The dangers and effectiveness of using hazardous chemicals to control hygiene

Still using hazardous chemicals for hygiene control? Most people don’t know that
these outdated solutions are not only dangerous, but often ineffective.

hygiene control

Many in the hospitality industry (cruise ships, hotels, restaurant owners etc) are unaware of the risks
involved in using outdated hazardous chemicals for hygiene control. Scientific studies are showing
that microorganisms are building resistance to certain chemicals which means, – what you think is
squeaky clean, may in fact NOT be!

The additional associated risks of chemical use, storage & contamination of food, combined with their
growing lack of effectiveness, means not only are company reputations at stake, but they will also
start to fall behind as public awareness in more natural, environmentally friendly cleaning methods

Here are some things to consider if you are still using harsh chemical detergents for hygiene control
at your establishment:

If you use chemicals, your guests are susceptible to health concerns. Contact dermatitis
(skin rashes) caused by chemical agents in cleaning materials, or allergic reactions after
coming into contact with baths and basins that have been cleaned with strong chemicals, and
not rinsed properly, are becoming more and more common. This is also known as ‘chemical
sensitivity.’ People are also developing allergies to airborne chemical vapors. The trend is
growing in choosing hotels that advertise swimming pools NOT treated with chlorine due to
the associated eye and skin irritations, breathing problems and hair discoloration (a greenish
tone) that come hand-in- hand with chlorine pools.

If you use chemicals, you risk food contamination. If your staff are not meticulous about
storing and labelling chemicals properly, they pose a huge risk to guests and especially
young children. Chemical containers must never be mixed with food containers. Furthermore,
any chemical spills may pose a high fire risk (notably flammable detergents) or if stored close
to food items, contamination is easy.

If your staff use chemicals, especially in poorly ventilated rooms and don’t follow exact
health & safety procedures, they are susceptible to health concerns. Handling
hazardous chemicals during hygiene control poses a risk of chemical burns or carcinogenic
hazards, putting you – the business owner – at significant legal risk. Employees working with
cleaning agents may experience nausea, allergy, vomiting or breathing problems reducing
efficiency and they may require extra training, supervision and safety gear to comply with
health and safety standards.

If you use chemicals, don’t expect them to work so well anymore. More commonly,
biofilms (microorganisms which could potentially house Legionella), are not successfully
eradicated with chlorine based chemicals and they are unable to dislodge them from water
systems. You only need one bout of Legionella at your establishment and your reputation
could be tarnished for a long time.

The bottom line is that most chemicals and chlorine used in hygiene control are ineffective as
microorganisms build resistance. This leads to a cycle of harsher chemicals being needed, which
leads to stronger chemical odors and side effects for you and your guests. The good news is that
there are eco-friendly cleaning alternatives – a great selling point too for your business (as more and
more guests become eco-aware).

Find out more about our Hygiene Control Solution: Electrochemically Activated Hygiene