The longer we battle COVID-19 the more we are learning about it from prevention, disinfectant, and treatment standpoint. From the onset, there has been a lot of confusion over products that will kill the virus on surfaces, approved hand sanitizers, and various preventive measures. Separating myth from fact and science is very important with any type of pandemic or virus.

The EPA and the CDC have both released updated guidance protocols to help businesses, manufacturing, schools, churches, and families disinfect their facilities and homes. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler notes that “these cleaning and disinfectant protocols will help incur the health and safety of everyone in our homes, schools, offices, and businesses.”

The best way to see if your cleaning/disinfection product is approved for COVID-19/SARS/CoV-2 is to go to EPA Covid-19 and enter the “EPA Reg.” number on the product you want to know about. It’s important to remember that these products are not for human consumption or ingestion, but are recognized as products that will kill the virus/bug that causes Covid-19 on surfaces, not humans, pets and other animals.

Cleaning v.s. Disinfecting

Not all disinfectant products clean and not all household/commercial cleaning products will disinfect. Surfaces need to be cleaned and disinfected. Dirty surfaces once disinfected can be a return breeding ground for all kinds of viruses, mold, etc. The EPA has established guidelines for the proper way to disinfect and clean here. Both tT\he CDC and EPA encourage everyone (business, schools, in the home, etc.) to develop a plan for cleaning and disinfecting. Once you develop a plan stick to it and make sure you are using the products per the label instructions. Wearing gloves, masks, and eye protection. Update your plan as necessary.

Not So Safe Hand Sanitizer

Recently the FDA ruled on several hand sanitizers that contain potential harmful and cancer-causing agents such as methanol. Make sure your hand sanitizer at home, work and in public is 60% ethanol/ethyl alcohol. To get a list of the brands you should not use go here.

If your company is using an environmental services provider to clean and disinfect make sure you have their scope of work and plan in writing. Ask the types of products, their intended schedule, safety protocols, downtime to provide services, and when the rooms, buildings, equipment, etc. can be used upon cleaning and sanitizing. For example, a room or surface where a confirmed Covid-19 case has inhabited has different timetables and protocols for cleaning, disinfecting, and how soon it can be re-occupied, or used again. Professional services want their clients to know exactly what they are doing and the full scope of work.

The CDC and EPA are still recommending:

  • Reduce your exposure to Covid-19 as much as possible
  • Report any suspected exposure whether family, friends or in the workplace
  • Practice thorough hand-washing
  • Social distance 6’ minimum
  • Wear a mask outside of your home in public, work school, etc.

Pinnacle Environmental Services, Inc., is an environmental services company focused on customer service and compliance. We provide a diverse portfolio of services including but not limited to hazardous and non-hazardous waste recovery, solid waste disposal and recycling, e-waste, chemical recycling, waste audits, recycling, and total waste plans that have the goal of zero landfills. Our primary goal during the pandemic is to provide safe workspaces, materials, and supplies for our team and customers.

Mike Watts, President
Pinnacle Environmental Services, Inc.

Many people do not understand the different types of waste designated through the Environmental Protection Agency. Hazardous and Non-Hazardous waste has very specific handling and removal regulations.

Solid waste includes garbage, trash, wastewater treatment, and water supply treatment facility sludge, and air pollution control facility waste. It also includes discarded material whether solid, liquid, or semi-solid, and gases that come from industrial, agricultural, mining, and commercial applications. Solid waste can be broken down into two categories: Municipal Solid Waste which is your garbage; and Industrial Waste which is produced by manufacturing, industrial, and production sources. Solid waste can be hazardous, or non-hazardous.

Hazardous waste is waste that is dangerous for the environment and public health. Hazardous waste can be liquid, gas, solid, sludge, chemical, and other byproducts from commercial, industrial, and manufacturing companies.

The EPA breaks hazardous waste into different categories or lists. There are four: F-list, K-list, P-list and the U-list. F and K list apply to manufacture and industrial processes. F-list wastes are from non-specific sources. They include wastes from solvents, metal finishing, electroplating, dioxins, wood preservation, wastewater sludge from petroleum refinery wastewater, and multisource leachates.

The K-list is waste from specific manufacturing and industrial sources. There are 13 categories that run the gamut from explosives, petroleum refining, iron and steel production, coke from coal mining, aluminum production, pesticide manufacturing, and more. Both the F and K lists have assigned EPA hazard codes for the specific waste on each list. They are:

T- Toxic Waste
H- Acute Hazardous Waste
I- Ignitable Waste
C- Corrosive Waste
R- Reactive Waste
E- Toxicity Characteristic Waste

P and U lists waste is related to specific chemicals that are unused pure and commercial grade formulations. To be on both lists the wastes have to conform to three characteristics:

  1. It must contain one of the chemicals listed on either the P or U list.
  2. The chemical in the waste must be unused;
  3. It must be in the form of a commercial chemical product.

The EPA designates a commercial chemical product for both lists as a chemical that is either 100% pure, technical/commercial grade, or the sole active ingredient in the chemical formation.

Handling, storing, moving, and disposing of all waste whether hazardous or non-hazardous is serious for the sake of our environment and public health. Thanks to education, research, and regulations for public health the safe removal, transport, and disposal of this kind of waste has vastly improved. Having an environmental services partner certified, licensed, and trained in hazardous and non-hazardous waste is critical to any production, manufacturing, industrial, and commercial services.

At Pinnacle Environmental Services Inc., our goal is a zero-landfill waste. We are vigilant in our pursuit of reducing carbon footprints, effective waste stream management, and recycling for the environment and our customers. We are committed to helping our customers save money, reduce waste, recycle, and properly dispose of other forms of waste into renewable energy and other forms. Our services are personalized with a custom-designed plan for your business, or organization. Our comprehensive audit not only helps reduce waste-and its cost to your operations- but it also identifies the optimal disposal and recycling options for all that remains.

Mike Watts, President
Pinnacle Environmental Services,