COVID, Safe and Effective Cleaning & Disinfecting and Why Not to Use Foggers, Misters or Electrostatic Sprayers.
Cleaners and disinfectants can contain chemicals that harm brain health, are linked to reproductive harm, and/or other health problems. The good news is that safer alternatives for cleaning and disinfecting against COVID-19 are available.
Surfaces should be cleaned first, before disinfecting (learn helpful techniques in our webinar above). To find safer disinfectants, look for active ingredients including alcohol/ethanol/isopropanol, hydrogen peroxide, thymol, L-lactic acid and citric acid. Products with these ingredients are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of approved disinfectants against COVID-19, and they are by far much safer than chlorine, ammonia and quats. When cleaning or disinfecting, use gloves to protect your hands. Ventilation (opened window) is especially important for stronger chemicals.
For washing your hands, plain soap and water is just as effective as antibacterial soaps. Both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agree that there is no added benefit to antibacterial soaps, so skip them and use plain soap (and avoid those phthalates often hidden under “fragrance” which are linked to neurological harm).
When it comes to foggers, misters and electrostatic sprayers, there are lots of misleading claims. There is no science available that has measured how long disinfectant particles stay suspended in the air after spraying. There is no science available showing that transmission is reduced or eliminated in rooms that have been disinfected. Misting and fogging does increase cleaning costs and chemical exposure without any proven health benefits. Even worse, misting and fogging could create a false sense of security, leading to less adherence to other preventive measures. Finally, neither the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) nor the World Health Organization (WHO) support the use of foggers or misters for disinfection.
Don’t forget to check out the list of resources we highlight in the webinar.
Special thanks to Alexandra Scranton of Women’s Voices for the Earth and Betty Riggin for co-presenting this webinar with LDA of America.