Robert Scott offers alternative to chemical cleaning as new research reveals long-term health effects

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A recent study published by Norway's University of Bergen has found that regular exposure to cleaning products significantly affects lung function. The study of 6,000 people is the first long-term research into the effects of cleaning chemical use. Adults in the study, published in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, were followed for more than 20 years. Their lung function was measured by looking at how much air people could forcibly breath out – the amount declined more over the years in women who cleaned at home (4.3 ml per year) and women who worked as cleaners (7.1 ml per year).

The authors suggest the chemicals in cleaning products irritate the mucous membranes that line the airways of the lungs, causing long-term damage. The effects were also found to be more severe among women than men.

Prof Cecile Svanes, who led the research, said: "We feared that such chemicals, by steadily causing a little damage to the airways day after day, year after year, might accelerate the rate of lung function decline that occurs with age.”

In light of the research, the cleaning industry needs to think seriously about sustainable alternatives that are less harmful to the health of end users and the wider environment.

Steve Courtney is the product specialist for Robert Scott’s Toucan Eco disinfecting and cleaning system, which has been developed to offer customers a product that significantly reduces the use of traditional cleaning chemicals, while also providing a cost-effective and more environmentally sustainable cleaning alternative by drastically reducing plastic waste produced by chemical containers and packaging.
 “It’s no secret that our industry is experiencing a green revolution, with new products and materials coming to market designed to reduce plastic waste and lessen the impact on the environment. We also need to address the public’s growing concerns around the use of harsh chemicals in cleaning, which will only be increased by this evidence-based research being into the long-term effects of chemical use,” Steve explains.
So, how does it work?  
The Toucan Eco system uses electrochemical activation (ECA) technology – the most effective, money-saving and environmentally-friendly disinfectant and cleaning alternative to synthetic chemicals currently on the market.

It has only two components – water (straight from the tap) and table salt (sodium chloride), which is dissolved in the water. The components are activated using a form of electrolysis whereby a small electrical current is applied to the solution using a specialised electrolysis cell. This produces hypochlorous acid, which is a powerful and safe disinfectant, and sodium hypochlorite solution, an effective cleaning agent. Together, they create a powerful, naturally-occurring disinfectant, cleaner and sanitiser that’s safe, non-toxic, non-allergenic, environmentally friendly and low cost.

The Robert Scott Toucan Eco system
Toucan is our electrochemical activation eco disinfectant and cleaning system, and it comes in two wall-mounted units depending on the size of your facility. There’s also a worktop model for small or domestic areas.

Toucan Eco Active (100520) is ideal for small to medium-sized facilities. One single activation will produce 10 litres of disinfectant and cleaning solution equivalent of around 16 x 600ml spray bottles. The system includes a generator, 10 litre tank, brine salt dispenser, discharge tap and shelf.

Toucan Eco Active Plus (100521) is designed for use in medium to larger facilities where on-site generation of disinfectant and cleaner solution offers greater cost, environmental and operational benefits to facilities management and their clients. It is supplied with a programmable generator, 25 litre tank, brine salt dispenser, container and discharge tap.

Toucan Eco III (104004) is designed for small facilities. The kit includes a worktop activation unit, 1 litre container, measuring spoon, mixing rod, spray bottle and some salt to get you started.

What are the benefits of Toucan Eco?
Think of Toucan Eco as a multi-purpose disinfectant and cleaner suitable for the vast majority of your daily applications.
The solution is great for use in busy environments which demand a quick, effective cleaning regime such as schools, offices, hotels, restaurants and clinics, but especially where green credentials are important. Or where harsh cleaning products aren’t suitable for the environment or those using it.

What will it cost?
As well as its benefits to the environment our Toucan Eco range is designed to be a more cost-effective disinfectant and cleaning solution for your business.

While it does require a certain amount of capital expenditure upfront, once installed the only consumables needed to generate unlimited quantities of the solution are salt, water and minimum electricity.

The cost of production of the activated salt water solution is incredibly low –  around 750g of ordinary table salt making around 375 litres of cleaning solution. And the system is also virtually maintenance-free and requires no specialist skills to operate. Plus, with no COSHH requirements or costly health and safety training, Toucan Eco is both a sustainable and simple choice.

Where it’s used
The technology is mainstream in many industries and it’s used for general disinfecting and cleaning tasks, disinfecting drinking water, combatting Legionella and other bacteria in water supplies, it’s even used on cut flowers and fresh foods such as salads and vegetables to prolong shelf life – it’s that safe!

Research by EU accredited independent laboratories and universities have also shown it is highly effective against all types of bacteria, viruses, cysts, protozoa, algae and spores, eliminating all forms of microorganisms in water supplies, on work surfaces, fabrics and materials. What’s even more impressive, the solution kills up to 99.999% of microorganisms, including pathogens, with a very fast contact time and virtually no regrowth.

A revolutionary product for the cleaning industry
To summarise, Robert Scott’s Toucan Eco system is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly disinfectant and cleaning solution, that can make significant contributions to your company’s CSR credentials and targets.

As a wider benefit to the environment, the Toucan Eco system drastically reduces plastic waste by removing the need for chemicals and, in turn, the excess plastic waste produced by product packaging.

As a chemical alternative, it’s not only fast-acting and economical, it is also non-harmful with a pH of between 8.2 and 8.7. It’s ideal for multi-surface application and works extremely well with microfibre and can be used to wipe, rinse, spray and mop.

For more information on Robert Scott’s Toucan Eco system please contact Steve Courtney, business development manager, by email to stevec@robert-scott.co.uk or call 07423 436842, and we’d be happy to arrange a site visit.



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