Eight in 10 Americans are confident in the ability of cleaning products to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but many don't follow the recommended disinfection procedures, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos for the American Cleaning Institute. Only 42% of respondents respect the contact time indicated by the disinfectant's label or let the product air dry.
To reduce the spread of the coronavirus, clean your car's steering wheel, door handles, gear shift and other germ hot spots using a disinfectant spray or wipes, and make sure to use the appropriate type of cleaner for upholstery, says the American Cleaning Institute's Brian Sansoni. "Folks being picked up by ride sharing services can bring along a hand sanitizer or hand wipes if they're worried about touching too many surfaces," Sansoni recommends.
Change your clothes and wash your hands immediately after entering the house as they can be a vehicle for the coronavirus to spread, health and cleaning experts say. Pay particular attention to frequently touched surfaces, but make sure to clean before disinfecting and leave the disinfectant on the target surface as long as the product label recommends, says Brian Sansoni of the American Cleaning Institute.
The American Cleaning Institute is looking to work with state lawmakers to develop uniform ingredient transparency rules, while helping member companies navigate the complex regulatory landscape, said Douglas Troutman, ACI's general counsel and senior vice president of government affairs. "Ultimately, ingredient transparency and regulation will be best resolved at the Federal level and ACI continues to advocate for common sense ingredient transparency policies federally," Troutman added.
Chemical manufacturers, including Ecolab and Dow, are doing their best to keep the supplies needed for combating the coronavirus flowing, while ensuring operational safety and maintaining liquidity. Ecolab has seen demand spike for hand sanitizers, hand care products and hard surface sanitizers, and chairman and CEO Douglas Baker expects the coronavirus pandemic to create a "new normal" where "hygiene, antimicrobial, and [environmental, social, and governance] ESG knowhow will matter even more."
Washing hands with clean water is the ideal way to prevent infections from pathogens, but hauling it to communities in less developed countries that lack access can be costly and unsustainable, aid groups say. Small-scale innovations such as public handwashing stations, introduced in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak, have proven to be affordable and effective solutions, and when clean water is not readily available, washing hands with soap and non-potable water is better than not doing it at all.
Global demand for chemicals will likely continue to fall in April but may return to normal in the second half of the year, says Kevin Swift of the American Chemistry Council, adding that economic changes that normally take place over months are happening in days. A slowdown in automotive manufacturing is weakening demand for related chemicals and, separately, Methanex has pushed back a $500 million investment in a Louisiana methanol project by at least 18 months.
The Environmental Protection Agency, American Chemistry Council and other industry groups have filed briefs with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking it to refuse a request that would stay the EPA's Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act rule for six months. The questions raised by the petitioners don't warrant a delay, says the EPA.
The fourth and possibly final draft of a rule that would create a national chemical policy in India is improved in that it states the Steering Committee will gather industry input before restricting substances or adding them to a list requiring registration, but more work is needed, says the American Chemistry Council.
3M is already producing more than 100 million N95 masks per month worldwide and has set a goal to increase monthly production in the US from 35 million to 50 million masks by June, but demand continues to outpace supply, says CEO Mike Roman. In an effort to keep pace with demand, 3M and sterilization companies are also working on ways to sanitize and reuse masks already in use.
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