The following article has been authored by a non-clinician.
Thousands of pathogens are detrimental to human health, they mutate, and vaccines can only go so far in protecting us. Disinfectants are one of our greatest weapons in the fight against COVID and other infectious diseases, yet they have been misused for decades and COVID has unfortunately not changed this reality.
Long before COVID-19 hit, Mark White, a friend and former governor of Texas, was aware of the senseless deaths caused by improper disinfection. What Gov. White understood, and what needs to be impressed upon us all, is that old-school disinfectants have multiple disadvantages. The global pandemic has highlighted just how impractical, inefficient and often harmful to human and environmental health they are.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) List N has become the holy bible for companies and risk assessors looking to find a disinfectant to combat COVID-19. Many of the products on this regarded list have a 10-minute contact time, which is the amount of time that a disinfectant must remain thoroughly wet on a surface to be effective.
Despite the EPA's inclusion of hundreds of such products on the List N, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has conversely determined that, "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)."
Gov. White was aware of an advanced one-minute disinfectant in 2015. He recognized it as key to reducing the 1.7 million healthcare-acquired infections that occur in the United States each year. These preventable infections claim the lives of over 100,000 Americans annually.
In a June 18, 2015, email to Dr. Paul Klotman, President of Baylor College of Medicine, Gov. White wrote, "This is a new product, manufactured in San Marcos, Texas. Should reduce/stop infections in hospital settings and dramatically cut cleaning costs."
Gov. White was right. In 2019, HHS, an Austin-based organization that provides environmental cleaning services to over 600 facilities, including hospitals, conducted an evaluation with CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas.
The evaluation examined the benefit of using a one-minute disinfectant, TK60, versus Diversey's Virex 256, a widely used 10-minute disinfectant. The results were clear and astounding. They found that by using TK60, they were able to reduce room cleaning times by more than 50%, while also lowering infection rates. (Full disclosure: TK60 is manufactured by R-Water, whose CEO is the author of this article.)
COVID is overburdening our hospitals. On January 15, 2021, the CDC reported that during the month of December, "the overall weekly hospitalization rate reached its highest point since the beginning of the pandemic and remains elevated." Operational efficiency is a key factor for health care workers to be able to provide quality care.
Over the years, Gov. White made introductions he thought would be pivotal in changing the course of the chemical industry. Together we met with various facilities, including hospitals and jail systems, to share the benefits of eliminating harmful, archaic chemicals. Gov. White believed that logic and data should drive decisions: if a disinfectant is quicker and safer, use it. In the throes of a pandemic, this has never been more imperative.
We are compelled to comply with the CDC's recommendations to wear masks and practice social distancing. Shouldn't we heed its advice and steer clear of disinfectants requiring a 10-minute contact time?
In the hope of highlighting facts surrounding disinfectants, I recently penned an open letter to the White House Coronavirus Task Force. COVID cases and deaths continue to rise, hospitals are swamped, lockdowns are destroying small businesses, and grandparents long to hug their grandchildren.
It is time to use all the weapons we have in our arsenal. Proper disinfection is key to helping prevent the spread of COVID and other infectious diseases. The lives and livelihood of our loved ones and fellow citizens depend on it.
Rayne Guest was home birthed and raised in the mountains of Idaho. She attended five universities while studying various fields including business, marine biology, and nutrition. She has spent time in Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Africa, among many others and is driven to do good by doing good in the world. As founder and CEO of R-Water, Rayne is developing patented cleaning and disinfecting technologies to further this cause, while unapologetically shaking up archaic industries. Read Rayne Guest's Reports — More Here.
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