Quats are a powerful tool in commercial cleaning, but their use comes with an obligation to be well-informed. There are several regulations and safety measures that various agencies have put into place, as well as attempts at organizing safety strategies over the years. The EPA regulates quats as pesticides; BSCs always need to check the product label for specific instructions and ensure the product is registered with the EPA. 

Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has taken measures regarding quats. OSHA sets exposure limits for certain quats in the workplace. Employers must provide Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for quat-containing cleaning products and ensure proper training for employees on safe handling procedures. This includes: 

Read and Follow Label Instructions: Always wear recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and eye protection when using quats. 

Ventilation is Key: Ensure good ventilation when using quat-based cleaners, especially in confined spaces. 

Separate Storage: Store quat-containing products away from heat sources and incompatible chemicals. 

Training for Staff: Educate cleaning staff on the proper use, storage, and disposal of quat-based cleaning products. 

Spill Response Plan: Have a plan in place for accidental spills of quat-based cleaners to minimize exposure and environmental impact. 

When building a cleaning program from scratch, or looking to re-vamp a current strategy, be decisive when it comes to considering alternatives. For routine cleaning tasks, explore greener alternatives like microfiber cloths or natural disinfectants like citrus cleaners. 

Use methods like targeted disinfection. If it’s possible to reserve quat-based products for high-risk areas or situations requiring specific disinfection protocols, usage may be relegated to safer levels.  

Also, keep proper handling and disposal in mind. It’s the responsible thing to do — follow proper disposal guidelines for used cleaning products and empty containers, which will help reduce the exposure of certain compounds, help maintain effectiveness, and cut down on waste and byproducts. 

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Tips and Tricks for Using Quat-based Cleaners Safely