The Ins and Outs of Infection Control and Its Environmental Impact

holding hand sanitizer pump
Photo: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The current buzzwords of ‘infection prevention’ and ‘sanitization’ are making everyone increasingly aware of their hygiene habits. Perhaps you’re wondering how to improve safety measures at home or even at the office. With proper guidelines in place and helping individuals learn healthy habits, some people may enjoy more peace of mind during a world crisis.

The challenge is to make the right decisions, instead of acting on assumptions. .

What if your disinfection intentions have the complete opposite effect? It’s vital to know the ins and outs of infection control, as well as its environmental impacts. Then you can take the best course of action to protect yourself and your environment.

Manual Disinfection – Is It Good?

You may think manual disinfection is the simple way to go, but it’s far more complex. The following risks are posed:

Chemical Exposure

Cleaning staff could be exposed to chemical disinfectants. These and sterilants are sometimes also known as high level disinfectants. They’re used in healthcare facilities and beauty salons, among other workplaces. Their purpose? To kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites on equipment that high heat can’t sterilize. Exposure to ethylene oxide gas, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, ortho phthalaldehyde and peracetic acid could pose potential health risks.

Cost and Consistency

Due to these and other serious health related risks, you might consider alternative disinfection technologies such as high intensity UV radiation, LED blue light or even ultrasonic waves. However, this could be expensive.

Damaged Devices

In addition, the use of chemical disinfectants can cause environmental stress. This results in cracking damage to certain devices. The result? Plastic equipment failure and drain of financial resources. They’re costly to repair or replace, particularly if the damage is premature.

Plastic Pollution

Discarded disinfectant wipes are one of the causes of plastic pollution. They take numerous years to biodegrade. If you simply imagine the number of disinfected wipes discarded daily from only one hospital, or even a house or business,  it’s a frightening thought.

In addition, more than 90% of wet wipes used in households contain plastic fibers. When these are flushed, the fibers shed and are discharged to waterways that ultimately reach the oceans.

The Sensible Solution to Infection Control

There is a way to improve the current environment. For one thing, clinicians and patients can be protected through affordable and quick, innovative infection prevention systems. They’re not only easily deployable but also dependable. They also strive to reduce the environmental impact without compromising on the delivery of quality healthcare.

So, if you’re looking to reduce your chemical exposure, pay less and take better care of your environment, ensure you disinfect properly. Technology can help you do this.

There’s no need for any facility to navigate the challenges of disinfectant wipes, sprays and even protocol compliance alone. This is one way in which you can take better care of yourself and your environment. Let’s make decisions that benefit ourselves as well as those around us, and the environment.