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The Overuse of Disinfectants

During these unprecedented times of dealing with Covid-19, there has been a temptation to use disinfectant to try and stop the spread of the virus, but can disinfectant be overused or even used incorrectly?

Studies are showing that the overuse of disinfectant can cause harm if the directions of use are not properly followed. Even then, caution needs to be used as some disinfectants can also cause other problems such as triggering asthma.

In a recent survey from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, results show that a third of respondents have used disinfectants in risky ways. This includes washing food with bleach, applying household cleaning or disinfectant products to bare skin, and intentionally inhaling or ingesting the cleaners.

Even though disinfectants are here to keep people safe and kill germs and viruses, the directions still need to be carefully followed. Bleach for instance can cause respiratory problems as well and skin and eye irritation. Even if a disinfectant claims to have safer ingredient, follow the manufacturer’s directions and keep the product away from children.

Choosing a product that is right for the area and surface is important. Make a plan that includes cleaning and disinfecting. It’s also important to consider how much time the disinfectant needs to sit on a surface before it works. If you’re immediately wiping the surface after disinfecting, it may not kill the virus therefore wasting your time and money.

There are some basic guidelines that households and businesses can follow in order to everyone safe

  • You must clean the surface before disinfecting. The organisms can’t be treated by the disinfectant if they’re covered with dirt.
  • Protect yourself. Make sure you wear rubber gloves and eye protection when you’re using disinfectants. Open windows to help with the fumes, and always keep the products out of reach from children.
  • Dilute bleach with water if you’re using it. Because bleach is highly toxic, it must be diluted with water first, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Don’t use too much disinfectant. It’s very easy to want to use a lot of disinfectant due to the spread of Covid-19. Although you want to kill the bad microorganisms, you may also kill the good ones.

In summary, the overuse of disinfectants can cause health issues so manufacturer’s directions must always be followed. It is also not recommended to overuse disinfectants as this could promote the growth of antibiotic-resistant organisms.

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