Indoor cleaning activities are an essential part of our daily routine to maintain clean surfaces and prevent the spread of infectious agents. The use of broad-spectrum disinfectants has increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic but selecting the best cleaner from the large array of possibilities can be difficult. The optimal cleaner should not only be effective for its intended purpose but should also not generate harmful byproducts or accumulate in the indoor environment. It can be challenging to determine which cleaning agents are most appropriate for different cleaning scenarios and how the main ingredients, additives and byproducts may affect indoor air quality.
Another question is what are the long-term fates of these products in the indoor environment? Some cleaning approaches include reactive, short-lived oxidants such as hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide, while others use long-lived surfactants such as quaternary ammonium compounds (aka the quats). One important characteristic of the built environment is the high surface-to-volume ratio, which means that reactions of cleaners on surfaces may lead to an accumulation of secondary byproducts in the air if the space is not properly ventilated. With the recent advances in molecular biology technologies, it is possible to assess the efficacy of cleaners for bacteria, fungi and viruses. Similarly, new state-of-the-art analytical instruments now make it possible to quantify the real-time chemical composition of cleaning agents as well as the primary and secondary compounds generated from indoor cleaning practices. Collecting this type of data can be used to help guide the selection of the most appropriate and environmentally-friendly cleaners for a wide-range of applications.
What you will learn:
- The effects of cleaning activities on indoor air quality
- The efficacy of different cleaners for inactivating potentially infectious or pathogenic agents in buildings
- Novel measurements of the primary and secondary chemicals present in common cleaning formulations and how these may affect indoor air quality
- Recommendations for selecting safer cleaners and for practices (such as PPE and ventilation) that minimize inhalation exposure to chemical products
About the Presenters:
Dr. Kerry Kinney is the Gilven Centennial Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin as well as a Professor in the Department of Population Health at the Dell Medical School. Her cross-disciplinary research in environmental engineering centers on the investigation of human exposure to contaminants in the built environment. Her research team investigates microbial communities, pathogens, allergens and pollutants present in a range of settings including homes, schools, and commercial buildings. Her current research focuses on the microbiome and pathogen studies, bioaerosols, contaminant exposure pathways as well as identifying the relationships between indoor exposures and the physical and mental health of building occupants.
Pawel Misztal, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering department. His technical interests are broad and include quantification of fluxes of volatile organic compounds (VOC) by eddy covariance at ecosystem (tower) and regional (aircraft) scales; understanding the fate, transformations and removal processes of gas-phase aerosol precursors to understand and quantify the role of VOCs for secondary organic aerosol formation; thinking holistically to understand the feedbacks between anthropogenic pollution, biogenic VOCs (BVOCs), and atmospheric chemistry, and their links to climate, food security and health; and interdisciplinary research to quantify the links between atmospheric chemistry (indoors and outdoors), environmental microbiome, and human health.
Video recordings will be available for those who register but are unable to attend the webinars live. Continuing education credits are available for each webinar and attendees will receive a certificate of attendance.
In March, CIRI hosted “COVID-19 and Pandemic Preparedness: Science-Based Solutions for Service Providers,” a full-day virtual symposium attended by more than 1,000 cleaning and restoration professionals. To learn more about this event and sign up to watch the video recordings, click here.
Registration for this bonus, value-added webinar is $49 for CIRI members, $69 for nonmembers who registered to attend at least one of the prior “COVID-19: The Second Wave” webinars, and $99 for non-members.