The average household contains 62 toxic chemicals.
I sat here for a few minutes with nothing but the above sentence, trying to develop an introduction to lead up to that point. Then I realized, that sentence is all the introduction this article needs.
The average household contains 62. Toxic. Chemicals.
How on earth is that possible, you may ask? Well did you know that household chemicals are not federally regulated? Did you know that there aren’t any federal safety standards a household cleaning chemical needs to pass in order to be approved for the market? It’s likely that if you went into your closet or under your sink and looked at the bottle of glass or toilet bowl cleaner, you’d see a message like “Harmful to people and animals.”
Now with that fact in mind, let’s talk about commercial cleaning chemicals
The health dangers of cleaning chemicals
Cleaning chemicals formulated for commercial and industrial purposes are often stronger and more concentrated than household products. That means the dangers to your health are increased when in the presence of commercial chemicals. Today’s chemicals often include ingredients such as:
- Chlorine Bleach – A powerful whitening agent that can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
- Triclosan, Triclocarban – Linked to hormone imbalances and an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Nonylphenol Ethoxylate – Banned in the EU and California, this chemical disrupts the endocrine system and kills aquatic life.
- Ammonia – Common in many cleaners, this substance can burn skin and eyes – and even cause blindness – on contact.
- 2-Butoxyethanol – Used in degreasers, this substance can absorb through the skin and damage red blood cells.
This is just the tip of the toxic iceberg. If the Titanic hit this bad boy, it would probably corrode on contact.
The point is this: We are surrounded by toxins. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the issue. In a desperate attempt to stop the spread of the virus, businesses, schools, hospitals and long-term care homes have increased their use of strong chemicals to clean and disinfect surfaces of all kinds. We are spraying copious amounts of dangerous chemicals everywhere, and if we don’t curb this, we may inadvertently cause generations of health problems for millions of people.
But we aren’t the only ones being negatively affected by these chemicals.
The environmental impact of cleaning chemicals
It’s a known fact by now that our planet is not in the best shape. It’s not because the earth let itself go. No, humans have done all the damage. Our soil, air, and water have been polluted for over a century with all sorts of waste. And the byproducts of cleaning chemicals are one of the many culprits.
Cleaners contain chemicals identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as VOC’s – volatile organic compounds. Don’t let the “organic” thing fool you, instead focus on “volatile”. Because these byproducts are bad news for the planet.
These VOC’s pollute the air, creating greenhouse gasses and contributing to the depletion of our ozone layer. They are rinsed off of surfaces and washed down drains, where they enter the wastewater system. Although some of these contaminants are removed in water treatment facilities, much of it remains and enters our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. There, they wreak havoc on our plants and wildlife. They also enter the soil, which means they enter our food chain and end up in our bodies.
As mentioned above, this problem is being exacerbated by the current pandemic. Think of the huge amounts of VOC’s being released into the air, absorbed into our soil, and washed into our water supply every single day.
So then, what is our solution? Stop cleaning and sanitizing? Of course not, that’s not an option. But there is a way to clean, sanitize, and disinfect safely, without harming ourselves, or our planet.
The world’s most powerful natural sanitizer
This leads us into the wonderful world of ozone. What is ozone exactly? Ozone (O3) is oxygen (O2) with an additional oxygen atom attached. So in other words, it’s kind of like super oxygen. Ozone can be found high above our earth in the atmosphere, where it serves as a protective layer for the planet against the sun’s UV rays. Ozone is also generated through electrical currents, which is why after a lightning storm you can smell it in the air (it has a “fresh and clean” smell).
So, what exactly does ozone have to do with cleaning and sanitizing? Well, while ozone has been around for as long as the earth has, it’s only more recently been better understood. And as scientists began to look into it further, they soon discovered that ozone is a super-powerful disinfectant.
How powerful you ask? Ozone sanitizes over 3,000 times faster than bleach. And it’s capable of killing nearly every bacteria, fungus, and virus imaginable, on contact. Even bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics or antibacterial agents are easily thwarted by ozone.
How does ozone work?
Ozone operates in a unique and effective way. The secret lies in its volatility.
Remember that 3rd oxygen atom that turns O2 into O3? You could say he’s the wild one of the bunch. When ozone is created, this third oxygen atom is rather unstable. It doesn’t last forever. In time, this atom will split off from the oxygen, and the ozone will then revert back to regular oxygen.
But therein lies the hidden power of ozone. See, viruses and bacteria absorb ozone just as they do regular air. So when this 3rd oxygen atom breaks off from the ozone molecule, it bursts through the walls of the bacteria cell from the inside out, destroying it. This method is incredibly effective, and it’s the reason that ozone can accomplish what many chemicals and cleaning agents simply cannot.
The simple fact of the matter is this: Ozone is one of the most powerful disinfectants, whether natural or man-made, available to mankind. So, ok, we know it’s powerful. But is it safe?
Safe for people, and the environment
Let’s talk more about why ozone is so safe.
For one thing, ozone is all-natural. Its ingredients are oxygen, oxygen, and – wait for it – oxygen! There are no insane, impossible to pronounce ingredients like all those cleaning agents have. What you see is what you get. On the other hand, many of the chemicals in cleaning products are known carcinogens.
Ozone leaves no residue, or waste of any kind. As discussed above, ozone simply reverts back to oxygen after a period of time, leaving nothing but a clean space in its wake. That means no toxic runoffs going into the water supply or soil, and no pollutants contaminating the air.
How is ozone used to clean and sanitize?
Ozone is a gas. Almost any pathogen that this gas touches will be disinfected and sanitized on contact. It can easily be distributed around a room using fans, or infused into water as bubbles.
One innovative way that ozone has been used is to sanitize and deodorize hockey and football gear, industrial PPE, firefighter turnout gear and a wide variety of tactical gear worn by police, Dept. of Homeland Security, prison guards and other government agencies.
The Fresh Gear Rapid Sanitizing System is an air-tight stainless steel sanitizing machine with shelves or custom-fitted piping inside, where powerful fans force ozone gas into the dense fibers of protective equipment. Treatments as little as 30 minutes can break down bacteria, mold, viruses, and dangerous chemical buildups, leaving the gear safe to use again.
Ozone has also been effectively utilized as a natural room sanitizer. Imagine a football locker room, with all its sweaty nastiness being sanitized within minutes using a mobile ozone generator. Or a brand new home that still has all those dangerous off-gases from new carpets and fresh paint. A couple of hours later, all those fumes and smells are neutralized and the air ducts are disinfected, leaving a truly clean home.
Now the downside of using ozone gas in an open room is that you have to vacate the space while the generator is operating. Breathing in large amounts of ozone for a prolonged period can cause throat and lung irritation. But once the ozone has reverted back to regular air (after about 20 minutes), it is safe to enter the room.
A 3rd way to utilize ozone is by using aqueous ozone, that is, freshly ozonated water. Ozone has been used for decades in the bottled water industry to safely disinfect drinking water. Check the label on your bottle of water. Many companies even list it in the ingredients.
But here’s the thing, aqueous ozone has seen some incredible developments in recent years. Forget just drinking sanitized water. Imagine if you could use said water to safely clean and sanitize every surface.
Stabilized Aqueous Ozone, or SAO
Ozone-powered water has been used for decades as an effective, safe, all-natural sanitizer. Here’s how it works: You run ozone gas through a container of water. After mere minutes, the water contains enough ozone in it to act as a disinfectant for about 20 minutes, until the ozone dissipates. Spray it on your counters, your floors, even your fruits and vegetables, it’s EPA and FDA approved as a food-grade disinfectant. Pour it into spray bottles, floor scrubbing machines or electrostatic sprayers and replace the costly and toxic chemicals that are currently in use.
If only these disinfecting properties could last longer than 20 minutes right? Enter Tersano Inc, a company based out of Windsor, Ontario. They’ve been pioneers in the aqueous ozone field for more than 20 years. After much research and development, their team created a sanitizing machine that dispenses SAO, stabilized aqueous ozone. With their proprietary technology, they were able to increase the stability of ozone to last 24 hours in the water! That means you can use the ozonated water dispensed from their sanitizing machine as a sanitizer for up to 24 hours, and a cleaning agent for up to 6 days.
Imagine a food-safe, animal-safe, plant-safe, environmentally safe cleaning and sanitizing solution that can be used on literally any surface imaginable.
And now imagine cost savings of up to 80% on the chemicals you currently use to clean your facilities!
Join the clean cleaning movement
SAO is currently being used by restaurants and food facilities such as McDonald’s, Dominos Pizza, Campbell’s, and Pepsi Co. Companies and institutions like Stanford University, Ball State University, Microsoft, Google, and more. More schools, hotels, hospitals, public facilities and businesses large and small are joining the clean cleaning revolution every day.
You shouldn’t have to compromise your health to maintain a clean and sanitized space.
Save money, save people and save the planet. BeSafe with Tersano.
If you’d like to learn more about these incredible sanitizing machines and what it can do for your business, contact us today at BeSafe to find out how you can put the natural sanitizing properties of ozone to work in your facilities today.