Know thy Disinfectants
I recently found this article online that matched my distaste for Quaternary ammonium compounds, otherwise known as "quats". Though ubiquitous in homes, healthcare and salons, they do not have a good profile for safe use--linked with hormone disruption and fertility issues and of course not earth friendly! We know that healthcare and salon settings require powerful disinfectants but why use them at home? Wondering if your household cleaner contains "quats"? The article outlines all the names to look for on your label as well as making a case for getting them out of not only our homes but also our schools where children are entrusted in our care. (I don't even want to get started on my heartbreak for our children right now.) It persists on surfaces so the exposure is not limited to just the person doing the cleaning.
Of course my skin business complies with the State Board of Cosmetology’s rules. I am happy to have found a new, safer EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant in time for reopening my business. It is called Rejuvenate and is made with Activated Hydrogen Peroxide. It is Green Seal and GreenGuard certified. This is what I will be disinfecting my work stations and all frequently touched surfaces with in the building.
Consumer labels are confusing. For example don’t assume all Chlorox products contain bleach. Many contain quats so if you are cleaning up after C-diff they will not be effective. It has to be bleach, with the active ingredient sodium hypochlorite. Also I learned that the splashless Chorox bleach is not a disinfectant. It has to say disinfecting on the label. If you go this route, mix at the ratio of 4 teaspoons per quart of water. The contact or wet time needs to be one minute and the solution needs to be replaced after 24 hours. See CDC guidelines for details. Always read labels. The wet or contact time is also the “kill” time which is true for quats as well. Bleach is problematic too. If, after considering the risks, you are going to use these products, know that just spraying and wiping will not do the job.
I already felt we were becoming a "too clean" society and I wonder if after this initial Covid-19 season, we will see a revenge of "super bugs", resistant to everything we currently have. Do your part and get them out of your home if you can.
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Amy Linville is an artist and esthetician that believes simple, sustainable and non-rushed daily skincare and beauty rituals are the foundation for finding comfort in your skin and looks, no matter your age.
Photos used under Creative Commons from Pen Waggener, Brett Jordan