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Survey Reveals Why Schools Should Adjust their Disinfecting Strategies

January 03, 2022

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Schools need to introduce new health measures regarding disinfectants to stop the spread of COVID-19, as shown by a recent survey consisting of 1,155 K-12 school staff members. CleanLink presented all the insight garnered from the study in an article titled "Survey: Disinfection Strategies in Schools Need Improvement " while describing some of the concerns shared by teachers and staff.

The combination of chemical-based cleaners and poor ventilation represents a recurring problem at schools, especially in structures with few windows to allow fresh air indoors. Studies have determined that SARS-CoV-2 spreads more easily through the air, which adds to the concerns caused by chemical ingredients in a disinfectant's formula.

Schools are recommended to take specific preemptive measures and follow the labels' instructions when using bleach, alcohol, or ammonium-based disinfectants. The frequent use of these chemical products in schools increased in 2020 without training, which led to teachers and school staff applying these chemicals improperly before classes.

School Janitor Disinfecting
Besides the lack of adequate training, there were other factors that made these disinfectants ineffective, such as dwell time. "[It] is supposed to be left on the surface for a period of 10 minutes, but we were instructed to wipe it off immediately between classes," one teacher says. On the other hand, school staff members usually go against the label's recommendations to prevent children's exposure to the products' fumes.

Products capable of killing SARS-CoV-2 have the downside of prompting a host of health complications after continued exposure, namely from the residue left behind after they dry on a surface. Problems range from skin and respiratory conditions to reproductive disorders and cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the List N during the pandemic, displaying all the products that have been proven effective in killing the COVID-19 virus on surfaces. The agency, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has also provided guidance to improve schools' ventilation systems, along with other recommendations to disinfect high-touch surfaces.

When it comes to disinfectants, they urge schools' management to look for particular criteria among the products on the EPA's List N. Disinfectants should have a contact time equal to or less than 1 minute and have a safety score of 0-0-0 in the HMIS (Hazardous Materials Identification System).

To read the complete article, including more opinions from the survey's participants, go to: Survey: Disinfection Strategies in Schools Need Improvement .

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