đź’ˇ Discover the Truth About Your Disinfection Product

Leaving March and heading into April, I can’t help be reminded of what life was like just a short four years ago.  The health concerns of the pandemic was only one part of the stresses myself and many other small Business owners were facing. Life as we knew it would never be the same….and it hasn’t been.

I started a new podcast this month with a commitment to myself to begin slowly until I was in the zone and comfortable enough to begin with guest. I don’t have planned ahead episodes. I decided since my podcast are not going to be scripted, I would discuss whatever moved me at the moment. Episode 2, just released, I talk about Infection Prevention .

I share something with you in my podcast which I don’t talk about a lot. In fact, hardly at all. However, Infection Prevention is such an important topic, I felt it was time. I’ve had discussions with Technicians whom are surprised at what is required. They have no knowledge of the products they are using and….they are not doing what they need to do to keep themselves safe and their clients.

It is amazing to me at how many think they are an authority on this topic…when they really are not.

I want to begin by saying, this is not made up information in an effort to sell product. You hear me talk/write about changing the image of our Industry. THAT is what this article is all about. If we truly want to change our image and become an essential industry….we have to get our facts straight on sanitation.

Sanitation you say? Most don’t even know what sanitation means.

Sanitation is inclusive of Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization.

You can listen to my podcast to get a more detailed conversation on the subject of sanitation. However, what I want to cover here today are the “what most people do not know”.

  • Most Salons/Technicians buy a product because of what others use, not because they did their own research
  • Most don’t understand the ingredients in many of our products are cancer causing VOC’s which affect the health of yourself and your clients every day
  • Most don’t understand when you mix a product with water, it dilutes it’s efficacy
  • Most don’t know what contact time is
  • Most don’t understand efficacy time
  • Most will purchase due to price

It really is amazing and mind boggling to me how some of our Mfg’s saturate our markets even though their products are carcinogenic and their efficacy rate is poor. Yet, our Technicians are proud to say they are “certified” in sanitation by some of these brands.

When in fact, these brands are taking advantage of #1 their name recognition #2 the (innocent) ignorance of our Technicians.

As I was planning in my head what I was going to write about today, I’m watching our morning news and a segment came up about the dangers of quats in our household products. Not only in our household products, in disinfection products used widely in our Salons.     What is a quat?

Quats, know as Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs) are a type of chemical that is used to kill bacteria, viruses, and mold.

QAC’s have many names….just to name a few;

  • Alkyl trimethyl ammonium chloride
  • Cetyl trimethyl ammonium chloride
  • Cetylpyridinium chloride
  • Benzethonium chloride

QAC’s are no longer used in hospitals. Why?  There are no advantage to quats…however, there are several downsides. In addition to harming germs, quats are lung irritants and can contribute to asthma and other breathing problems. They irritate skin as well – and can lead to rashes.

They can cause significant toxicity when ingested, inhaled, or absorbed in large amounts. Severe QAC toxicity can induce acute hepatic, respiratory, or renal failure, cardiovascular collapse, seizures, coma, and death.
In short, if you are servicing a Cancer client or anyone with immune compromised health conditions, diabetics, those with allergies and sensitivities…..you should NOT be using products which contain QAC’s.

In fact, through our Oncology in the Pedicure room class, we have a segment we discuss in detail pertaining to ingredients. We teach what to look for and how to look for ingredients which may be compromising to our health.

As I was searching the topic of QAC’S in our local news, I ran across an article pertaining to hair straightening products. The articles shared health issues which occurred due to a product which was being applied to a Salon client.

The woman in the article had no previous health issues when she sought medical help. She suffered from vomiting, fever, diarrhea and back pain when she approached the doctor. “Each episode of acute kidney injury had coincided with a hair treatment at the same salon on the day the symptoms began”. “The patient reported a burning sensation during each procedure, followed by scalp ulcers.”

Upon examination, medical staff found that her blood tested positive for increased plasma creatinine levels. Plasma creatinine is a waste product that comes from muscles – when it enters the blood, it is filtered out by kidneys. When the woman went to the salon, the hairstylist would apply a cream on her hair that contained 10% glyoxylic acid. That chemical is what researchers believe caused the kidney damage. “These results provide evidence that hair-straightening cream containing glyoxylic acid is responsible for calcium oxalate–induced nephropathy after hair-straightening procedures. “Glyoxylic acid was patented and introduced recently in hair-straightening products as a seemingly safer alternative to formulations containing formaldehyde.”

In 2022, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study suggested that chemical in specifically hair straightening products, may increase women’s risk of uterine cancer.

Sadly, it isn’t just our hair straightening products. It’s sanitation products, nail products, foot care products, skin care products etc. The truth is…..we have to be aware of the ingredients in the brands we are using. Know what the ingredients are. Know what % of those ingredients will affect the health of you or your client. And most important, know which ingredients to stay away from.

Another little tidbit many don’t realize is when you mix a product with water, it dilutes its efficacy. In addition, are you 100% sure the mix is 100% accurate all the time? The tiniest error in measuring can render your disinfection solution to be ineffective.

Contact time is another important piece of the disinfection puzzle our Technicians don’t realize. You can’t just spray and wipe or submerge and rinse, contact time is the amount of time the Mfg. claims its product will do the job it needs to do to kill bacteria.  Most disinfection products are 5-10 minutes. Do you know yours?

Replacement time is also another very important factor that I would venture to say “most” salons ignore. The most popular brand MUST be replaced on a daily basis. Are you doing this? Chances are…..no!

The cold hard fact is understanding the cost to survive these days has risen tremendously, I do not and never will understand how cost can even be a factor in making sure we properly sanitize our Salons.

Tons of information to share. It might be worth listening to my podcast and even investing in our Infection Prevention manual. I guarantee you, the information shared can be life saving.

sa’SHA your way to success podcast

Episode 1

Episode 2

CJ Murray, President

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