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Understanding Chemicals in Surface Cleaning

Packaging and dispensing

In the world of marketing, perception is reality and what you see is what you get. A product with a bold headline, very powerful words like ‘Science Miracle,’ or phrases like ‘once you use it, you are unlikely to change,’ is compelling. Dispensing of chemicals remains the choice of the user while the dilutor carbouy pumps offer right dosage, no spillage, no wastage.

“In a country like India, proper classroom training should be given. Why, which and when a particular chemical should be used is needed to be explained to them. We know people using brands without knowing its pH values. Hence, any user should be able to use any brand, if they are sound with the chemistry of the product and we are sure they will get optimum results,” opines Yugesh.  Speaking on the packaging, Nadeem explains, “The packaging depends on three factors, viz, transportation from manufacturer to dealer/customer, storing at vendor/ customer’s end and handling at customer’s end. Considering the above factors in the Cleaning Chemical industry, generally corrugated boxes are used for outside packaging of  5lt x 2 carbouys of HDPE material. However, in laundry cleaning because of heavy usages, standard packing size is 25lt of HDPE carbouy.” Not only the product formulation but the storage also plays an important role in environment sustainability. Proper packaging and dispensing techniques are important to maintain the HSE parameters to avoid hazards arising from operations. The “Customers becoming more aware and demanding for cost effective specific need based solution, knowledge of Cleaning Chemical formulation would certainly help to great extent.” – Nadeem Siddiqui Certification body, Ecolabel, is credible in terms of offering environment commitments. It also helps identify products and services that have been proved to reduce environmental impact throughout their lifecycle, from the extraction of raw material through to production, use and disposal. Recognised across the world, Ecolabel is a voluntary label promoting environmental excellence, which can be trusted. Ecolabel scheme is a commitment to environmental sustainability and has been developed and agreed upon by scientists, NGOs and stakeholders to create a credible and reliable way to make responsible choices.

3Cs of Chemical Disinfection

Chemical disinfection is a precision job and requires adequate training and understanding for its purposeful application in relation to dosage, dilution and application to the surface and its impact on the environment.  Compliance, choice and cleaning are the three major aspects for using any chemical based disinfectant.

Compliance: Environmental compliance is a key aspect of any chemical-based disinfection agent, which requires a formulation meeting all necessary standards and yet giving effective sanitation from the targeted organisms or other means of infections. Compliance varies from agency to agency, premises and environments, and specific application requirements.  

Choice: Choosing a right disinfectant for right application is another important part of using chemical disinfectants. The practice also ensures the safety and protection of area of application and workers in a specific environment.  This requires SOPs and adherence to usage instructions on the products label given by the manufacturer. Any good choice of chemical disinfectant is based on some basic properties, including non-toxicity to the users, people and environment, ability to kill a wide range of pathogens, quick action and adequate disinfection in short time, ease of application in multiple formats, ease of implementation and support form manufacturer.   Cleaning: The extent and effectiveness of cleaning varies with different premises and industrial environments such as hospital, hotel, food sector and other day-to-day cleaning needs at workplace and domestic space. Effective cleaning is linked to a number of factors such as training of personnel, selection of disinfectant, efficient use of equipment and accessories, bacterial load or extent of infection, footfall in a specific zone and adherence to guidelines. 

Critical sectors which directly and very quickly impact the health of masses are pharma labs, hospitals, food manufacturing units, kitchens, etc. Anyone can imagine the impact on the environment, society, world and ecosystem if something goes wrong at these critical segments. Of late, we hear regularly the FDA’s notice to many pharmaceutical units on compliance which are mostly related to residual analysis, contamination control, formulations and overall quality assurance measures.

“These sectors are highly prone to microbiological contaminations as well. Unless highest level of cleaning and hygiene is ensured, checked, validated and revalidated, it may lead to issues which can even kill the brand! There had been certain instances in the past where a lot of marketing efforts and huge costs were incurred just to protect the brand because of some serious complaints from the market regarding products not complying to regulations and standards. Statutory bodies like FDA and FSSAI intend to put certain quality benchmarks which under compromise can adversely affect the entire ecosystem,” says Sumeet.

Chemical disinfectants used in pharma/food sector

There are a number of disinfectants available in the market but some specific chemicals and their combinations are used
in food and pharma sector based on various factors, including cost, sanitation potential, and process/ equipment in use.

“In a pharma industry, the entire range of products has to be free from bacteria; hence preservatives should be added. Floor cleaners should be made from non-ionics with a neutral pH. However, floor cleaners may also be anionic, nonionic, or blend of both with good super wetting properties and Quats added to them. The cleaners should preferably be free from any perfume in the food industry.

“Food industry should look into products, which will emulsify oils from the floor, hence selecting proper surfactants is necessary by the manufacturer. With these different types of surfactants it is a wonder that formulators are able to choose the right detergent for the right application,” informs Yugesh.

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