The Costs of Chemical-Based Disinfection are too High. We Can Do Better.

By Kevin Samy, Government Affairs Lead at R-Zero
February 25, 2021

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring issued a stern warn­ing against neglect­ing the immense risks of haz­ardous chem­i­cals use, espe­cial­ly in pesticides.

Her book helped encour­age pol­i­cy­mak­ers to take a hard look at the wide­spread appli­ca­tion of DDT, a harm­ful pes­ti­cide, adding fuel to a bur­geon­ing envi­ron­men­tal move­ment that result­ed in his­toric laws and the cre­ation of the US Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA).

From 2014 to 2015, I spent time as a senior advi­sor to the head of the EPA. Not many peo­ple real­ize that the chem­i­cals we use to dis­in­fect our spaces — usage of which has dra­mat­i­cal­ly increased dur­ing this pan­dem­ic — haven’t changed for gen­er­a­tions, and nei­ther has the risk that comes with them. In fact, those chem­i­cals are reg­u­lat­ed by, you guessed it, The Office of Pes­ti­cide Pro­grams at the EPA.

Don’t get me wrong, if used prop­er­ly and care­ful­ly, chem­i­cal-based dis­in­fec­tion can lessen cer­tain health risks — but not with­out bring­ing about risks of its own.

We don’t have to accept those risks as the norm. We don’t have to rely on haz­ardous chem­i­cals to dis­in­fect our class­rooms, offices, or gyms. We can do better.

To read more please vis­it rze​ro​.com