Let’s face it, reading labels is probably low on our list of exciting things to do, but I bet we ALL have at least one example of when we wished WE had read the label or someone we know (or knew) had read the label. For example, I wish my husband (then boyfriend) had read the label on one of my favorite sweaters. It was wool. Wool is not meant to be put in the washing machine...or dryer. The end result was a sweater small enough to fit on a Cabbage Patch Doll. Then there was the time I brought a number of heat and serve items to work for people to enjoy for their snack or lunch. The instructions CLEARLY stated to remove the wrapper before putting into the microwave. Someone ignored those instructions. The sandwich caught on fire, the microwave died and I no longer bring such items into work to share.......
When it comes to cleaning and disinfectant products reading the label and following instructions is vital. Here are my top 4 reasons to read the label and follow instructions:
4. YOU CAN SAVE MONEY. All cleaning and disinfectant products are designed to be used in a specific way. For concentrates in particular, following the dilution instructions and using automated dilution systems is an easy way to ensure the products are diluted correctly and use only the amount of concentrate that is needed.
3. YOU CAN PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT. Understanding how cleaning and disinfectant products should be disposed is vital to their safe use. Many chemicals can be disposed of down the drain and will biodegrade once entering our sewer systems, however a number of chemicals that are used in cleaning and disinfecting products are not able to biodegrade and can cause toxic bi-products or bioaccumulate in the environment which can lead to serious health risks to people, animals and our planet. Ensuring you know how to dispose products safely is a must.
2. YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF. Labels provide detailed information on how they should be handled and not all products are created equal. Some chemicals are known carcinogens while others can cause irreversible eye damage or lead to the development of occupational asthma. Ensuring you know what products you are using and what PPE (personal protective equipment) needs to be worn will ensure that you can protect yourself and safely use the products.
1. YOU CAN SAVE LIVES. The reason disinfectants are used is to kill bugs. But to do so, the product needs to be used correctly meaning you need to apply the product to the surface and ensure that surface stays wet for the contact time listed on the label. If you do not know the contact time of your product, that’s a problem. If you know the contact time, but do not use the product in a manner to ensure the contact time is met you run the risk of leaving pathogens behind on the surface which can infect or even worse, kill someone.
If you’re still trying to put some events together for International Infection Prevention Week, why don’t you create a “Can You Read the Label” game? The caveat to winning of course, is once the contestant has read the label they then use the product correctly!