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If it’s too good to be true, it probably is

04 August 2020

As the lockdown in the UK continues to lift, organisations are under intense pressure to clean and keep clean offices, shops, and all other public spaces. The advice from the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) is to be cautious of extraordinary claims for products: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Demand for certain cleaning and hygiene products - hand and hard surface sanitisers, gloves, disposable polythene aprons, non-woven wipes - continues to far outstrip supply. However, according to the CHSA, unscrupulous profiteers are capitalising on the opportunity, some making extraordinary, false claims for products. 

Lorcan Mekitarian, chair of the CHSA warned: “We have seen some remarkable claims for products. They have included statements that cleaning once with a hard surface sanitiser will keep a surface sterile for days. It sounds exactly what businesses need, but it’s only true in laboratory conditions. In a real-life environment, as soon as someone or something touches the surface there’ll be a residue on which the coronavirus can survive.

“As we’re previously reported, there is also a marked increase in imported Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with fake or no CE marking. The CE certification mark indicates conformance with European Union directives regarding health and safety or environmental protection.

“Turning to products with extraordinary claims is tempting, particularly when your regular suppliers may be rationing product due to shortages. Buying product from new, unknown suppliers claiming to have good stocks of ‘compliant product’ may sound good but it’s a waste of money if they don’t have the right certification mark.

“Our advice is to be cautious – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” 

The CHSA is advising buyers of cleaning and hygiene products to be sceptical about product claims, and ask for evidence to back up them. It also suggests obtaining CE declaration and/or any test reports to show conformance to specification - and, importantly, to buy from a reputable supplier.

With the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) issuing similar warnings to its members with regard to non-compliant PPE, now is the perfect opportunity for the cleaning & hygiene sector to prove itself, once again, as a trustworthy, ethical and principled industry.