But which one to use? And what are the right ways to apply antimicrobials? Follow these tips AND follow the label!
When applying a chemical antimicrobial or biocide, users must follow the label directions explicitly. All products labeled as antimicrobials have an EPA registration number and an approved EPA label, or, in Canada, a Health Canada registration with a Drug Identification Number. It is a violation of federal law to use these products in a way that is inconsistent with their labeling.
When using a biocide, brief the building owner and occupants first. Most antimicrobials require that the area of application be vacated by occupants and pets during application and for a period of time after application.
Make the customer aware of the product that will be used, why it is being used, and how long the structure must be vacated.
Also, obtain their signature on an informed consent form, documenting this procedure and the customer’s approval.
Finally, building owners and occupants should be provided a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) upon their request.
Many states and provinces require technicians who apply biocides to be certified applicators. Check local regulations before using biocides — they may be considered “microbial pest control.” Some states may have reciprocal agreements with other localities. When responding to a wide-scale disaster such as a storm or hurricane, check that state’s regulations to ensure proper licensing.
Most important, make sure you and your team also follow these steps to ensure proper use of antimicrobials:
1. Read the product label. 2. Use appropriate PPE. 3. Communicate with occupants. 4. Obtain consent. 5. Provide Safety Data Sheet if requested.