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We begin some 50 years ago, two years after I graduated from Saint Mary's High School; I was working for Sam Drey. To appreciate the full story, I must first explain the relationship I had with Sam, and what he taught me. Working for Sam Drey was the first real job I had as an adult; as you'll recall, Sam was quite a character. Before he retired to Arizona, Sam was a 'ward healer' and 'fixer' in Chicago. His cousin was Jake Arvey, former Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party Central Committee and the Democratic Party National Committeeman for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Some sobering news. Informed thinking has, up to now, held that COVID-19 will survive, on various surfaces, two or three days at most. Thus, if one's workplace has had an exposure, you could send the employees home for several days and then safely let them return, with no disinfection needed. That seems to have changed with a new study. "The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can survive on items such as banknotes and phones for up to 28 days in cool, dark conditions, according to a study by Australia's national science agency. Researchers at CSIRO's disease preparedness centre tested the longevity... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
A note from a team member of 40-plus years standing: Robert, we have been talking lately about CBN’s culture, and how the company's culture sustains the values and virtues that shape our work, and how our work shapes who we are. As an illustration of what this means to me, let me tell you a story that a mutual friend of ours, Arthur Brodsky, told me about ten years ago. When Arthur told me this story, he said it occurred about ten years before he told it to me, so that would be about 20 years ago. Arthur said that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Ultraviolet light radiation seems at first glance to be an attractive disinfection method, particularly in a coronavirus pandemic. There are limitations to the technology, as covered in a short article from our friends at Cleaning & Maintenance Management. From the article: "The radiation must be contained in a device, such as a light box, robot, or tower. People must be cleared from the room before the device is turned on because it can be harmful to eyes and skin. Sometimes the devices need to be repositioned to eliminate “shadowing,” which blocks the UV light from touching the surface intended for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Here's a good summary, from my paper products and chemical supplier Waxie, on the correlation between green (environmentally friendly) cleaning, and pathogen control, which - surprise! - includes the coronavirus. We've cleaned for health - both improving indoor air quality and controlling pathogens - for near onto 30 years; when the industry began to focus on green cleaning, we found we had to do very little to adapt. Similarly, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we substituted, for dry dusting, fully wiping surfaces using our old standby hydrogen peroxide based sanitizer; otherwise, our ongoing procedures and equipment were exactly what industry... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Posted Sep 1, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
One of our janitorial clients, CCT Research, is currently enrolling volunteers for a COVID-19 vaccine test. I understand it's the Oxford University developed vaccine, so I tend to trust it a bit more than I might if it were from, say, Russia. I volunteered a few days ago; they are looking to start interviewing folks shortly. From our client: Please head to our website and have each person fill out their contact info and one of our recruiters will reach out!!/study/95 They're good folks, and could use the help. I figure it's something one ought to do - and,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
There's been a good deal of notice on applying ultra violet light to coronavirus (COVID-19) decontamination or disinfection. The technology does work, but one needs be quite careful to get the right wavelength (not all wavelengths are created equal, it seems) and protect any people in the area (serious damage to skin and eyes, depending on wavelength, strength and any shielding). Our good friends at Building Service Contractors Association International here provide a good analysis of the decontamination options. One other limitation to using UV radiation to kill COVID-19 is that it's line of sight (as they say, out of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
We're doing COVID-19 disinfections, and also focusing on ongoing disinfection to protect our regular janitorial clients from the novel coronavirus, so I try to keep on top of the whole field. An article on the subject in Cleaning and Maintenance Management well illustrates the dangers of drawing conclusions without considering all possibilities. The lead paragraph notes an increase in hospital acquired infections (HAI) and the suggestion that the cause might be the CDC's decision to suspend, for several months, its mandatory inspection and infection reporting program. Make sense, and should you read just the first paragraph, that might be the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Noticed a bit of media coverage on a warehouse explosion in Beirut - seems to have leveled a good part of the city. I gather the place was storing 2700 tons (that's tons, not pounds) of ammonium nitrate. It brings to mind a similar incident we experienced (thank goodness the only one, so far), some 25 years ago. I awoke in the morning to the news that one of our janitorial clients, in Phoenix's Glendale suburb, had experienced a massive warehouse explosion overnight, big enough that a quarter mile radius evacuation had been ordered. And, since we were doing the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Decontamination/Disinfection Service Our technicians are fully trained and equipped to Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Forensic Restoration protocol; we hold their certification We customize COVID-19 decontamination to protect your workforce and customers, treating all furnishings, equipment and touchpoints We utilize EPA and CDC approved, highly effective, hospital-grade disinfecting agents; our Protocol is designed to meet that of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) We can generally provide prompt service, the evening of the day we’re called<.li> In CBN, you’ll partner with a trusted and long established firm. We’ve been an active member of the Phoenix Chamber and BBB... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Given our decades old focus on cleaning for health, we've lately developed something of a focus on COVID and coronavirus decontamination - both in our ongoing commercial cleaning, and in providing quick response to both clients and the general public in event of a virus exposure in a given facility. Thus, I try to keep abreast of developments of knowledge of the virus, and of its implications. And I think a bit about it. Here's something I've not seen addressed. In Arizona, as in most jurisdictions, we approximate numbers of infected individuals, over time, by looking at the most recent... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
In between providing commercial janitorial, with an emphasis on pathogen, including COVID-19, control, and doing a good bit of specifically Coronavirus disinfection service, I'm noticing m uch less opportunity for any social and creative endeavor. There is much social interaction that we've lost in this time of lockdowns. The old 4th of July photo is of the Scottsdale Trombone Choir, which I've played in for 30-some years, and managed for a few. I've also played for years in the Salt River Brass Band, and in an amateur concert band. All the groups are on hold for the foreseeable future. Our... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
As you might expect, a business experiencing a COVID-19 coronavirus exposure most often needs to address the situation by disinfecting or decontaminating the facility at once (some refer to this as a "COVID deep clean"); one might send employees home today, but likely wants to open for business tomorrow. We've trained and equipped three service techs, and three supervisory personnel (yours truly included) for COVID-19 decontamination jobs; we can generally respond same day, after office hours. Disinfection is usually best done after hours because the client's staff, or customers, ought not inhale a large volume of the disinfectant; we setup... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
We're doing quite a few coronavirus disinfection services (often referred to as "COVID deep clean or decontamination"), both for existing clients and others. We shot a video of the procedure, to give folks a better idea of how we work and what they'd be ordering. Grab popcorn and enjoy! Here's a bit from our "Level 3 Decontamination Protocol": After Level 1 protocol is performed, CBN Technician will treat all furniture, fixtures, equipment and touchpoints with Johnson/Diversey’s quat based Virex256 spray, a hospital-grade disinfectant, and assure an ample dwell time (wet). The Virex256 spray application is designed to catch the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Something that ought be obvious, but many that folks seem not to have realized, and that much information broadcast about slowing of viral transmission is lacking, is that, when you wear a mask, be sure of a tight fit. A major (perhaps the major?) difference between the state of the art N-95 mask and a surgical mask or bandana, is that the N-95 (if fit properly to the wearer) is tightly sealed around the edges. Makes sense that if you are trying to filter air, you want to filter all air, not just some. A bandana, or any other homemade... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
It's nice that many of us are taking cleanliness and sanitation a bit more seriously these days, but a smidgeon of knowledge is a good thing as well. Here's a bit (from CMM) on a recent study of some 500 of our compatriots, and a few of their "upgrades": "Among the respondents who reported they had engaged in these high-risk cleaning product practices: 19% applied bleach to food items, including fruits and vegetables 18% used household cleaning and disinfecting products on their hands or skin 10% misted their body with a cleaning or disinfectant spray 6% inhaled vapors from household... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Quite early on in the pandemic, to better disinfect our client facilities, we transitioned from dry dusting most office surfaces to fully damp wiping with an effective viricide. The move was facilitated by our acquisition of Sphergo wiping tools (we moved early, before major shortages hit). In our crew's hands, the tool allows an even application of sanitizer, "wall to wall". It also requires a more clutter and paper free office environment than is traditional; our clients were universally helpful in "de-cluttering". This step is quite effective against viruses, and will catch most anything accessible via damp wiping. These are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Cutting edge technology for the application of disinfectant is an electrostatic process: tiny droplets are given a positive charge, so they repel one another, but are attracted to anything in contact with the earth – desks, chairs, office equipment – evenly coating sides, back and bottom, without puddling. The most effective devices are electric rather than battery; the go-to device is the Clorox360. It’s in short supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’ve acquired one. As back-up, we have a fine pump sprayer system, using Johnson/Diversey's hospital grade disinfectant, also in use (we try to allow for equipment failure,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Received a note from a janitorial client, and a long-time friend: "At the car wash, I entered the outside waiting area and slid a chair further from next to a waiting lady, giving her a courteous friendly smile. Seated - I realized and said “Oh, when I moved the chair I gave a smile. But you couldn’t see because I’m wearing a mask.” She smiled “That's okay. I could see it in your eyes.” Gee! Well, it's nice to know that friendliness still works during mask time." Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Like most everyone, our folks at CBN are doing are our best to navigate the unique health and disinfection challenges posed by COVID-19. We've had some useful "bottom up" contributions: for instance, quite early on, several of our commercial janitorial crews began misting our quat-based disinfectant onto their vehicle door handles, steering wheels and so on, on exiting each client facility, right after disposing of their gloves. Hadn't yet thought of that; ofttimes it's the fellow on the pointy end of the spear who comes up with the real world application. Our computer hardware tech, with a background in nuclear... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Many of our commercial clients are in the midst of reopening; here's where we can help. As part of our ongoing service, we wipe cleared surfaces of furniture and fixtures, as well as touchpoints, with a hydrogen peroxide based cleaner/sanitizer, being careful to allow the required dwell time; it's quite effective against viruses. A good follow up is to spray most everything with a hospital-grade disinfectant (we like Johnson/Diversey's quat based Virex256), giving ample dwell time (wet). If you are concerned about latent viruses in your facility prior to reopening, or have had one of your folks confirmed or suspected... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Personal protective equipment needs be put on properly, and removed properly, in the right order. Here's a quick video, done from a health care perspective, that teaches exactly that. Just doing commercial janitorial, we use gloves and often surgical masks, ongoing. In the many health care facilities we clean, we're a bit more paranoid, leaning toward eye protection or wrap around facemasks; likewise when addressing a biohazard clean-up (I hate those). And that's during normal times. When we're called upon to address disinfecting a facility that's experienced a COVID-19 incident, and needs a coronavirus disinfection service, we don the full... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
The Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), part of the International Sanitary Supply Association, has created an accreditation program for facilities in the midst of re-opening. "...GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program on cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. It is the industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation. GBAC STAR establishes requirements to assist facilities with work practices, protocols, procedures, and systems to control risks associated with infectious agents, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Accreditation criteria and facility applications are now available at" I've received certification in GBAC's SARS-CoV-2/COVID 19 fundamentals course, on infection control, contamination... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Reuters reports that the US government will block exports of critical medical equipment, including respirators, N95 masks, and gloves. This seems to me to be one of the most counter-productive initiatives floated in the current crisis. We import much more such equipment than we export. Much of it from China. China's move will likely be to prevent export of such items, and perhaps other stuff as well, to the US. She can direct those exports to countries most in need, including those that the US has just stiffed. Perhaps even donate the stuff, with appropriate photo ops. So the US... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet