Travel Confidently - Part 3

The Science of Clean

The other essential piece of effectively reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is introducing new cleaning practices and technologies in the hotels, guided by Ecolab, a global leader in providing sanitation, hygiene and infectious disease solutions in healthcare and hospitality environments.

“Ecolab works hard to make sure that we understand and are on top of the risks that are out there [that] can impact people’s health, be they in a hospital environment or a hotel environment,” says, Dr. Ruth Petran, a senior corporate scientist at Ecolab who also sits on the Marriott Cleanliness Council.

Ecolab scientists and chemists are at the forefront of examining the behavior of a virus — its biology, how it has evolved, how it’s transmitted — to better understand how to kill it though chemistry, and then designing the appropriate chemical product and cleaning protocols for hospitals or hotels.

“For instance, it might be [protocols] we bring over into the hotel space … like color-coding our cleaning products and marrying that with the appropriate color cleaning cloth for cleaning specific surfaces to make it as foolproof as possible,” Dr. Petran says. “Using products at the right concentration to be effective while avoiding any risk to the person using them.”

Because the COVID-19 virus is new, Ecolab didn’t initially have products that they could say definitively killed the virus, which presented a challenge.

“But when we quickly learned that this was a coronavirus, we could learn from what we know about them in that they are among the easier-to-kill viruses, which is good from a disinfectant standpoint,” Dr. Petran says. “It allowed for regulatory bodies like the EPA to allow bridged claims, so if you could show that your product has efficacy against a harder-to-kill virus like norovirus, then it would be effective against a virus that causes COVID-19. It was relatively easy to identify effective products from there.”

Continued (Part 4)