Cleaning and disinfecting to protect against bacteria and viruses is always important, but even more so this year as schools re-open for in-person learning amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and evolving Delta variant. Dr. Steve Bennett, Executive Vice President, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA), can provide insight about best practices for cleaning and disinfecting in order to stay safe and healthy as teachers, students, and parents begin their back to school preparations.
In addition to other preventative measures, including vaccination, social distancing, and frequent hand washing, cleaning and disinfecting can help decrease the spread of COVID-19 – and other viruses like the common cold. In order to be the most effective, school administrators and teachers should use disinfectant products on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) List N. These are the only products that have demonstrated efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It’s also important to use the product according to the directions on the label and keep these products stored securely and out of reach of students. When done properly, disinfecting kills 99.9 percent of harmful bacteria that live on high-touch areas and commonly touched objects, such as door handles, light switches, textbooks, desks, and chairs.
HCPA is the trade association that represents companies that make and sell cleaning and disinfecting products, including Clorox, Procter & Gamble, and Lysol. Dr. Steve Bennett is responsible for leading the Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Department at HCPA, developing science policies and positions and providing scientific guidance on issues covering HCPA’s seven Product Divisions, including antimicrobial and cleaning.
Steven Bennett leads the Scientific Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, International Affairs, and Strategic Alliances & Industry Relations functions, including Retail Engagement. Steven is responsible for leading the scientific department, developing science policies and positions, and providing scientific guidance on issues covering HCPA’s product divisions. He is currently leading HCPA’s TSCA implementation efforts and is the staff executive for the Floor Care and Pest Management Divisions. Steven serves on EPA’s prestigious Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC). Steven works with HCPA member companies on technical aspects pertaining to green chemistry, air quality, sustainability, California’s Proposition 65, and poison prevention issues. Steven serves as the Association’s primary external spokesperson on scientific, technical and sustainability issues. Prior to joining HCPA, Steven worked as a scientist and chemist for E.A. Engineering, taught several years in academia, and continues to lecture in the Environmental Science and Policy Master’s Program at Johns Hopkins University. Steven holds a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Lock Haven University (Pennsylvania).