There is a war being waged in the healthcare sector that no one is considering the long term impacts of since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2001.
COVID-19 has not only changed the way we live but also how we interact with people and how we go about our daily business. Amongst those changes cleaning has become a major part of our lives to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. With hand sanitising, after use cleaning, deep cleans, prevention cleans all being a part of our daily routines the one thing that people are not considering is the break down of coatings and surfaces.
Upholstery found in patient and waiting rooms is different from most items cleaned in a healthcare facility in that they cannot be described as having a “hard, nonporous surface.” Agencies recommend that disinfectants should be used throughout the hospital to disinfect surfaces. This is especially important for frequently touched surfaces (e.g., bed rails, light switches, phone, TV remote, furniture, etc.). Microorganisms are invisible to the naked eye so you can never be sure which surfaces are contaminated and which are not. This is why disinfection is sometimes performed so broadly and indiscriminately. Some agencies recommend using, “a one-step process and an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered hospital disinfectant designed for housekeeping purposes in patient care areas where: (1) uncertainty exists about the nature of the soil on the surfaces (e.g., blood or body fluid contamination versus routine dust or dirt); or (2) uncertainty exists about the presence of multi-drug resistant organisms on such surfaces.”
The repeated use of chemical cleaners and disinfectants can cause a change in the surface texture of coated fabric furniture upholstery. This could include cracking, peeling, discolouration or loss of gloss.
In an attempt to better understand the effect chemical cleaners have on coated fabric upholstery, The Mitchell Group conducted a test of six EPA registered hard surface disinfectants used in healthcare facilities. Testing was done over a nine month period on eight healthcare products.
Each of six fabric samples was assigned to a specific cleaning agent. Cleaning agents in the form of a wipe were wiped across the sample for 10 strokes. Cleaning agents in the form of a spray were given one spray on the sample and then wiped with a clean cloth for 10 strokes. Samples were rinsed between cleanings. Each sample was cleaned three times a day Monday through Friday. During the testing period each fabric sample was cleaned with a disinfectant over 500 separate times.
There is obvious deterioration to fabrics and surface coatings when cleaning agents are being used over a long period of time which is being extremely exacerbated by increasing the daily amount of cleaning being done to a surface coating or fabric.
A surface protection coating such as Nordic Chem should be used to prolong original surface coatings and fabrics. Not only is Nordic Chem an Antimicrobial Hygiene Coating that protects against viruses and bacteria but it also acts as defence barrier against rigorous daily cleaning regimes protecting your surfaces and textiles against the harsh wear and tear from chemical cleaning.
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