An army of decontamination robots, 24-hour cleaning staff and workers who work with UV lamps is being called off because US health officials consider the risk of COVID-19 from touching surfaces ‘low’.
Schools, businesses and households collectively spent millions over the past year to intensify cleaning practices and make their spaces safer – or at least to keep them to feel safer.
It has given rise to the term ‘hygiene theater’, referring to the suspicion that most of these high-tech remediation practices are a waste of time and money, as reported by The Atlantic Ocean.
The latest update to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines confirms that the benefits of constant scrubbing and robots with disinfectants outweigh the risks of coronavirus from a contaminated surface.
CDC now does not recommend the use of high-tech sanitizers such as this book sterilizer because the risk of trapping COVID-19 off a surface is ‘low’
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky recommended using regular soap and laundry detergent to clean most surfaces unless someone with suspected or confirmed Covid has been in the room in the past 24 hours
“ Humans can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 through contact with surfaces and objects, but there is some evidence that the risk of this transmission pathway is actually low, ” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky explained at a White Paper press conference. House on Monday. .
Cleaning with household cleaners such as soap or detergents physically removes germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but reduces the risk of transmission by removing them. ‘
Disinfectants range from Clorox wipes to medical-grade UV lamps and robots that automatically use the sunlight-like radiation to kill germs, not just move them.
The pandemic saw sales of the full range of disinfectants sky rocket.
During the pandemic, airlines tested futuristic robots armed with virus-killing UV lamps
Subway systems in China (pictured) and US cities like New York deployed massive UV lighting systems to try to make their public transportation systems safer – but it could all be ‘hygiene theater,’ CDC guidance suggests
Customers bought Clorox wipes faster than supermarkets could stock them.
Clorox president Linda said during a Good Morning America segment in May that her company had seen an “unprecedented spike in wipe demand, up 500 percent from a year ago.”
A flood of disinfectant innovation brought an army of UV lights to schools and airplanes and even saw the invention of a wristband that sprays disinfectant, such as a gadget designed for a germaphobic Spider Man.
In between flights, planes were zapped with newly installed UV lamps.
And the New York City subway system saw an unprecedented nighttime shutdown, with rail cars glowing blue from the powerful decontamination systems.
But in most cases this is not necessary, especially given the peak in children ingesting dangerous chemicals during the pandemic.
Hospitals like Milford Regional Medical Center in Massachusetts implemented UV robots like this one when they returned to surgery amid the pandemic
Fearing that the virus might contaminate food, British researchers tested UV disinfection on strawberries
“Disinfection uses a chemical product, a process that kills the germs on the surfaces,” explains Dr. Walensky.
“In most situations, regular cleaning of surfaces with soap and detergent, and not necessarily disinfecting those surfaces, is sufficient to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.”
However, the CDC still recommends using disinfectants in schools or anywhere a person suspected or confirmed that they have had COVID-19.
The same goes for airlines.
CDC is now also warning against using some of the cleaning methods that became popular during the pandemic, such as electrostatic spray.
“In most cases, large area misting, decontamination or electrostatic spraying are not recommended as the primary disinfection method, and there are several safety concerns to consider,” said Dr. Walensky.
Many of these cleaners contain chemicals that are highly toxic to humans.
In most rooms, someone in the room is more likely to inhale the harmful chemicals than someone has contaminated the room with COVID-19.