BioHygiene advises a philosophy of environmental disinfection
The green-minded biotechnology company, who saw sales of their All-Purpose and Hand Sanitisers skyrocket throughout the pandemic, is keen to stress that when considering ‘Environmental Disinfection’ we must look out for both short- and long-term effects.
Erum Ahmed, Director of Sales at BioHygiene, explained: “At present, there are still traditional products in the market that contain quats, alcohol, chorine, hydrogen peroxide or a mixture of these. All of these can impact the immediate or the external environment in which they are used.
“By external, we refer to wider impacts on the environment in the traditional sense: quats and chlorine that can produce dangerous levels of aquatic toxicity – both short and long-term. This also includes manufacturing processes that release dangerous levels of CO2 into the atmosphere.
According to BioHygiene, the cleaning and FM sectors should ask their suppliers questions around raw materials, CO2e, packaging and aquatic toxicity when purchasing sanitisers and disinfectants to ensure they tick the various boxes with regard to sustainability. Only through diligence on all these points can ‘Environmental Disinfection’ be delivered.
Unsurprisingly, BioHygiene’s range of alternative sanitising products tick all of these boxes. Its foaming hand sanitiser is 100% biodegradable, ethanol/isopropyl alcohol & quat free, is made with natural and sustainable technology, and is safer to use than traditional sanitising products. To make matters more straight forward, BioHygiene has its own in-house traffic light system to help assess the suitability of any raw materials in its portfolio of ingredients.
Additionally, compared to liquid and gels, those using the company’s foam hand sanitiser will use up to 60% less per application – reducing plastic waste from packaging. BioHygiene products are packaged in PCR bottles (post-consumer resin), meaning they are completely from recycled plastic, thus can be recycled again to make new plastic packaging. Notably, its manufacturing process has also seen an 85% reduction in CO2e in comparison to traditional HDPE.
Questioning some of current products available, Mr Ahmed added: “The market has recently been flooded with hand sanitiser of varying quality, this can be attributed to the standard derogation made by the WHO at the start of the pandemic approving any hand sanitiser that contained over 80% ethanol (v/v) or 75% isopropyl alcohol (v/v) . This has ultimately allowed product to reach the market without going through the usual accreditation processes, raising questions of safety – for both the user and the environment.
“Additionally, the inclusion levels of the biocidal actives in a product may well be below generic cut-off levels to trigger environmental hazard classifications of the product itself, but the ingredients of concern are still present and being released into our waterways. Low concentrations of ingredients can have a damaging effect on the environment in a short period of time, in addition to cumulative long-term effects. Going forward, the more of these disinfectant products we use will see more of these undesirable ingredients released into the environment, causing more damage. Therefore, biocidal efficacy should not be the only criteria for disinfection selection, it is part of a much larger picture.
“We do still recommend frequent cleaning as the first point of controlling the spread of germs with sanitising and disinfecting used as a belt braces approach. We just want people in the industry to ensure that however they choose to clean, they use our philosophy of Cleaner, Leaner, Greener!”