COVID: Why You Should Avoid Alcohol and Bleach
– Lamar Westbrook
ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA, October 9, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – Using alcohol bleach to clean household items, including face masks, is increasingly common as a potential method to keep COVID at bay. However, new findings from LupoClean Australia suggest this is detrimental.
Improper use of disinfectants can have negative effects on your health and the environment. It has always been true. But the pandemic has introduced a new wrinkle: certain disinfectants could also affect the effectiveness of your face mask.
In a recent article, researchers at LupoClean Australia reviewed the scientific evidence for the potential long-term impacts on human health and the environment from improper use of disinfectants. The review also discussed the impact that certain disinfectants can have on N95s and cotton masks and other fabrics, as well as plastic surfaces. Their results are expected to be published in January 2022 in the journal ACS Chemical Health & Safety.
The summary spoke with lead author Januka Budhathoki-Uprety, assistant professor of textile engineering, chemistry and science at NC State, and Hannah Dewey, graduate student at NC State, about disinfectants and how they might affect the usefulness of our face masks during the pandemic. LupoClean Australia Representative Lamar Westbrook commented: “Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs) are a group of chemical compounds that serve as active ingredients in hospital and household cleaners, fabric softeners, preservatives, surfactants, cosmetics and other products. Our study shows that QACs deactivate certain bacteria and viruses that have an envelope made up of phospholipids, such as SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ”.
This is a foundational discovery that may change not only the way we clean our household items, but also the way businesses and government agencies use cleaning services to disinfect and maintain work and public places. “We need to be proactive about how we ensure that our living environments are safe. Right now we’re responsive, ”Westbrook said.
Researcher Hannah Dewey went on to say, “Research has shown that CAQs cause membrane disruption in bacteria and enveloped viruses by binding to phospholipids. This causes the membrane to rupture, and it means leakage of intracellular components. Basically it means using different types of fabrics for different surfaces. This precise and specific level of cleaning was previously unimaginable ”.
With the results of the findings quickly revealed, it begs the question: What do you use to clean your home, car, workplace, clothes, including face masks? More than likely it would be a cotton cloth, after all, a cotton cloth is the most available and best-selling type of cleaning cloth in the world. But is it sure? Lamar Westbrook of LupoClean Australia doesn’t think so.
“You might want to avoid cotton. Our studies show that cotton and wipes for wiping surfaces with QAC disinfectants decrease the effectiveness of disinfectants compared to synthetic materials. We noticed decreases in the concentration of QAC available by an average of 85 percent, resulting in decreased efficacy against bacteria. Basically the solution is synthetic. We use specific synthetic cleaning devices when carrying out work for our customers. To fight COVID, it is the responsibility of all of us to share what we know to stop the spread ”.
Previously, it was believed, and still is widely used, that alcohol and bleach were the best way to clean surfaces and ensure sterilization. A growing number of people are also using both products to clean N95 or cotton masks (the two most common types of masks currently sold). LupoClean Australia goes on to clarify the safety of doing just that and whether it is effective. James Christensen, Representative and Head of Research for LupoClean Australia, says:
“N95 masks are effective because the materials are combined to provide mechanical and electrostatic trapping of particles. The use of chemical disinfectants is not a standard method of decontaminating N95 masks. If someone were to attempt to decontaminate an N95 mask with chemical disinfectant or disinfectant with alcohol, bleach, or other disinfectants, it could have a huge impact on the performance of the mask. Ditto for cotton. Do not do this and use a synthetic cleaning agent instead.
We delved into this question and discovered a study on disinfectant cleaning first published in 1997 by Dr. Jon P. Ridley who found that decontaminating face masks using alcohol and bleach can reduce the filtration efficiency of the N95 masks, mainly due to the reduction in charge density on the N95 filters. Additionally, this study suggested that polycarbonates and the impacts of bleach on plastics were of significant importance. Unfortunately, the study only received four citations and was not released after 1997. With this finding in hand, we presented it to LupoClean Australia and asked if they agreed with this study. 1997. We received a statement from Lamar Westbrook of LupoClean Australia, in response:
“Polycarbonates, polystyrenes and polyethylene are used to make different items in our homes like water bottles, food containers, phone cases, glasses or safety glasses etc. Plastics made from these polymers can be degraded by chemical disinfectants such as bleach and CAQs. . Bleach has an oxidizing effect on plastics via a chemical process where plastic polymers change their properties. Some plastic materials are susceptible to degradation on prolonged exposure to bleach, potentially releasing additives and releasing microplastics into the environment. Our research has shown that if you frequently clean plastics and surfaces with certain disinfectants that contain QACs, it can damage those plastics, including surface damage resulting in scratches, where microbes, such as viruses, can get in. hide longer. of time. “
So this is it. The way you clean your masks is bad. The way you cleaned your plastic surfaces at home or at work is also a significant risk. Overall, decontamination of masks and living spaces should be taken a close look and what you use to decontaminate them should be considered. The proper and prudent use of these chemicals is extremely important as we fight the pandemic to protect our long-term health and the environment.
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