The coronavirus has been threatening people's physical and mental health for the past few (and predictably following) months. As of March 26, 2020, there have already been over 82,000 cases in the United States. While some cities in serious situations have mandated workers to work from home, people in other areas still need to go into the office to work. People in the United States have started to take various protective measurements to keep themselves safe. Alcohol is a very commonly used weapon against the coronavirus, especially for those who must work with others in an office for long hours.
Functions of alcohol
As proved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States and many other authoritative healthcare institutions worldwide, alcohol can be used to eliminate viruses, including COVID-19, from various surfaces. When used properly, alcohol can kill over 99.9% of coronavirus within 30 minutes, making alcohol a good resource to use if you want to clean your working place.
Utilizing alcohol, people can improve the sanitation condition of their living environment as well as their working environment by killing the potential pathogens that might otherwise invade their body and cause diseases. Therefore, it's not only effective against the coronavirus, but also aids the general well-being of everyone in the office.
Choose the proper alcohol
The statement that "alcohol can kill coronavirus" is kind of misleading. As a matter of fact, only when we choose proper types of alcohol can we defeat the viruses around us. The very type of alcohol that kills COVID-19 coronavirus contains above 70% concentrate. Any type of alcohol with a concentration below 70% would not work as effectively and will leave more than 0.1% of viruses alive.
There's no restriction on what brands of alcohol to buy; however, try to purchase brand names that you recognize. If you're unsure about which type of alcohol to buy, ask the staff at your local pharmacy what they recommend.
The standard procedure to sterilize your workplace using alcohol
After you purchase the correct alcohol, you should be clear of the exact disinfecting procedure so that you can optimize its function and avoid misuse.
1. Room ventilation is key. When you use alcohol inside a room, make sure air is flowing. This way, liquid alcohol will evaporate faster, rather than accumulating on the surface of a narrow region. Moreover, flowing air helps evaporated alcohol gas spread around and kill more viruses within the space.
2. If you use a towel or anything to wipe the alcohol, you need to wash the object(s) with water so that alcohol doesn’t remain on them. After you wash them, dry them in an open space.
3. Use alcohol to clean your desk, chair, floor, and closet. You may also want to use it to clean any meeting rooms before/after conferences with your colleagues.
4. Limit use of alcohol cleaning to once per day. Too much alcohol used together creates a fire hazard.
Several tips specifically for workers in the office
If you work with others in the same office, check with your colleagues to make sure no one is allergenic; putting the well-being of your co-workers at risk is the last thing you want to be doing.
Besides that, you should inform your colleagues of the proper usage of disinfecting with alcohol. You should also communicate with your colleagues to make sure only one person uses alcohol once per day for certain sections of the office. Otherwise, the concentration of alcohol could become too intense and cause breathing problems.
Moreover, you should still wear masks even after disinfecting areas with alcohol, as alcohol only spreads to some places and not to everything you would touch in your working space.
Warnings for using alcohol
1. You should never combine alcohol with 84 disinfectant. As some scientific websites say, 84 disinfectant is also capable of killing viruses. Some people would think maybe it's best to use alcohol and 84 disinfectant together to reach the maximum function of sterilization. However, combining alcohol with 84 disinfectant is extremely dangerous, causing a drastic chemical reaction that produces chlorine gas. Breathing in a certain amount of chlorine gas results in poisoning and death.
2. Use alcohol safely. Before use, remember to set aside all combustible objects. Limit use of alcohol in more flammable rooms (i.e. the kitchen). While cooking, the temperature of pans and pots rises very high, and likewise, the temperature of the air in the kitchen rises, too. Other areas, like the surface of electronic devices and the surface of combustible woods, should also be alcohol-free. The burning point of 75% alcohol is 167 degrees Fahrenheit, so if any alcohol is accidentally used on those places, a fire would easily catch.
3. The cost of producing alcohol is cheap, so it is unlikely to become supply deficient (and therefore there is no need to hoard or stock up excessively). Given the combustibility of alcohol, storing a mass quantity would only create a higher risk than necessary.
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