Surface and hand hygiene has been identified in research as the most basic, low cost common practice to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and other infectionsHand and surface hygiene helps reduce gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses by 40% and 30% respectively. Source – https//reportlinker.com/p0209245/US-Hand-Sanitizers-Industry-html.
However keeping our hands and surfaces free from pathogens can be difficult, particularly in public areas with high footfall. This challenge is not helped by the fact that there is also a lot of misinformation out there as to which sanitising products to use and how to apply them most effectively. We seek to set the record straight.
Cleaning is Not Sanitising
Firstly, it is important to understand that cleaning and sanitising are not the same thing. Cleaning is the simple removal of dirt, dust and debris, whereas sanitising is the process of killing viruses, bacteria and other harmful pathogens to a minimum standard (under British standards, at least 99.999%) on the relevant surface.
Sanitising therefore requires the use of antimicrobial agents, formulated and lab tested in the context of the current pandemic to kill Coronavirus (SARS-COV-2), the pathogen that causes the respiratory illness COVID-19.
Alcohol v Non Alcohol Sanitisers
Sanitising products fall into two basic categories:
1. “Alcohol-based sanitisers” which per WHO guidance use > 70% alcohol as the main active ingredient.
2. “Non-Alcohol based sanitisers” which use other (non-alcohol) antimicrobial agents as the active ingredients.
Whilst alcohol sanitisers provide a simple, crude way to kill pathogens, alcohol has efficacy limitations and carries some serious health and safety risks.
Firstly alcohol evaporates almost immediately and is only effective therefore on initial impact and on clean (unsoiled) hands and surfaces. So if you are using alcohol you should make sure your hands and surfaces are cleaned first.
Alcohol sanitisers are also flammable and so present a health and safety risk in particular in environments with already elevated risk of fire, including in the transport, automotive, catering, hospital and other sectors where electricity, oxygen and other flammable agents are present.
Alcohol sanitisers also dry the skin and are toxic if ingested and so should not be used by children, in prisons or other vulnerable individuals unsupervised.
Sanitising market is maturing and alternative safer solutions than alcohol are being developed and becoming more widely available.
How do non-alcohol sanitisers work?
It is the synergistic effects of the active and non-active ingredients in non-alcohol based sanitisers that provide the anti-viral and antibacterial efficacy and safety features.
XtraProtect for example is a water based sanitiser that uses antimicrobial biocides combined synergistically with surfactants to form a covalent (charged) bond with the surface which repels pathogens and provides ongoing protection even when dry.
XtraProtect is British lab testedXtraProtect has been lab tested against a wide range of pathogens and possesses virucidal activity against Norovirus and all enveloped viruses, including but not limited to SARS-CoV-2 (the … Continue reading and contains no hazards, is biodegradable, Halal and vegan friendly and has ethical accreditation from the Good Shopping Guide.
We recommend that you check the British standard certification of any sanitiser before buying it – in particular to support the efficacy against enveloped viruses, including Coronavirus. These certifications should be referenced on the product label.
How to optimise the impact and minimise the cost of sanitising?
For many organisations, the time taken to sanitise an area between uses is an increasingly important commercial consideration and typically represents the greatest cost of sanitising (far greater than the sanitising product itself).
To achieve maximum coverage, the sanitiser should be spread over the whole surface area and be left to dry (not wiped off) for a minimum period of time to achieve the required effect (for XtraProtect for a minimum of 2 minutes).
For large areas, to save time and cost as well as ensure maximum surface area coverage, XtraProtect and certain other sanitisers can be applied in a fogging machine. The fogging machine works like a paint sprayer ensuring small droplets of sanitiser are dispersed across all areas. If applying sanitiser with a fogging machine, again leave the surface to dry for least two minutes and follow manufacturers instructions.
It is also important to use a non absorbent, non scratch cloth (such as an XtraFibre Cloth or XtraWeb Agitator) when applying sanitiser by hand as scratching not only damages the surface but it also creates ridges on the surface which allow viruses and bacteria to accumulate.
When applying sanitiser to hands, if using alcohol sanitiser, ensure that your hands are clean before application and do not touch any areas of excessive heat or electrical circuitry after application.
More generally, ensure you apply the sanitiser from the tips to the palms of your hands and between the fingers and leave to dry.
In all cases follow manufacturers instructions.
|Hand and surface hygiene helps reduce gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses by 40% and 30% respectively. Source – https//reportlinker.com/p0209245/US-Hand-Sanitizers-Industry-html
|XtraProtect has been lab tested against a wide range of pathogens and possesses virucidal activity against Norovirus and all enveloped viruses, including but not limited to SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus which causes the respiratory illness Covid-19), Influenza, Rubella, Measles, Rabies, HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B. It is also effective against MRSA, Ecoli and other bacteria. XtraProtect is tested to European standards EN 14476:2013 + A2:2019 (Anti-Viral Efficacy) and EN 1276: 2009 (Anti-Bacterial Efficacy