General Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of germs?

The term “germs” refers to the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause diseases.

Viruses need to be inside living cells to grow and reproduce. It can only live for a very short time outside other living cells. For example, viruses in infected body fluids left on surfaces like a countertop or toilet seat can live there, but will die unless a live host comes along so it is important to disinfect surfaces and wash your hands to avoid these viruses.

Bacteria are tiny, single-celled organisms that get nutrients from their environments. In some cases, that environment is your child or some other living being. Some bacteria are good for our bodies but bacteria can cause trouble too, as with cavities, urinary tract infections, ear infections, or strep throat. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections but some bacteria, such as the methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have developed abilities to withstand antibiotics, resulting in contagious and severe diseases which are also hard to treat. GK-Germkiller® – GK Surface™ is effective against various Bacteria including MRSA.

Fungi are multi-celled, plant-like organisms. They get nutrition from plants, food, and animals in damp, warm environments. Moulds are fungi which can be found everywhere with constant moisture is present, such as in bathrooms, or kitchens. It triggers irritations of the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs, even occasionally allergic reactions & asthma.

Protozoa, like bacteria, are one-cell organisms that love moisture and often spread diseases through water. Some protozoa cause intestinal infections that lead to diarrhea, nausea, and belly pain. Some are also encapsulated in cysts, which help them live outside the human body and in harsh environments for long periods of time.

What is the difference between a Cleaner, Sanitiser & Disinfectant?

Cleaner is often soap and detergent whose primary function is to clean. It removes dirt, soils and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not necessarily kill bacteria, viruses, fungi or “germs”, but they physically remove them by washing them off your hands or surfaces.

Sanitiser is a substance, or mixture of substances, that reduces the bacteria population in the inanimate environment by significant numbers, but does not destroy or eliminate all bacteria.

Disinfectant is a substance or mixture of substances, that destroys or irreversibly inactivates bacteria, fungi, and viruses, but not necessarily bacterial spores, in the inanimate environment.

As for efficacy testing, sanitisers require at least 3 log bacterial load reduction and disinfectants require at least 6 log bacterial load reduction.

EPA, 40 CFR 158.2203

How do we reduce the spread of germs?

Practising proper hand hygiene is one of the simplest but most effective ways to reduce the spread of viruses and harmful bacteria, as most infectious diseases can be transmitted through touch. Washing our hands regularly greatly reduces the amount of germs infecting our body systems. Staying at home when we are unwell and covering our mouths when coughing/sneezing will help us prevent the spread of germs we release into our surroundings.

To keep our surroundings clean and germ-free, the use of disinfectants is recommended to remove lingering germs from our surroundings.

Ministry of Health, Infection Prevention Guidelines

Why are children more vulnerable to germs & viruses?

Children are in a dynamic state of growth with cells multiplying fast and organ systems developing at a rapid rate.
• Children breathe more air and consume more food and water in proportion to their weight.
• Their central nervous system, immune, digestive and reproductive systems are more vulnerable than those of adults. Exposure to certain environmental toxins can lead to irreversible damage, and to diseases during adulthood.
• Children are more exposed to unhealthy conditions and to dangerous substances because they live their lives closer to the ground and, especially in the early years, they are frequently exposed through hand-to-mouth activities.

WHO, Healthy Environments for Children Alliance

Are all cleaning, sanitising or disinfecting products safe for use?

Definitely not. The American Poison Control Center reports that household cleaners and disinfectants are common causes of poisoning in both adults and children. There is therefore a serious need to better understand the ingredients in the products we use to clean, sanitise or disinfect the areas surrounding our families and children. Always study the labels and instructions well before using any product. The GK-GermKiller® disinfectants, however, have been tested for its acute toxicity, irritation, and sensitisation based on OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals, Section 4 Health Effects and was deemed safe when the directions for use are followed.

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