We don't need to tell you not to inject, ingest, and inhale disinfectants (and please don't), but do you know what disinfectant products are incompatible with one another? There are a plethora of products out there and even inadvertent mixing can have toxic consequences. For the chemistry behind these reactions, check out this recent article from Chemistry World. Some of the most common disinfectant combinations that can cause toxic reactions are:
- Bleach and ammonia can form toxic and corrosive chloramines.
- Bleach and alcohols can form chloroform.
- Bleach and acid-based cleaners can liberate excess chlorine gas.
Always read the product label before use and if you are uncertain of the compatibility of chemicals, keep them separate. If a small chemical reaction occurs, which may be evident by hissing, bubbling, heat, vapor, and excessive odor, dilute with copious amounts of water, increase ventilation as best as possible, and seek fresh air. Wait until visible signs of the reaction have ceased before attempting to dispose of (typically down the drain). If the spill is large or concentrated, increase ventilation and immediately evacuate the area and call emergency services.
All UW Medicine staff/faculty who work in buildings with any clinical activity will receive a procedure mask that they must wear while on the premises and within 6 feet of another person. All UW Medicine staff/faculty who are working only in buildings with no clinical activity are expected to wear, at a minimum, a cloth face covering or a personal mask, as recommended by the CDC, while on-premises and within 6 feet of another person. A procedure mask supplied by the hospital or clinic can substitute for a cloth face cover. Staff and faculty can remove their masks or face cover when there is a low likelihood of another person being within 6 feet of them. For example, a mask can be removed for lunch or breaks, or while working at a desk, as long as at least 6 feet away from another person. Given the very high likelihood of coming within 6 feet of another person, it is expected that all staff and faculty will wear a mask or face cover in hallways, elevators, and other common spaces.
Remember to observe 6 feet distancing at all times. When riding SLU elevators - strive to have only 1-2 people in the space at one time. It really only takes a few minutes to wait for another elevator. Space yourself out in the desk areas - if anyone needs help finding space on the 6 or 7th CERID floors, please let Lynn Barrett know. Adequately clean all areas after use, especially any shared spaces, desks, or otherwise.