Disinfecting with chemicals has many side effects that should be taken into consideration when repeatedly wiping down surfaces in residential assisted living.
Due to current health concerns, wiping down our entire environment is the reality.
Sanitation wipes, sprays, and other chemicals are being used in some areas hourly to disinfect doorknobs, light switches, countertops, keyboards, keypads, and a host of other shared areas.
While these chemicals do kill germs, it is important to also ask, what else are they doing?
Two of the questions we looked into were:
- How are they affecting our lungs?
- What else are they killing?
First, we need to make sure we understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?
Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt and impurities including germs from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs. Yet, by removing them, it decreases the number of germs and therefore the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces.
This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces. Instead, think of disinfecting as killing germs remaining on a surface after cleaning to further reduce the risk of spreading infection.
HOW DO CLEANING CHEMICALS AFFECT OUR LUNGS?
A simple question was posed to the Mayo Clinic “Is it true that frequently working with cleaning products can hurt your lungs?”
The answer is based on a study that was done over two decades ago, using more than 6,ooo participants who were exposed to products daily in their environments. The biggest issue impacted women exposed to industrial-strength cleaning products.
The researchers found that women who used spray cleaning products at least once a week showed a decline in lung function that was faster than usual.
The Mayo Clinic reminds us that after the age of 35, lung function declines for everyone but does not typically become noticeable till we are in our 50’s and 60’s.
This reminder is a magnification as to why our aged community must take proper measures when using chemicals to clean and disinfect residential assisted living homes.
Using all-natural disinfectants to clean air and surfaces keep staff and residents healthy and safe.
WHAT ELSE ARE THEY KILLING?
Disinfectants are made to kill bacteria much like Roundup is made to kill plants. Why make this comparison you may ask?
Well, let’s take a look.
Much like most weed killers, disinfectants cannot tell the difference between bacteria that is good or bacteria that is harmful.
This is a big concern since we know what good bacteria can do for our health. In fact, bacteria have gotten a bad rap. Less than one percent of all the types of bacteria make people sick; On the other hand, most bacteria work to keep people healthy.
Let’s look into the garden comparison.
If you had a healthy and thriving garden with good air, water, and soil, your air would be fresh and circulating with proper humidification.
Your water would also be healthy and regulated as to not drown out the plants. Most importantly soil would have proper nutrients and pH balance.
The problem is when that weed starts to come out of the soil threatening to choke out the plants we want to thrive.
The best solution is to strategically remove them one weed at a time. Instead, we could use the analogy of how we disinfect our homes.
In our garden, there are consequences to spraying chemicals on the entire crop, It would kill everything that was living. Once everything dies, the first thing to grow back would be weeds.
This is a result of having indiscriminately killed all of the healthy nutrients our plants need to grow.
Bacteria in the air and on surfaces of residential assisted living homes work the same way.
Traditional purifier sprays and devices indiscriminately kill all bacteria, both harmful and beneficial – causing an imbalanced, sterile environment that could increase the risk of pathogens evolving resistance.
We use chemicals or other cleaning products on our door knobs, light switches, countertops, keyboards, keypads, and a host of other shared areas to kill germs.
We are doing the same thing as spraying a total vegetation killer on our garden.
We kill both the bad and the good bacteria that exist on that surface. The crazy thing is that now we have produced a perfect environment for the bad bacteria to take over and thrive until we clean and disinfect the surface again.
Think about that garden again.
You spray a total vegetation killer, and then everything dies. What is the first thing to start growing, the weeds, right? Then they completely take over the area.
The same thing happens on the surfaces.
So, the last question for you is this. What can you do about it? Now more than ever cleaning and disinfecting is a major priority.
The problem is it comes with these other consequences; bad bacteria growing strong and the health issues that come with using strong chemicals.
The good news is there is something that can help.
Really, this solution can change the well-being of someone who spends most of their time indoors. It might surprise you, but it is all about probiotics or good bacteria.
Now, I don’t want you to go grab a cup of yogurt and go spread that all over.
Yes, it does have probiotics in it, but we have a much simpler solution.
A SOLUTION FOR HEALTHY CLEANING AND DISINFECTING
Enviro-biotics is what we are talking about. This is a strain of good bacteria that is dispersed throughout the living space by your HVAC system.
The probiotics then go to work consuming the biological material bad bacteria need to survive. This, in turn, keeps your surfaces, and your air, clean and sanitary.
The best part is that these probiotics are all-natural and have absolutely no chemicals at all. Many probiotics are naturally occurring, and we breathe them in every day when we are outside.
If you would like more information about how you can bring this powerful and safe new solution into your residential assisted living home, click here to learn more, www.probioticairsolutions.com.
THE PROBLEM WITH CLEANERS AND DISINFECTANTS
Everyone expects residential assisted living homes to be clean. However, many traditional cleaning products, floor strippers, and disinfectants present a variety of human health and environmental concerns.
They often contribute to poor indoor air quality and may contain chemicals that cause cancer, reproductive disorders, respiratory ailments (including occupational asthma), eye and skin irritation, central nervous system impairment, and other human health effects.
In addition, some of these products contain persistent, bio accumulative, and toxic chemicals (PBTs), which are classified as hazardous waste.
Some products contribute to environmental pollution during their manufacture, use, and/or disposal.
Less-toxic, environmentally friendly maintenance products exist for almost all healthcare facility needs.
Residential assisted living homes also use a variety of methods to disinfect and sterilize surfaces and equipment.
Some of the most commonly used products, such as glutaraldehyde and ethylene oxide, have been shown to cause serious health effects.
Alternatives to these products offer effective disinfection while protecting caregivers and staff from unsafe work environments.
WHAT YOU CAN DO?
Using unscented green cleaners can reduce maintenance costs, help protect the environment, safeguard the health of residents, increase employee productivity, and improve indoor air quality.
Search for environmentally preferable cleaning products.
Healthcare without harm also urges assisted living homes and hospitals to eliminate glutaraldehyde and switch to safer substitutes for disinfection.
To explore this simple health solution further, click www.probioticairsolutions.com and see what this technology can do for you.
Visit the Residential Assisted Living National Association for more information, resources and support for RAL owners and staff.
Find ongoing professional tips and support by clicking here.
Every residential assisted living business will need guidance to legal expertise, continued education, national marketing, group purchasing power and a continual positive voice for the industry.
RALNA understands and provides what your residential assisted living business needs for optimal success.