We are all doing our best to minimise the risk of infection by washing hands and wearing masks. But often it’s the germs we can’t see that can make us sick.
Masks, sanitisers and personal protective equipment (PPE) have become a part of our daily lives since March 2020 and the start of the pandemic, says Francois Viljoen, co-founder of GermCure. The company is a supplier of 100% natural disinfectants. “We wash our hands more often and more thoroughly, we sanitise before entering basically any premises and yes, we wear our masks wherever we go. These precautions certainly benefit our health.”
But are we doing enough to keep our environment at home, school and work germ-free? It is important to ensure that there is no cross-contamination when cleaning surfaces and areas. This means not using the same mop to clean the bathroom and the kitchen, for example. If the same cloths are used, there is a risk of spreading germs (viruses, bacteria and fungi) which affects our health and can cause infections.
The invisible risk
“Clean surfaces are not even debatable. But we know the danger lies in what we do not see; the invisible viruses and bacteria and all other sorts of germs. In a school environment, objects such as water taps, toys, door handles and the desks at which pupils sit and work, may be some of the highest contamination risk surfaces,” explains Viljoen.
While viruses need a host to survive and will eventually die after a few days depending on the surface they are on, bacteria can survive and multiply on any surface without a host. Bacteria mutates and can become resistant to common disinfectants.
In a bid to kill these germs, we often use toxic disinfectants that can have long-term health implications for our families. “People trust suppliers and manufacturers to be responsible and to know what is best for our health and for the environment, unfortunately this is not always the case,” says Viljoen.
For more cleaning tips to help stop the spread of germs
Ask the question
His advice is to always ask what is the active ingredient. Find out what is in the disinfectants and cleaning products used in your home or school. “We need to become much more aware of the impact of the products we use on our environment.”
Make better choices by opting for safe and natural disinfection and cleaning. “By minimising cross-contamination and infections we reduce the risk of getting sick. This means less absenteeism at our work and schools.”