Just like cleaning your kitchen after cooking a delicious meal is essential, laboratory workspaces need to be cleaned between each use, which is a critical factor in the lab world.
New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been issued to help laboratories understand how to keep their labs as clean and sanitized as possible.
However, understanding the newly updated CDC rules and regulations in regard to COVID-19 can be confusing for some, which is why we decided to put together a brief article to help lab owners throughout this process.
Below, you will learn more about cleaning and disinfecting your laboratories per the CDC COVID-19 regulations and what you should be cleaning and disinfecting, when you should be doing so, and what kind of cleaning and disinfectant products you should be using.
To learn more about how you should be disinfecting your lab to slow the spreading of COVID-19, continue reading below.
If your lab is looking for new lab furnishings, regardless of your lab environment, contact LabTech Supply Company today to learn more about how we can help.
Laboratory Cleaning/Disinfection Guidance for COVID-19 – CDC Guidelines
As lab environments begin their reopening phase, keeping your lab clean and disinfected at all times plays a significant role in keeping the workspace free from as many contaminants as possible.
To help with this matter, the CDC has developed a quick cleaning and disinfection guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The guidelines can be read below.
Step One: Develop A Plan
First, occupants will need to determine what needs to be cleaned in the laboratory. Any areas that are occupied for seven or more days will require regular cleaning.
Next, occupants will also need to determine how the laboratory areas will be cleaned and disinfected. During this step, it’s essential to consider the type of lab surfaces in your laboratory and how much of the surface will need to be cleaned regularly and prioritize the disinfection of frequently touched objects.
Lastly, consider what resources and equipment you will need upon reopening. Bear in mind the availability of cleaning and disinfectant materials and personal protective equipment (PPE) suitable for cleaners and disinfectants.
Step Two: Implement the Plan
As you begin reopening your lab space, be sure to clean all surfaces with soap and water before starting the disinfection process. Afterward, make sure that you are using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appropriate cleaning and disinfectant products.
Use only EPA-approved COVID-19 disinfectants and thoroughly read the label to ensure that it meets your lab’s needs.
Additionally, always follow the directions on the label of each product you use.
Step Three: Maintain the Plan
As your lab environment becomes occupied, it’s critical that you continue routine cleaning disinfection of the area. Regardless of how successful you may think it’s going, continue with your strategy based on sufficient disinfectant and PPE availability and make any necessary changes along the way.
Furthermore, maintain safe habits such as regular hand washing, wearing face coverings, and telling all occupants to stay home if they feel sick.
Furthermore, maintain all social distance practices, remain six feet away from others as much as possible, and reduce shared spaces and frequently touched objects.
By continuing these practices, you can reduce the potential for exposure to and slow the spread of COVID-19 within your laboratory.
What to Clean and Disinfect and When to Do it
Per CDC COVID-19 regulations, all shared lab equipment must be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use.
To help with this, you may want to consider placing a sign on each unit that still needs to be cleaned and disinfected.
In addition, be sure to also put a spray bottle of disinfectant in the laboratory unit’s vicinity and always use the proper protective clothing like rubber gloves and goggles when cleaning and disinfecting lab tools and equipment.
High contact surfaces in the lab must be cleaned and disinfected at the beginning and end of each working day, as well as halfway through the day.
Some examples of high-touch surfaces that pose a COVID-19 risk in the laboratory include the following:
- Door, drawer, and cabinet handles
- Lab tools
- Bin and water incubator lids
- Equipment controls and touchpads
- Baskets, bins, and trays
- Chairs and arm Rests
- Light switches
Laboratories may also carry out site-specific and activity-specific risk assessments to establish the most suitable safety measures in particular circumstances of COVID-19.
In addition, lab facilities should also comply with municipal policies and procedures and all relevant federal, state, and local legislation and public health guidelines.
If more staff are to return to the laboratory per COVID-19 restrictions rather than stay at their homes, additional steps will be required to ensure a safe and clean environment, an example is remaining 6 feet away from one another.
High-touch areas and equipment with a high level of handling and contact present a greater risk of contamination in the work environment and should be disinfected regularly.
As such, your lab may need to reassess current hygiene, PPE, and hand-washing procedures. Increasing the number of cleaning supplies available and distributing them throughout the laboratory can also encourage workers to clean surfaces and equipment more frequently.
Approved Disinfectants and Use to Prevent Spread of COVID 19
Because of chemicals and other hazardous materials used in labs, workstations should be well organized and disinfected regularly. The CDC recommends using a 10% solution of bleach as the standard for disinfection, but other disinfectant products may be preferred for your laboratory.
If you have certified quaternary-ammonium disinfectant or 70% ethanol wipes, use them for more sensitive lab equipment and lab activities. If you do not have disinfectant wipes, these items can be disinfected by soaking a dry wipe or washing a soft cloth in alcohol or disinfectant until it is saturated but not completely absorbed, then using it to scrub a surface.
EPA-approved disinfectants are an integral part of reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure within the workspace. While some laboratory equipment manufacturers may recommend using only specific cleaning and disinfectant products on their equipment, make sure the recommended products are effective.
Furthermore, alternative disinfectants can be used if disinfectants are in short supply but do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products as this can emit extremely toxic vapors into the air.
Safety Precautions for Cleaners
When cleaning and disinfecting any lab surface or equipment, always wear PPE with gloves and protective glasses. After you wipe the area clean, the surface should be moist, and the disinfectant should be left to evaporate from the surface. Afterward, remove the equipment and immediately wash your hands.
Because some lab equipment and lab tools may be sensitive to certain kinds of cleaning and disinfectant products, be sure to consult with the product manual for detailed public health guidelines regarding cleaning and disinfecting specialized equipment before starting the process.
Upgrade Your Laboratory with LabTech Supply Company Today
As the world continues to combat against COVID-19, labs must maintain adequate cleaning and disinfectant procedures to ensure the utmost safety.
Although understanding all of the ins and outs of the CDC COVID-19 regulations can be complicated, we hope this article helped provide some answers for your lab.
Whether you’re looking to build a new lab from the ground up or renovate an existing lab, having the right lab furniture and equipment is critical to providing a high-quality workspace for your lab staff.
At LabTech Supply Company, we have provided our customers with high-quality lab furniture and equipment for more than 30 years.
With fast and friendly customer support and quick installation, we can offer some of the industry’s best lab equipment. With each product built here in the United States, you can be sure that you are always getting the very best lab equipment available.
If you have a lab workspace that you are looking to outfit with the best lab equipment on the market, we can help you make the most of your workspace.
Contact LabTech Supply Company by calling us at 855-611-6231 today or sending us an email at email@example.com today!