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Before learning the important steps of how to protect yourself against different types of viruses such as the Coronavirus, it is vital to know the difference between viruses’ structures.
The question is – do you know the difference between them? If not – read our other blog first here and then come back!
If you are all studied up, please continue to learn how you can protect yourself against these.
Following the EPA’s recommendation there are 6 steps for safe and effective disinfectant use to help protect yourself.4
1. Check that your chosen disinfectant product is EPA-approved.
To do this find the EPA registration number on the product and cross reference is with the EPA List N here
Why does it need to be EPA approved and feature on the EPA List N?
Because the EPA List N is a comprehensive list where when used according to the label directions can kill the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). These products are for use on surfaces, not humans. Children should not use these products.2
So now you have the right EPA approved disinfectant to hand. What do I do next?
2. Follow the disinfection directions as stated on the product label.
Note that a disinfectant can be approved with different instructions for different types of viruses or bacteria so it is important to follow the instructions for the specific virus listed on EPA List N. If there are use directions for enveloped viruses, follow those directions. EPA recommends that if the directions for use for viruses/virucidal activity list different contact times or dilutions, use the longest contact time or most concentrated solution.
3. A crucial step in the process - Pre-clean the surface.
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This step is vital to protect yourself against the different types of viruses. Make sure to wash the surface with soap and water if the directions mention pre-cleaning or if the surface is visibly dirty.
Why is doing this important?
Think about it. Any additional contaminants such as dirt, germs, or blood can reduce the effectiveness of the disinfectant if not removed beforehand thoroughly with soap and water.
Organic matter in the form of serum, blood, pus, fecal or lubricant material can interfere with the effectiveness of the disinfectant by reacting with it to form a complex that is less or not effective, leaving less disinfectant available to attack the microorganisms.4 Chlorine and iodine disinfectants, are prone to such interaction.
Okay – so you’ve pre-cleaned your surface, what’s next?
4. Follow the contact time listed to expose the virus on the surface.
You can find the contact time in the directions. The surface should remain wet the whole time to ensure the product is effective. Let the surface air dry.
By law, all applicable label instructions on EPA-registered products must be followed. If the user selects exposure conditions that differ from those on the EPA-registered product label, the user assumes liability from any injuries resulting from off-label use and is potentially subject to enforcement action under FIFRA4.
5. Wear gloves and wash your hands
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Some disinfectants are not skin safe, can be irritants or have toxicity when ingested, cause allergies or other health hazards. It’s best practice to wear gloves. For disposable gloves, discard them after each cleaning.4
What do I do with reusable gloves?
For reusable gloves, dedicate a pair to disinfecting COVID-19. Wash your hands after removing the gloves.1
Okay you’re nearly finished, just one final thing!
6. Lock up the disinfectant after use
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Sounds simple, but easily forgotten. Last but not least, keep lids tightly closed and store out of reach of children.5
Now you know how to be safe and effective when using your disinfectants against viruses.
How do I protect my devices against different types of viruses?
The great news is that we have done our homework and want to provide you with the ultimate protection plus peace of mind. Our Total Protection range allows for just that as you can follow the above procedure time and time again as our cases are cleanable with EPA approved disinfectants.
Not only this but you can fully submerge your Total Protection case in water or alcohol-based disinfectants (such as ethanol, isopropanol, n-propanol), which in general have been show to significantly reduce infectivity of enveloped viruses like SARS-CoV-2 in concentrations of 70-80% with one minute exposure time.6
Want to learn more?
To learn more about our recommended disinfection protocol, check out our full whitepaper ‘How can you safely Disinfect your Devices against the SARS-CoV-2-Coronavirus’ here.
- 6 Steps for Safe & Effective Disinfectant Use. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-04/documents/disinfectants-onepager.pdfEnvironmental Protection Agency (2020).
- List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19) https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-coronavirus-covid-19# USA Environmental Protection Agency (2020).
- What does the column "Follow the disinfection directions and preparation for the following virus" mean? Why are viruses other than the human coronavirus listed in that column?, https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/what-does-column-follow-disinfection-directions-and-preparation-following-virus-mean-why, Environmental Protection Agency (2020)
- CDC, Factors Affecting the Efficacy of Disinfection and Sterlization. Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/efficacy.html, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008)
- Chemical Disinfectants. Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities (2008), https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/disinfection-methods/chemical.html, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008) (2020)
- Disinfection of environments in healthcare and non-healthcare settings potentially contimatinated with SARS-CoV-2 https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/Environmental-persistence-of-SARS_CoV_2-virus-Options-for-cleaning2020-03-26_0.pdf European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 2020