause of the smell. Once you identify the problem, consult this list of solutions to control the offending odors.

CARPETS

  • Carpet odor stemming from a food source, vomit, or urine should be approached with a carpet sanitizer.
  • Using an extractor to kill the odor source is recommended. If you can still smell the odor after thoroughly rinsing the carpet, follow up with an enzyme product.
  • After extracting the carpet, use a carpet fan, not a box fan. It dries carpet faster. Be sure your carpet is dry in 24 hours, or there is a risk of mold bloom.
  • Pet odors can linger in carpets. Enzymatic digesters will get to the source, killing the odor and not just covering it up.

RESTROOMS

  • In restrooms, urine is often the source of odor. Disinfectants will not impact urine that has dried. If urine odor is present, use an enzyme. If you are using an enzyme, do not use a disinfectant in the same area. Disinfectants destroy the enzymes before they are able to digest the bacteria. 
  • Check the floor drains, a common source of the odor. If the trap in a floor drain dries out, it will emit sewer gas. Use a drain cleaner, enzyme, or water to keep drains odor-free.
  • Don’t forget to clean often missed spots. The base of toilets, under urinals, urinal throats, partitions, and walls are often overlooked. Ceilings should be cleaned once or twice a year.
  • While it doesn’t replace a good cleaning program, adding an air care unit to help with transient odors will add to a pleasant restroom experience.

OTHER BUILDING LOCATIONS

  • Janitor closets can omit odors. Keep a tidy closet! After use, rinse mops with clean water and hang to dry. Empty and rinse mop buckets.  Clean, empty, and air out recovery tanks on equipment.
  • Inadequate ventilation can be cause challenges. If possible, open windows or clean air vents to improve air quality
  • Is the odor coming from the dumpster area or wastebaskets? There are several products made specifically for this application.

If you need more information on a specific odor or area, please contact your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant. A good daily cleaning routine will keep odor problems to a minimum! Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations to find a location near you.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

5 BEST PRACTICES TO PREVENT AND CONTROL MOLD

Mold and mildew are hot button topics any time of year but especially during humid summer months. According to the EPA, “Mold can grow on virtually any organic material as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, food, and insulation. Because mold eats or digests what it is growing on, it can damage a building and its furnishings. If left unchecked, mold eventually can cause structural damage to building materials. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to buildings and building contents, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.”

How is mold linked to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

When mold grows indoors, there could be reports of musty or moldy odors. These should be investigated immediately. Mold can be linked to various health issues such as headaches, allergic reactions, asthma symptoms, nasal irritation, and nausea.  For more information on Indoor Air Quality, please review the EPA’s Guide for Building Owners & Facility Managers.

What are the 5 best practices to prevent and control mold?

  1. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cleaning
  2. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials or furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  3. In areas with a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (e.g., by drinking fountains, classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  4. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (e.g., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  5. If mold is a problem, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.

If you think your facility has mold or mildew you should first understand what type issue you have.  If the issue is flood water, please review the EPA Fact Sheet Flood Cleanup Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems”

There is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

If you see mold, how do you get rid of it?

Who should do the cleanup depends on several factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you and your team can handle the job yourself by following the guidelines below.

However, if the affected areas are greater than 10 square feet, a professional remediation contractor may be required for the cleanup.  In any event, check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, which gives advice on all building types.

What do you wear when removing mold?

  • Wear an N-95 respirator.  Please note that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that respirators fit properly (fit testing) when used in an occupational setting; consult OSHA for more information (osha.gov).
  • Wear gloves. Long gloves are recommended.
  • Wear goggles.

What are the best methods to cleanup mold?

  1. Scrub mold off hard surfaces, and dry thoroughly.
  2. Discard contaminated absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles.
  3. Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold.  Wear appropriate PPE.
  4. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold – it could spread mold throughout the building.

What chemicals should you use when removing mold?

Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial cleaning products, disinfectants, or a bleach solution. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for use (see product label) and ensure proper ventilation throughout the cleaning process.

If you choose to use a cleaner-disinfectant product, check the label to ensure that it has efficacy claims for fungal organisms, such as Aspergillus niger. Niger is a black mold commonly associated with high moisture events.

Some disinfectants may even offer residual antifungal benefits that can help control the return of the mold problem.  Most importantly, certain disinfectants contain odor control agents that help eliminate the moldy odors, which are frequently a cause of student and staff complaints.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold, never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.

Who else can help when I have a mold problem?

Whatever mold situation you may be facing, it is suggested that you consult with your Imperial Dade sales consultant for recommendations specific to the needs of your case and your facility.  Our representatives know what products and equipment may be needed to help you resolve your problem as quickly as possible. Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations to find an Imperial Dade location near you.

Improve Your Cleaning Program Results With Resources from Imperial Dade

Maintaining an efficient cleaning process is vital for any business but improving that process and garnering better results are equally important. As a customer of Imperial Dade, numerous programs and resources are at your disposal to ensure that a healthy environment for your staff and customers is provided.

Imperial Dade’s HyProtection Zone Program: Hand Hygiene and High-Touch Surface Disinfection

This program provided by Imperial Dade is ideal for educational facilities, restaurants, fitness centers, office buildings, retail stores, hotels, and houses of worship. This program assists customers in improving their hand hygiene, cleaning, and high-touch surface disinfection protocols. By participating in this program, consumers will benefit from site surveys where critical touchpoints will be identified, product reviews that ensure that the right products are being used on each surface, and an in-depth explanation of the best practices. For even easier accessibility, onsite or virtual HyProtection Zone training is available through the Imperial Dade Cleaning Institute. The training will be conducted by experienced consultants who will guide you through the process and provide informed recommendations to guarantee a healthy and clean environment that prevents the spread of illnesses.

Imperial Dade’s EatSafe Program: For a Clean Dining Environment

The EatSafe Program assists restaurants and other foodservice establishments in providing a safe and welcoming environment for their customers. The program contains core product recommendations for every individual area in your facility, help for visual learners such as wall charts for cleaning tasks, and assets that can be used to promote the EatSafe program to your guests. In addition, the increased sanitation performance helps present an establishment that is hygienic and clean. The three core areas are front-of-house touchpoints such as table-tops, chairs, and menus, restroom fixtures like faucets, flushers, dispensers, door handles, and floors, including hard surfaces and carpeting and matting.

Imperial Dade’s Environmental Service Program: Victoria Bay Equipment and Chemicals

This program is customizable to each customer’s needs. Offered are dish and laundry equipment, chemicals, and dispensers. All of which are backed by 24/7 emergency technical service. Whether it’s warewashing, tackling everyday kitchen cleaning challenges, following proper 3-compartment sink procedures, or utilizing Victoria Bay’s chemical management system, this Imperial Dade program can maximize efficiencies and effectiveness.

Imperial Dade’s Cleaning Institute: Delivering Cleaner, Healthier Facility Solutions

Imperial Dade offers exceptional training to customers on a variety of topics ranging from general cleaning to floor care. Our Director of Training teams with our sales staff to make specific labor-saving recommendations. A computer-aided task analysis system identifies opportunities for a company and then suggests relevant training to accomplish the tasks at hand. The benefits of this program include improved safety, enhanced wellness, increased productivity, and reduced overall costs.

Imperial Dade offers highly effective consultative programs to better customers’ processes and help them maintain peak performance in areas of cleanliness. Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations and contact a location near you.

7 Things You Need to Know About Caring for Luxury Vinyl Tile

Around since the 1970s, vinyl composition tile flooring (VCT) has been the most common type of commercial flooring. It can be found almost everywhere: hospitals, offices, retail, and schools. Building managers love its durability and life expectancy, whereas custodians prefer it because it is familiar and easy to maintain.

Recent trends have seen a surge in luxury vinyl tile (LVT) placement in commercial properties. It is easy to see why. Everyone loves how LVT can imitate many different varieties of hardwood or stone. In addition, LVT is very budget-friendly, easy to install, and durable!  Caring for these floors can be a snap if you follow some simple guidelines. But first, don’t forget these essential steps:

  • Check the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Test products in an inconspicuous area to determine suitability.
  • Safety first! Wear PPE and set up wet floor/area closed signs during floor maintenance.

Best Practices for Daily LVT Cleaning

  1. Proper use of floor matting provides the first level of protection to your floors by preventing soils from entering the building.
  2. Sweep or vacuum floor (Do not use a vacuum with an agitator).
  3. If needed, use a microfiber mop to pick up fine particles.
  4. Do not use harsh chemicals. Use a product specifically made for LVT.
  5. Clean floors using a damp microfiber cloth.
  6. Do not saturate the floor. Too much water can work into seams and edges destroying bonds.
  7. NEVER USE A HIGH SPEED BURNISHER! Burnishing can cause the layers to separate.
Before and After

When these steps are used for daily cleaning they can reverse the visual effects of standard wear and tear. The solution will fill the scratches and will help flooring maintain its original look.

For more information on luxury vinyl tile or any other types of floor care, contact the experts at Imperial Dade. For a location near you, visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations today.

Can’t Touch This: The Benefits of a Touch-Free Restroom for Your Business

As the world continues adapting to the ever-changing COVID-19 environment, the importance of maintaining clean and sanitized facilities has become paramount to offices, schools, restaurants, and all other commercial buildings. Customers are more likely to be loyal to businesses that have enacted additional precautions for the safety of their clientele. One way companies have adapted to this new environment is through the utilization of touch-free restrooms.

The popularity of touch-free or contact-free lavatories was already on the rise prior to the pandemic. Yet, as scientists continue to discover how transmissible the disease is, the importance of touch-free restrooms has become abundantly clear to large and small businesses alike.

The Victoria Bay Restroom Collection is a complete dispenser and refill solution.

Here we will discuss some of the advantages of having a touch-free restroom for your business:

Increased Cleanliness and Improved Sanitation

The first and most obvious benefit to having a touch-free restroom is the reduction in the number of germs that customers are exposed to. Touch-free toilets, sinks, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers reduce the likelihood of customer contamination due to physical contact.

High-touch areas often spread germs more easily between employees and customers. By removing the need to physically touch these appliances, you will mitigate the potential for employee illnesses due to viral and bacterial exposure and increase client confidence in your business’s sanitation policies. In fact, three in five Americans agree that utilizing automatic paper towel dispensers in public restrooms would improve their perception of the business’s cleanliness, according to a survey conducted by Sofidel.

Streamlined Amenities for Customer Convenience

Touching various surfaces like faucets, paper towel dispensers, and soap dispensers can be cumbersome to some of your customers. If someone is using their smartphone or carrying a handbag or briefcase, the added convenience of simply putting your hand in front of a sensor saves time and effort. In addition, touch-free restroom fixtures increase accessibility for customers suffering from mobility issues and have difficulty manipulating handles and knobs.

Reduction in Water Usage and Waste

Touch-free restrooms also reduce water consumption and waste products. By utilizing sensor-controlled faucets, water is only being used while a customer or employee is actively washing their hands. Over time, the elimination of unnecessary water use can add up to significant savings on water usage, which is both good for the environment and your bottom line.

Touch-free soap and paper towel dispensers can also save you money by reducing product usage from customers and employees. With the ability to individualize soap and paper allotments, you can minimize soap and towel waste. As every business owner knows, resource management, even on a small scale, is critical to the company’s long-term success.

Enhanced Reliability and Long-Term Viability

Both customers and employees can be demanding when it comes to bathroom amenities. From kicking toilet handles to pushing against faucets and soap dispensers, your restroom can sustain a lot of damage during use. Incorporating touch-free features can help reduce the likelihood of a client or employee being too rough with your restroom fixtures. This will improve the reliability and lifespan of all elements in your restrooms.

Imperial Dade: Your Source for High-Quality Touchless Restroom Solutions

Imperial Dade is a leading supplier of facility maintenance supplies and equipment for large and small businesses. We offer a wide range of products, including the Victoria Bay restroom dispenser collection, to help upgrade your existing conventional restroom into a touch-free environment. From touch-free soap dispensers to automated in-stall air freshener dispensers for your existing toilets, Imperial Dade is your only source for high-quality touch-free products at an affordable price.

For more information about Imperial Dade and how we can transform your business, contact us today!

Why Become a GBAC STAR Facility?

Organizations and institutions nationwide are taking active steps to prevent the spread of the ongoing pandemic within their facilities. To this end, the GBAC STAR Accreditation Program has emerged as a key solution in helping businesses prepare, respond, and recover from infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

The Global BioRisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) is a division of ISSA, a leading global trade organization for the cleaning industry. Their STAR Accreditation Program was launched in May 2020 to combat the intense COVID-19 breakout. Over 2,500 businesses have been accredited so far and can be found on the GBAC STAR Facility Directory. As this program’s success continues to grow, facilities from all over the world have expressed their interest or have committed to accreditation.

The GBAC STAR Accreditation Program was established to help organizations and institutions develop a comprehensive cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention system through extensive training from some of the cleaning industry’s leading minds. The program teaches correct disinfection techniques, cleaning best practices, and proper protocols relating to biohazard situations. Each facility must complete the 20 GBAC STAR Elements to earn its accreditation. Resources such as the Readiness Assessment Checklist and the Recommendations for a Successful Accreditation worksheet are available on the GBAC website.

Any facility can apply for accreditation, regardless of size or industry, including but not limited to:

  • Convention Centers
  • Stadiums and Arenas
  • Office Buildings
  • Schools
  • Hotels
  • Athletic Clubs
  • Retail Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery Stores
  • All Public Venues

GBAC STAR is considered to be the gold standard of safe facilities. Earning this esteemed accreditation shows a commitment to prioritizing health and wellness. Accredited facilities must first undergo a rigorous screening process to prove their dedication to championing cleanliness.

“We’re doing everything we can to create the safest and healthiest environment possible. We didn’t want to create our own standard; we wanted to be accountable to the most credible third-party standard that exists. Working with GBAC ensures compliance with critical guidelines for the highest standard of cleanliness, and it is our hope that other venues will follow suit as we navigate through these unprecedented times.”

Tom Garfinkel, Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Vice Chairman and CEO

By demonstrating appropriate work practices and employing strict cleaning and disinfection protocols, GBAC STAR facilities instill confidence in employees and consumers. Additionally, employees of all ranks will feel empowered in knowing proper cleaning procedures to provide a safe environment.

Imperial Dade, a member of ISSA and janitorial products supplier to Hard Rock Stadium, encourages organizations and institutions to consider a GBAC STAR Accreditation. Our GBAC Trained Technicians are available to help answer questions, review cleaning chemicals and procedures, as well as provide a number of other COVID-19 resources. Visit www.ImperialDade.com for a location near you and contact us today.


Protect your Online Reputation During the COVID-19 Crisis

It’s no secret that online reviews wield a lot of power in the digital age. In fact, they can make or break a business. However, the COVID-19 crisis has elevated the influence of online reviews to a whole new level.

“Just one negative review about poor cleaning or safety practices can make a bad impression and result in lost sales.”

Now that health and safety are among the top concerns for consumers everywhere, many individuals will research a business online before visiting the store, restaurant, or other type of facility. Just one negative review about poor cleaning or safety practices can make a bad impression and result in lost sales. While disgruntled customers are not a new phenomenon by any means, their impact is amplified on review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Google.

According to Inc. Magazine, it takes an average of 40 glowing reviews (i.e., 4 to 5-stars) to undo the damage caused by just one bad review. When you take into consideration that only one out of ten happy consumers is willing to write a positive review, damage control may seem overwhelming or just downright impossible.

“The easiest place to start is to showcase your COVID-19 safety procedures loud and proud.”

The best form of action is to eliminate the need for customers to leave a bad review at all. Although a business owner’s number one priority should always be to create a positive experience for their customers, this goal is more challenging than ever before due to the difficulties caused by the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, the easiest place to start is to showcase your COVID-19 safety procedures loud and proud.

  1. Make sure employees are always donning the proper PPE whether they’re interacting face-to-face with customers or working behind the scenes.
  2. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces between use with an EPA-approved disinfectant.  
  3. Maintain social distancing wherever possible.
  4. Post COVID-19 information signs throughout the facility describing your efforts to maintain a clean and safe facility.
  5. Share your heightened cleaning practices on your website and social media channels.
  6. If applicable, offer virtual support for customers or curbside services.
A restaurant using digital monitors to display cleaning practices

Businesses everywhere have a responsibility to uphold COVID-19 guidelines, but they may find themselves on the wrong end of a review if these safety measures are not conveyed to consumers. The effect is even greater for small businesses that operate at a limited capacity.

Follow these best practices from Yelp, an authority on online reviews, to help your business succeed!

For more information about available COVID-19 resources, cleaning equipment and supplies, or to schedule a complimentary site survey contact Imperial Dade today. For a location near you, visit www.ImperialDade.com.

Disinfection – Where do we go from here?

By John Thomas

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, one reality that has emerged is that as a nation we are now using more disinfectants, on more surfaces, and more frequently than ever before.  In addition, many of these surfaces were never designed or intended to be disinfected.  Plus, we’re applying the disinfectants through a whole new range of sprayer, fogging and misting systems, many of which weren’t even on the market 6 months ago.  Although the concern for COVID-19 is valid, we do need to be equally concerned about the possible health and environmental impact of the significantly increased exposure to these potent disinfectant chemistries.

As we move to the next, and hopefully final, stage of our battle against the SARS coronavirus, it is a good time to consider the implications of our disinfection practices and look at an emerging concept known as targeted hygiene.  Targeted hygiene fosters a balanced approach of preventing disease transmission with reducing over exposure of the environment to disinfectants and other microbial agents and potentially offers a sustainable strategy for the control of pathogenic microorganisms.

“It is a good time to consider the implications of our disinfection practices and look at an emerging concept known as targeted hygiene.”

During the COVID-19 health crisis, concerns with controlling the spread of disease has resulted in an extraordinary level of disinfection, be it through manual wipes or electrostatic sprayers.  While the cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces is an important component of an effective hygiene program, a risk assessment of possible disease exposure needs to be a part of the decision making process.  The following considerations can help assess risk levels and provide guidance in establishing the appropriate disinfection protocols.

Sites and Surfaces

Cleaning by manual wiping is generally sufficient for surfaces that in contact with a limited number of individuals.  Then as the number of people interacting with these surfaces increases, the addition of a daily or periodic disinfectant application is warranted.  Also, the surfaces themselves can make a big difference in the transmission of infection. Soft surfaces resist disinfection due to their very nature.  At best, we can only hope to achieve some level of sanitizing which is just a reduction of pathogens and again needs to be weighed against the real infection transmission exposure risk.  Variations in the behavior of the specific pathogen and their persistence in the environment plays a role in this analysis.

Cleaning Versus Disinfecting

“Some facilities are attempting to disinfect as if they are in a constant state of outbreak which can potentially result is an overuse of disinfectants.”

During the current COVID-19 crisis, the CDC guidance on cleaning and disinfecting has always recommended a two level approach.  Basically, when the facility is free of active outbreaks in the facility is to continue to conduct routine cleaning and disinfection using the products typically used with attention being paid to surfaces not normally cleaned on a daily basis.  But, when there is an outbreak, or positive cases are identified, all potentially affected areas need to be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly with special attention to all frequently touched surfaces.  However, it has been our experience that some facilities are attempting to disinfect as if they are in a constant state of outbreak which can potentially result is an overuse of disinfectants.

Safety Precautions

Key to the safe use of any of these potent disinfectant chemicals is following the use instructions on the label which provides information on proper dilution, contact times, application methods, and first aid.  Many disinfectants do not have approved label instructions for application via electrostatic sprayers and/or foggers so it is important to get clear, written authorization from the chemical manufacturer prior to their use through these systems.  Furthermore, it is important to insure that proper personal protective equipment is employed during disinfection as there can be significant health hazards, especially where spraying or fogging is involved.

“At Imperial Dade, our corporate commitment to health and wellness allows us the opportunity to assist our customers in establishing targeted hygiene programs appropriate to their facilities and operations.”

Once the current COVID-19 health emergency is brought under control, thought will need to be given as to developing a sustainable approach to maintaining hygienic environments in our schools, healthcare institutions, restaurants, and office buildings.  At Imperial Dade, our corporate commitment to health and wellness allows us the opportunity to assist our customers in establishing targeted hygiene programs appropriate to their facilities and operations. 

Contact your local Imperial Dade sales consultant to learn more about the products, services and programs that are available. Visit us at http://www.ImperialDade.com for a location near you and request a consultation.

John Thomas, Director of Health & Wellness at Imperial Dade, earned a BS in Microbiology from Penn State University and began his career as a microbiologist in the food industry. He has taught high school chemistry and worked for a number of leading chemical companies before joining Imperial Dade. He holds a number of professional certifications including the CMIP (Certificate of Mastery in Infection Prevention) and has completed programs in epidemiology by APIC (Association of Professionals in Infection Control.)