Debbie Kulick, Something to Think About


Chances are you are using far more disinfectants of various types around your home, office and certainly they are front and center in the business world. Like me, you probably wondered, "Where has all the Lysol gone?" This actually is the title of an article produced by AARP’s writer Rachel Nania on July 22, 2020.


Two actual Lysol sprays were identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as being most effective on the coronavirus for surfaces. Both Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist passed the tests in lab testing, but, in reality, the EPA has a list of 420 products that meet the standard as well (go to https://bit.ly/30T9xyv.)


I didn’t need the article to make me wonder where the Lysol had gone. But, more importantly, is there anything else that can be meet the same benchmark of disinfectant? Well, we can all relax, somewhat that is— word is that we should focus on our handwashing practices even more so.


Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science and director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health reminds everyone that "the most effective sway to break the chain" of virus transmission from surfaces is handwashing.


He also addresses the need to clean and disinfect. Keeping high- touch places like doorknobs, tables and countertops clean could be a constant battle. Every time someone touches something it starts all over again. What he does say would be even better: When people come into a building, they should wash their hands and use sanitizer and continue to do this throughout the day.


By now we should all be well versed on the topic of social distancing, the staying six feet apart from others and the wearing of our face masks in public places. Although you may catch the virus from a surface when you then touch your face, mouth or eyes, the more likely way is from respiratory droplets in the air from an infected person. Hence, the wearing of the mask. Protecting me from you and you from me line.


Back to the disinfecting side of things. Remember that disinfecting and cleaning are two separate things. Cleaning the surface first with soap and water will go a long way in removing the germs, the disinfecting part takes it to the next level. (Reminder: Do not mix cleaning agents.) For a simple disinfectant that can be made at home if you can’t get any products at the store, a simple bleach and water solution of 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of room temperature water works just as well.


The shortages started back in March when we all went into our lockdown and everyone stocked up all at once. Manufacturers just couldn’t switch on a dime to increase production. Think about these facts and figures. According to Nielsen data, sales of aerosol disinfectants were up 148.3% during the week of March 28 when compared with the same week a year before. And Multipurpose cleaner sales were up 84.6% during the same time.


We all shopped once every couple of weeks and shipments were based, often with orders placed well in advance, on our shopping habits of once a week and certainly much less use of these items.


What did happen was once the big name brands were drained of product, smaller businesses started to break into the market. Who heard of Microban before all this started? And unlikely sources such as distilleries began producing high quality sanitizer products. Local companies Vigon and Silverback Distillery both went into action.


What you can do to help both the vendors and yourself is to order in advance. Pre-order your household supplies along with your grocery order. This helps everyone, because now the store knows what to order and get into its stock and you, the consumer, is more likely to get the product you want.