R-Water CEO Rayne Guest Emphasizes Urgent Need for the CDC and EPA to Revamp Disinfection Guidelines
DALLAS, Sept. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — COVID cases are surging, schools are being forced to revert to remote instruction, and healthcare-acquired infections are skyrocketing. R-Water CEO Rayne Guest has again called upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reverse their downgraded disinfection guidelines. The current guidelines were issued on April 5, 2021, the same day the CDC acknowledged that the highly contagious Delta variant had been detected in all 50 of the United States.
Last month, Guest sent the below letter to the CDC and the EPA. On August 30th, the CDC acknowledged receipt of this letter, but no action has been taken to date by either agency.
Dear Dr. Walensky and Administrator Regan:
On August 18, 2021, the White House issued the Memorandum on Ensuring a Safe Return to In-Person School for the Nation’s Children. In this memorandum it is stated that “The CDC has provided clear guidance to schools on how to adopt science-based strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19”. This is not true.
Dr. Walensky, your current guidance, originally released on April 5, 2021, is that “Disinfection is only recommended in indoor-settings, schools, and homes where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, within the last 24 hours”. This is not a proactive way to stop the pandemic, but rather a reactive measure that promotes the spread of COVID and other infectious diseases throughout our schools and communities.
Shortly after you made this public announcement on April 5, the CDC also announced that the highly contagious Delta variant had been detected in all 50 of the United States. Infections have surged.
In fact, the CDC website clearly states disinfection is critical in preventing the spread of germs and studies conducted by the CDC indicate that more than 70 percent of new COVID infections occur in those who are diligent about wearing masks. Where are we falling short? We must stop turning a blind eye to a basic preventative measure: proper disinfection.
Disinfectants have long been one of our greatest tools in the fight against infectious diseases. Dismissing the importance of disinfection during a global pandemic defies logic and science.
I urge you to issue new guidance that highlights the critical importance of proper disinfection as part of the CDC’s overall strategy in combating COVID-19, its variants, and other infectious diseases that are ravaging our communities, overburdening our hospitals, and causing unnecessary deaths.
The following are four key points that must be emphasized:
- Properly disinfecting surfaces is a critical step in preventing the spread of germs in all settings. The CDC long ago determined that without appropriate infection control actions, people spread germs from surfaces to surfaces, such as door handles, desks, shopping carts, bed rails, hands, and kitchen counters. The CDC currently states that touching our eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them is one of the three main ways COVID-19 and other pathogens are spread. Without proper disinfection, Dr. Walensky, your revised mask guidelines fall short.
- A disinfectant’s efficacy hinges on proper use. It is against Federal Law to not allow a product to sit wet for its full contact time. Most disinfectants have a 10-minute contact time, which is the amount of time a surface must remain wet for a disinfectant to be effective. “Spraying and wiping” a surface is a common, dangerous, unacceptable practice. Harmful pathogens like COVID and MRSA live on surfaces for relatively long periods of time. We touch and place our phones and masks on these surfaces, and then touch our eyes, nose, and mouth, continuing the cycle of infections. Companies that blatantly disregard contact times are putting public health at risk.
- Disinfectants are not created equal. The CDC and EPA must be transparent and proactively educate the public about the safest, most effective products available on the market. This includes adhering to the CDC’s long-recommended guidance that consumers choose a disinfectant with the shortest contact time possible. The CDC has long stated that disinfectants with a 10-minute contact time are not practical, because users simply do not keep a surface wet for that long.
- Disinfectants and cleaners that contain respiratory irritants must be eliminated. Respiratory irritants increase susceptibility to COVID and exacerbate symptoms. Disinfectants are pesticides. Consumers need to be made fully aware of the risks most disinfectants pose. Products that contain respiratory irritants must be eliminated, so that the public, including vulnerable patients, the elderly, and children, are not exposed.
I strongly urge the CDC and EPA to proactively educate the public and require proper disinfection. According to both agencies, “LIST N” disinfectants are “safe and effective” disinfectants to use against COVID. You have a moral obligation to remove impractical disinfectants with a 10-minute contact time and harmful products, including those that contain known respiratory irritants from this list.
Dr. Walensky and Administrator Regan, your swift response and subsequent recommendations are a matter of public safety.
Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this letter.
Chief Executive Officer
R-Water is committed to reducing the spread of preventable infectious diseases and unnecessary human and environmental exposure to harmful chemicals and plastic waste. The company’s patented device gives facilities the power to produce sustainable cleaning and disinfecting solutions on-site. To learn more, visit www.r-water.comor contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
RUBENSTEIN PUBLIC RELATIONS
CONTACT: MICHALA OESTEREICH 212-805-3010
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