Safety Precautions To Follow When Using Disinfectant Products At Home
To keep their home safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are following the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommendation of using EPA-registered disinfectant products to safeguard their household setting from the contagion outbreak.
See here for a list of EPA approved products for use against SARS-CoV-2.
Disinfectant Products can be hazardous if handled improperly
While these disinfectant products are effective germ killers, they also pose a hazard to people’s health if used improperly. While we do not want to discourage people from using disinfectant products, especially while the COVID-19 outbreak is ongoing, consumers should make sure to handle disinfectant products with the proper precaution.
Disinfectant products often contain ethanol, formaldehyde, chlorine, and ammonia, which can cause serious harm to humans and pets through touch, ingestion, or inhalation. Some cleaning supplies can even be flammable or corrosive. Fortunately, you can limit your exposure to those risks by taking note of the following tips from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
1) The most important information for consumers when it comes to using cleaners and disinfectants is to read and follow the directions on the containers’ label.
2) All containers should be properly sealed and kept in either their original container or an appropriate container for their hazard class.
3) Different cleaning solutions should never be mixed, even if they are similar “types” of chemicals.
4) The fumes from many disinfectant products are harmful to your lungs. The properties that allow these products to kill microbes are also harmful to your respiratory tract. Inhaling these bleach fumes sparingly won’t cause noticeable damage.
5) To limit your exposure you keep your windows open and use a fan to circulate the air in your home, if possible.
6) Because cleaners with disinfectant chemicals can be extremely dangerous, it is important to keep cleaning products stored in a safe location, and out of the sight and reach of children.
7) Some disinfectants contain chemicals that can be harmful to a person’s skin. That’s why it is imperative that you wear protective gear when cleaning with these products. Common chemicals found in disinfectant products include Ammonia and Sodium hypochlorite which are both corrosive substances that will eat away at surfaces they come into contact with.
Disinfectant products represent one of the most effective tools at our disposal to combat the spread of COVID-19. However, it is important to keep certain safety measures in mind as we disinfect our household setting.