At Bio-One of Colorado, we are often asked what chemicals cleanup blood, feces and other biohazards, and our team always uses our four proprietary chemicals, one of which is a tuberculocide. But one household cleaner continues to pop up in conversation as we’re often asked, “Can I use bleach to clean it up?”
Bleach, commonly known as Clorox, can be found in households across the U.S. And before we dive in too deep, we want to assure you that we also use bleach in our home! But not when we’re on the job cleaning and disinfecting biohazards. Here are three reasons why.
Bleach Loses Potency
- After only a few months of sitting on the shelf at your local grocery store or in your home (or both) the potency of bleach declines and continues to decline over time. As potency decreases, bleach takes longer to kill bacteria and viruses, meaning you might have to let bleach sit on a contaminated surface for a few minutes or longer to disinfect.
- The only way to determine potency levels is to test the chemical every few months. Our home doesn’t have the tools for this test, and - like most households - we “guestimate” an appropriate time needed for disinfection. But when it comes to biohazards, especially some of the nastier bacteria or viruses, a guess or estimate doesn’t cut it.
- This is why Bio-One uses a proprietary tuberculocide. This chemical has a long shelf-life, and works quickly and reliably to kill many pathogens, including MRSA, C-diff, and HIV, that may be in blood, vomit, fecal matter, urine, gross filth, or other bodily fluids.
Bleach is an Irritant
- Large spaces – whether public or private – such as stairwells, spacious rooms, apartments, stores and offices, need to be ready for use as soon as our work is complete. Furthermore, after a traumatic event or during an overwhelming situation, it’s critical that we use chemicals that don’t result in another problem such as eye, throat or skin irritations. This may be difficult to accomplish with bleach.
- Easily identified by the smell, bleach mist or vapors can be extremely irritating. The Clorox Company’s Safety Data Sheet on bleach states, “While not expected, heart conditions or chronic respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, or obstructive lung disease may be aggravated by exposure to high concentrations of vapor or mist.”
- In an effort to reduce harm, chemicals used by Bio-One pack a punch for blood pathogens without compromising heath from lasting irritating vapors and mist.
Bleach is for Non-Porous Surfaces Only
- That’s right! While powerful on ceramic tile, vinyl and linoleum, bleach is not suitable for porous surfaces such as marble and hardwood floors. Biohazard scenes are unpredictable, and Bio-One’s tuberculocide is key as it disinfects porous and non-porous surfaces.
All this being said, we genuinely hope you never encounter a biohazard situation. But if you do, don’t reach for the bleach. Contact Bio-One so we can safely and quickly help.