Rayne Guest, R-Water CEO: An Open Letter to The White House Coronavirus Task Force
DALLAS, Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- There is a dirty secret in disinfection; it’s rarely done properly. Studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirm that over 70% of new infections occur in those who are diligent about wearing masks. So where are we falling short? Disinfection.
After lingering in the air, COVID lands on surfaces and survives for relatively long periods of time. We touch these surfaces. We place personal items such as face masks and cell phones on these surfaces. One of our greatest weapons in the fight against COVID and other infectious diseases are disinfectants, and they are being used at a ferocious rate in facilities and homes. However, their efficacy and safety hinges on proper use.
Most of the disinfectants on the EPA’s List N have a 10-minute contact time. Contact time is the amount of time a disinfectant must remain thoroughly wet on a surface to be effective. However, the CDC states, “Ideally product users should consider and use products that have a shortened contact time.”
And, as for disinfectants with a 10-minute contact time, the CDC has determined, “Such a long contact time is not practical for disinfection of environmental surfaces in a health-care setting because most health-care facilities apply a disinfectant and allow it to dry (~1 minute).”
During an April 2020 briefing, President Trump stated, “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks [COVID] out in a minute. One minute.” This disinfectant exists, is aligned with CDC guidelines, and far exceeds Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements for healthcare-grade disinfection and use against COVID. Its active ingredient is the same compound that white blood cells produce to fight pathogens.
We are compelled to comply with the CDC’s recommendations to wear masks and practice social distancing. Why is the EPA contradicting the CDC’s long-standing advice by listing 10-minute products on the List N? If considered impractical, the use of 10-minute contact time products should be banned, especially during a global pandemic.
The public is worried about their jobs, keeping their small businesses afloat, their children falling behind in school, and what the future might hold for their loved ones. I have been on the ground floor of the disinfection industry for over a decade. By bringing the following facts to the forefront, I assure you, we cannot only get back to normal, we can get back to better than normal.
“Spray and wipe” is a dangerous myth.
All products have a contact time. Disinfectants with a 10-minute contact time, such as Diversey’s Virex 256 are commonly used in hospitals. When these products are not allowed to remain wet on a surface for the full 10-minute contact time, proper disinfection cannot be achieved. Annually, the improper use of disinfectants in hospitals has contributed to over 1.7 million healthcare acquired infections and over 100,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. Unfortunately, these horrific infections and deaths became optional to report during the onset of COVID. They, along with COVID and other infectious diseases, need to be addressed.
Not all disinfectants are created equal.
The public deserves transparency. The EPA requires that healthcare grade disinfectants eliminate at least 95%-98.3% of the pathogen carriers tested in a 10-minute contact time. At least one disinfectant on the market achieves 100% effectiveness in one minute. Lab reports should not be classified as proprietary. Consumers need access to this information so that they can make informed decisions.
Restaurants are not required to use disinfectants effective against COVID.
COVID cases are being linked to restaurants. It seems logical that they would be required to use disinfectants effective against COVID. Fortunately, some establishments, like Dallas steakhouse Al Biernat’s, have taken it upon themselves to surpass COVID-19 safety and state sanitation guidelines. They have implemented enhanced protocols and now use a one-minute contact time healthcare-grade disinfectant that is safe for food contact surfaces.
Many Disinfectants contribute to asthma, allergies, and COVID symptoms.
Products like Lysol may not be as gentle or fresh as variety names like For Baby’s Room and Fresh Beginnings might lead you to believe. According to the manufacturer, the product contains added fragrances and perfumes, in addition to other chemicals which are known to cause asthma and exacerbate other respiratory issues. They also contain ingredients that are Toxic Air Contaminants and are found on the EPA’s list of chemicals we need to make it a priority to eliminate. Disinfectants are pesticides and their hazards should be revealed, not hidden.
Disinfectants produced by EPA regulated devices are not eligible for the List N.
The EPA should be seeking disinfecting products produced by devices that have been tested according to their healthcare grade guidelines and have short contact times. Why? Producing disinfectants on-site has numerous advantages including eliminating supply chain reliance and procurement inefficiencies, ensuring an ample supply of disinfectant is always on hand, and eliminating unnecessary packaging and hazardous plastic waste.
These are confusing times with constantly evolving health and safety guidelines. However, the recommendation that surfaces be disinfected to help prevent the spread of infectious disease has held steady. It is time to do it properly.
Dr. Fauci, you have held the position of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. When speaking about disinfection, I implore you to move beyond the general rhetoric of “follow the manufacturer’s instructions” and set a global standard for proper disinfecting protocols. It is time to provide the public with practical information and bring to light an archaic industry that has been causing unnecessary harm to human and environmental health for far too long. Global citizens deserve the right to live healthy lives. I would like the opportunity to meet with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and discuss solutions that address these critical issues.
Founder and CEO, R-Water
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SOURCE R-Water, LLC