Over the last year, facility managers, building service contractors (BSCs) and others have been cleaning and disinfecting more areas, more frequently and in more ways. Many of these changes will become permanent to one degree or another due to greater awareness of cleanliness and public health concerns. However, the heightened state of cleaning and disinfecting comes with consequences, and some may be negative for the planet.
Consider all the natural resources and raw materials that go into manufacturing and shipping chemical cleaners and disinfectants. Think about the complicated manufacturing, packaging and transportation processes and the large amounts of waste they produce. On top of that, there is also the issue of disposal. As you might imagine, those chemicals, containers, personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning devices often end up in landfills. But the good news is that there are better, more sustainable approaches to cleaning and disinfecting.
Avoiding Environmental Harm
You might be surprised to learn that the waste created and resources consumed in making cleaning chemicals can be avoided.
Today, there are cleaners and disinfectants that have been proven to be as effective, if not more so, than common cleaning products that may bear negative consequences. The best part is you can produce them on site using only water, salt and electricity – rather than potentially harsh, caustic or toxic ingredients. Plus, your staff can refill containers, reduce the use of PPE and dispose of the solutions via drains without fear of contaminating nearby water supplies.
It may be helpful to think about these factors related to the sustainability and safety of your cleaning and disinfecting efforts:
- Waste. One way to reduce waste is by installing an on-site generation (OSG) system that produces an effective multi-purpose cleaner and disinfectant inside any facility using just salt, water and an electric charge. We refer to these electrochemically-activated solutions as ECAS. You can reuse the same containers and applicators, and reduce your reliance on PPE that is often required when working with cleaners like bleach and other toxic chemicals. This can help you reduce hundreds of pounds of plastic waste each year. Most of all, you can pour excess or unused cleaner and disinfectant down the drain with the only effect being a cleaner drain!
- Consumption. Cleaning and disinfecting products often contain ingredients that are not so friendly to the environment. Take a closer look at what goes into many cleaners and disinfectants. You may find that some of the names are confusing and hard to pronounce, like Alkyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride. Many of these ingredients – such as acids, ethanol, sodium hypochlorite, ammonium chloride compounds, hydrogen peroxide, surfactants, detergents, oils and scents – require extensive processing to produce. Add to this the energy and packaging requirements to transport them from one facility to another until they reach you, and the impact on the environment can be severe.
As we prepare and adjust for the new normal in cleaning, it is essential to use solutions that satisfy your cleaning, disinfecting and sustainability needs without the negative consequences.
The PathoSans® System
I am proud to represent PathoSans, a division of Spraying Systems Co., which has been in operation for over 80 years and is the world’s leading manufacturer of spray nozzles and precision spray technology.
PathoSans makes on-site generators that produce a multi-purpose cleaner (PathoClean®) and a disinfectant (PathoCide®) for your cleaning staff. There are many reasons you will enjoy these solutions. Both can be safely used without gloves or other PPE. They are non-irritating to eyes and skin, contain no added fragrance and don’t leave chemical residues behind on surfaces.
- PathoClean is a non-toxic sodium hydroxide cleaner/degreaser that removes surface soils, stains and residue build-up ahead of disinfection.
- PathoCide is a hypochlorous acid disinfectant/sanitizer. Proven by third party, independent test labs, it is effective against many viruses and germs, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, as well as notoriously difficult to kill viruses such as norovirus.
The PathoSans system offers your operation numerous sustainability benefits while providing the effective cleaning and disinfecting solutions necessary to support the health and well-being of your building occupants.
Laura Louis serves as a director at PathoSans, a leading provider of on-site generation (OSG) devices that produce ready-to-use, highly effective cleaners and disinfectants known as electrochemically activated (ECA) solutions. Contact her at Laura.Louis@spray.com and learn more at www.pathosans.com.