Monday, September 27, 2021
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CHEMICAL USE DURING COVID-19

Introduction

It has been almost a year since the COVID-19 pandemic has become rampant throughout the world, killing almost 3 million humans.  As we know, COVID-19 started in Wuhan city, Republic of China, in the early half of 2020.

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Although this pandemic is seen by the World Health Organization as a public health emergency, we must still take care of ourselves.  We can do this by properly cleansing and sanitizing our environment.

Cleaning is defined as removing physical particles; and sanitizing refers to the use of chemicals to kill microorganisms such as germs and bacteria from surfaces, as it is necessary for continual cleaning and sanitizing during this pandemic.

Thus, this article will provide how to properly use chemicals and some hazards that chemicals may encounter during usage.

Read Labels

It is very important to read all labels before use to ascertain correct usage such as mixing, diluting, and proper administration.

All chemicals are well-packaged and well-labeled for usage.  Ensure that the instructions are in a language that can be easily read such as your native language, e.g. English.  Reading helps the user to know what should be done in case of poisoning and ingestion; as well as what can be used to counter chemical poisoning.

Once chemicals are being used in different bottles or instruments, they must be properly labeled as to not cause confusion, for example, using bleach in food-grade containers and spray cans should be properly labeled to prevent accidents or injury to others who may not know that the content s hazardous chemicals.

It is very important to understand symbols on chemicals and what they mean.  Some of these may be indicated flammable, toxic, to name a few. These are called hazmat symbols and every chemical must indicate at least one on its labeling.

Mixing Chemicals

In our small island culture, we think that mixing Clorox and disinfectant such as Lysol increases the concentration but it does not.  Mixing chemicals produces ammonia in a raw concentrated form that can cause a detrimental or deleterious effect on an individual’s health as well as on the environment. This action is not recommended unless it is stated on the labeling or gives instruction to do so.

Storage

Chemicals must be stored away from children’s reach and usage, as children love to pick up stuff and drink (ingest).   They must be stored on high surfaces or locked away from children.

Also, proper storage temperature is important, whether at room temperature or in a controlled temperate environment.  More importantly, chemicals must be stored away from food or food preparation environment as this can cause chemical contamination such as the food may smell, taste, or laced with bleach or such.

Frequency

During COVID-19 times, it is especially important that cleaning with a disinfectant, such as bleach, or a chemical, such as Clorox, be used after doing anything on all contact surfaces, such as counters, and aluminum or metal surfaces as they absorb bacteria over long periods. 

Hand sanitizers, which should be 70% alcohol-based, should be used when soap and water are not readily available.  Hands should be wash properly singing the ‘the birthday song’ for 20 (twenty seconds).

Wear Proper Personal Protection Gears

It’s very important to protect oneself during the use of a chemical, as these may affect your skin, eyes, and hair. The use of correct equipment for the chemicals is advised, as some have been seen using improper equipment such as latex gloves for highly concentrated or toxic chemicals. Also, hairnet, overalls, water boots, will prevent chemicals from absorbing through materials and damaging the skin.

Conclusion

In conclusion, chemical use is very important in this pandemic as it helps to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.  Some of these may include, knowing the appropriate chemical for its correct use, wearing hairnets and aprons, not mixing chemicals, to name a few.

Your safety is important and so is everyone else’s.

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