The subject of effective cleaning and infection control has been in the spotlight for some time now. Everyone is looking to optimise their processes in order to minimise the risk of illnesses spreading. This has long been a focus for UK Dental Practices, who implement meticulous procedures to ensure that both staff and patients are protected from the potential threat of disease. Selecting effective products is essential for this.
Aside from confirming that your cleaning agents are effective against Covid-19, what else do you check on the label when choosing a product? Do you consider the chemicals or cleaning agents listed on the ingredients and whether these have an impact on people?
Understanding the chemical make-up
Traditional cleaning products contain chemicals to kill or deactivate pathogens they come into contact with. While important for their efficacy against harmful microorganisms, these substances can also have an effect on the user’s health. It’s important to be aware of the potential side effects so that intelligent decisions can be made regarding which products to invest in.
Some of the chemicals found in modern cleaning and disinfection solutions include:
Ammonia is an irritant, is corrosive, classed as a carcinogen and may cause harm to an individual by any route of exposure. Inhalation – the most common type of exposure – may lead to upper respiratory tract irritation, while ingestion can cause pain, excessive salivation and burning. Direct contact with eyes can cause burning – and even blindness with high exposure. The impact of chronic exposure has not been determined in humans, but animal tests show a link to osteoporosis and chronic metabolic acidosis.[i]
Inhalation of chlorine can cause lung and eye irritation, while exposure to high concentrations of the substance can cause pulmonary or laryngeal oedema and result in breathing difficulties. Chronic exposure has been associated with impaired pulmonary function.[ii]
Ethylene glycol monobutyl / 2-Butoxyethanol acetate
Ingestion of this substance has been shown to cause breathing problems, low blood pressure, and metabolic acidosis. Reduced levels of haemoglobin and blood in urine were also linked, believed to be the result of damage to red blood cells and haemolysis (release of haemoglobin).[iii]
Sodium hypochlorite is corrosive and can irritate the skin or cause burning pain, inflammation and blisters upon acute and chronic contact. Ingestion of any bleach containing >10% sodium hypochlorite may cause abdominal and retrosternal pain and diarrhoea, while aspiration can lead to pulmonary complications.[iv]
Exposure of the skin or eyes to trisodium phosphate may result in irritation or burning. Ingestion of the substance can lead to trisodium phosphate poisoning, which causes bloody vomit or stool, severe burning of the mouth, throat and oesophagus, skin irritation and burns, severe stomach pain, breathing difficulties, vision abnormalities and shock or collapse.
Reducing the risks
The severity of effects suffered by individuals exposed to these chemicals will vary significantly depending on the chemical concentration and exposure time. That’s why education is so important for anyone who may be handling these products in the practice. Not only do they need to understand how to minimise their exposure through careful use and not mixing products, but also what to do in the event of an accident.
Perhaps even more important, is the products themselves. By implementing solutions that pose the smallest possible threat in the first place, practices can protect both staff and visitors from harm.
For instance, consider substituting solutions that contain the above cleaning agents with others that utilise more natural ingredients, without compromising effectiveness against pathogens. Citrox® is one such substance.
Citrox® is an organic compound made from a blend of bioflavonoids and organic acids dissolved in water. Citrox® complex has been independently proven to be highly effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Citrox® is non-carcinogenic, non-toxic, non-allergenic, non-corrosive, and dermatologically tested. It’s also approved by various medical bodies and associations to further demonstrate its efficacy and safety.
Citrox® complex has been used to create the Citrox Protect line, a range of organic, plant-based, and eco-friendly products for air hygiene, decontamination, cleaning, and sanitizing. The Citrox Protect range of solutions from Citrox Biosciences Ltd has been independently proven effective against a wide range of pathogens, including SARS-COVID, MRSA, C.difficle, E.coli and Streptococcus.
Please note: Some of the products within the Citrox Protect line are recognised as biocides. You should always use Biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.
High-quality cleaning and disinfection are crucial for all public settings, including dental practices. The products you employ have a significant impact on the efficacy of your infection control procedures, but also the health of your staff. Always be careful when using strong chemical agents. Look for natural alternatives wherever you can, that can protect everyone from harm without compromising the quality of its cleaning and disinfection.
Consider choosing the Citrox Protect for a natural and safe disinfection that you can trust.
To order visit our Wholesale section.
For more details on Citrox Protect, visit citroxbio.co.uk
[i] Public Health England. Ammonia Toxicological Overview. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/455704/Ammonia_TO_PHE_240815.pdf [Accessed January 2023]
[ii] Health Protection Agency. Chlorine Toxicological Overview. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/337638/hpa_chlorine_toxicological_overview_v2.pdf [Accessed January 2023]
[iii] US Department of Health and Human Serviced. Public Health Service. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for 2-Butoxyethanol and 2-Butoxyethanol acetate. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp118.pdf [Accessed January 2023]
[iv] Public Health England. Sodium Hypochlorite Toxicological Overview. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/427651/Sodium_hypochlorite_TO_PHE__130515.pdf [Accessed January 2023]