Coronavirus – Evaluating the effectiveness of disinfectants and sanitisers

With the current coronavirus pandemic looking to drag on well into 2021 when the promise of a readily available vaccine will be realised, the focus remains very much on using disinfectants and sanitisers to stem the spread of the disease. And yet not all products available on the market are equally effective.

Asking a few simple questions can quickly determine if using a particular solution will achieve the desired outcome.

What is the difference between disinfectants and sanitisers?

Simply put, disinfectants kill a wider range of germs than sanitisers. Sanitisers in turn reduce microorganisms on a surface; by up to 99.9%.

Will it kill the coronavirus and for how long?

Currently the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia has permitted 55 products to claim that they can be used against COVID-19. However, in making a choice, it is important for users to decide how important it is for them that the treatment keeps working after application. Does the effectiveness of the solution take longevity into account?

How often should we disinfect and sanitise?

Perception is a strategy often used in trying to combat coronavirus; constantly seen to be doing something. But how effective is it really? If not properly integrated into a normal cleaning regime where surfaces and touchpoints are cleaned once a day to deliver reliable protection, the lack of disinfecting and sanitising can generate other problems. Naturally, touchpoints should be treated after every human interaction but other surfaces that gather dust which is a breeding-ground for germs, should be cleaned daily.

How much product should be used?

It is noticeable how much relatively inexpensive product is used to disinfect and sanitise. But is it achieving the desired outcome? And if not, what then? Organosilane solutions have enjoyed more exposure in recent times. An organosilane solution can be used to provide ongoing protection when properly integrated into the daily cleaning regime. It provides the type of coating and active protection that can assure people that they are sufficiently protected. But it is not set-and-forget solution as some would claim.

Is it really possible to use less but deliver more?

Choosing the right solution will deliver a more sustained result and by using fewer products. In choosing a disinfectant and sanitiser the difference between chemical-based ones on the one side, and organosilane alternatives on the other should be taken into consideration. The former uses alcohol, chlorine or bleach as a base to introduce germicides and other harsh chemicals into the environment which goes to work on breaking down the protective coating around this family of viruses. Organosilane sanitisers and disinfectants on the other hand do the job in a more natural and sustained manner. Both options claim to be 99.99% effective against germs.

What are their effects on humans and the environment?

Almost all sanitisers and disinfectants contain alcohol, chlorine, bleach or compounds that disrupt the glandular system. Potentially carcinogenic, this group of chemicals poses a direct threat to human health, and can take a long time to break down in the environment. The organosilane combination in contrast takes a different approach in combining elements that are more natural to humans. Alarmingly, cleansers that contain alcohol, chlorine or bleach often claim to be ‘bio safe’. A critical examination of their constituents tells a different story. And combined with clever marketing these products equate successes in industrial and commercial settings to safe use in the home.

As the last point illustrates, a discerning consumer has to navigate through an extensive list of chemical elements combined with confusing claims to pick a hand sanitiser and surface disinfectant that will do the job without threatening health and the environment.

(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)