WHY RESTORATION PROFESSIONALS SHOULD AVOID USING BLEACH
There are many situations in which restoration professionals may think that use of bleach as a cleaner/sanitizer is effective. Indeed, there are certain restoration projects, such as sewage backflows, floods, and even mold remediation, where individuals have been taught to use bleach as part of their restoration protocol. This history is supported by continuing references in publications put out by numerous organizations including the EPA, American Red Cross, Salvation Army and others. The use of bleach as a “disinfectant” seemed to reach new heights over the past few months as semi-truckloads of the chemical were donated for disaster relief efforts in the Gulf states following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Despite this surge in bleach use for restoration of water-damaged and mold-impacted environments, I have one thing to say about the situation: Professional restoration contractors should not be using bleach for cleaning, sanitizing, or disinfecting surfaces! Of course this opinion comes with a few caveats: I do not have any financial or management interest in a chemical company that manufactures bleach or alternative chemical products. I have never been seriously injured by bleach in a personal or industrial accident. I use bleach for my laundry and a bleach derivative for sanitizing my swimming pool water.
So the question that is obvious is, Why is this environmental engineer so adamant about contractors not using bleach? The answer is related to both practical and legal implications for restoration professionals.