Verified: Six True/False Thoughts About Disinfecting Your Facility
By: Tom Covilli, VP Safety & Risk Management, 4M Building Solutions
Since the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 and the subsequent variants, there has been a lot of misinformation and a number of myths regarding building cleaning and disinfecting. The following addresses those myths and verifies with the “real” answers:
1. There is no such thing as a virus-free building. SOMEWHAT TRUE.
It is possible to completely decontaminate a building using a gas-based nonhazardous sterilization process. The efficacy of any decontamination service is only reliable up to the time the first SARS-CoV-2-carrying visitor enters the building.
2. There are chemicals that will vaporize a virus. SOMEWHAT TRUE.
Vaporizing a virus is marketing hype. Technically, no harm is done unless you use that information to guarantee a virus-free building. (See bullet above.)
3. There is no EPA-approved use of antimicrobials for the long-term efficacy of the product to kill viruses. SOMEWHAT TRUE.
As of April 2021, EPA-registered products with long-lasting effectiveness claims are limited to those that control odor-causing bacteria on hard, non-porous surfaces. No EPA-registered products provide long-lasting disinfection.
4. General liability insurance does not cover claims based on long-term antimicrobial warranties. TRUE.
A warranty provided by an uninsured vendor is likely worthless. Providing a warranty of long-term performance of an antimicrobial would lead underwriters to decline ensuring the vendor.
5. Insurance companies (and general liability insurance) exclude biohazards, including communicable diseases, to eliminate loss exposure. TRUE.
If the policy in force did not already have exclusions for mold, fungi, legionella, and SARS-CoV-2, updates to exclude biohazards occurred during renewals initiated since April 2020.
6. Most cleaning contractors are covered by a Contractor Pollution Liability (CPL) insurance to fill the gap in their general liability insurance. FALSE.
Obtaining a CPL policy that has an affirmative coverage grant for SARS-CoV-2 risk is extremely rare in the cleaning industry. In fact, known evidence suggests 4M Building Solutions is the sole contract cleaning company to date in the U.S. with a CPL insurance policy.
Learn More about how you can benefit from 4M’s CPL Coverage.