Spraying Chemicals for Disinfection
By Doug Collins, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Bucknell University (@EarthMechanic) We have known for nearly a century that ‘germs’ (viruses, bacteria, and other microbes) are the causes of infectious disease. Most of the diseases that we worry about on a regular basis can be slowed or stopped by washing our hands, cleaning surfaces, and staying […]
Disinfectants and COVID-19
By: Delphine Farmer (@ChemDelphine) and Marina Vance (@marinavance) With growing concerns over Coronavirus, more people are turning to the power of disinfectants to clean surfaces – and that is giving rise to a new set of indoor chemistry. While ordinary soap is surprisingly effective at breaking down the Coronavirus, bleach, alcohol, and ammonia are all […]
Bleach cleaning: indoor emissions, chemistry, and impacts on air quality
By Jimmy Mattila, a graduate student in the Farmer Group at Colorado State University (Twitter: @JimmyMattila) Bleach, an aqueous solution consisting of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and other oxidizers/surfactants, is a commonly used cleaning product in household and workplace environments. The efficacy of bleach stems from its potent antimicrobial and oxidizing properties. Bleach cleaning emits […]
New particle formation in the indoor environment
The presence of particles suspended in air is associated with negative health effects, including respiratory and cardiovascular issues. While some particles are emitted directly to the air from a source, such as from combustion, formation of new particles through atmospheric chemical reactions is less obvious to the casual citizen.
Indoor Ammonia: It’s all about that base
Since ammonia concentrations are much higher indoors than outdoors, there must be indoor sources which emit ammonia. We know that ammonia is emitted from cleaning products, building materials, tobacco smoke, cooking activities, and humans (through exhaled breath and sweat).
Cleaning floors with bleach significantly alters indoor air chemistry
“When we wash with bleach, the oxidation occurs not only on the surface we are washing but everywhere else too”. Carslaw agrees, adding that bleach washing produces a much “wider group of chemicals than previously thought”, and that “chemists need to work much more closely with toxicologists” in order to determine the health impacts of the resulting, chemically-altered air.