Below we’ve got a list of frequently asked questions for Contractors and Industry Educators about our Benefect cleaners and disinfectants.
If you are a Homeowner, please visit the Homeowner Page to learn more and have specific homeowner questions answered.
Frequently Asked Questions for Contractors and Industry Educators
"Disinfectant" is a legal term that can only be stated on product labels that have been proven to kill 99.99% of specific bacteria. "Fungicide" is also a legal term that proves the product kills 99.99% of fungi. These tests against bacteria and fungi are predetermined by Health Canada. In addition to germ kill data, Health Canada scientists review the product for other characteristics such as: how toxic the product is to our environment, directions for safe and effective application, storage, disposal and handling plus a complete review of the health and safety profile of the product. When Health Canada is satisfied with all the scientific data, the product is registered and issued a Drug Identification Number (DIN). The product can now be called a disinfectant or a fungicide. The DIN for Benefect Disinfectant is 02242474. The DIN for Decon 30 is 02415046.
Cleaners aren't registered with Health Canada and do not require registration to be sold into the marketplace. Cleaning products do not kill germs and cannot make any public health claims on their labels that they do kill germs. Watch out for "antimicrobial" cleaners or other marketing terms that allude to killing germs. A good rule of thumb to distinguish between cleaners and disinfectant is to make sure the product has a Health Canada DIN on the label. If there isn't a DIN on the label, be safe and just use the product to clean up dirt and other organic matter.
Yes, as long as the surface to be disinfected is not excessively dirty.
Our disinfectants are tested with a 5% organic load on the surface to simulate real life use, so they will be effective on a lightly soiled surface (and Decon 30 has been formulated to break down and penetrate through even more debris). If there is visible debris/dirt, it is necessary to “pre-clean” to remove this prior to application because debris can be a physical barrier preventing contact with the organisms and preventing the product from working.
It is best to use some of the Benefect Multi-Purpose Cleaner or Atomic Degreaser to first clean up the visible dirt, so the disinfectant can get to work. Make sure you read and follow the Health Canada registered product label.
All of the ingredients that are in Benefect Disinfectants are either approved as Food Additives or on the Generally Recognized as Safe list. When Health Canada reviewed the health and safety profile they determined that these food grade ingredients posed no negative health effects and that the Benefect Disinfectants did not require any health warnings on the label.
No you do not need to be worried. Benefect products do not contain any flammable ingredients. Many cleaning chemicals contain solvents that will become flammable in high temperatures but because Benefect products use only botanical surfactants, there is no risk of flammability.
With dipping temperatures and trucks being left outside overnight, chances are that any liquids inside are frozen. If your Benefect disinfectant is frozen, don't worry. Just bring it into room temperature and let it thaw. The change in temperature won't affect the product's performance. Benefect’s disinfectants are "Freeze and Thaw Stable", which means they have passed standardized testing to prove the product remains stable after a series of freezing and thawing cycles.
They don’t! Our disinfectants have been tested up to 5-years after manufacturing date with no degradation in quality and our cleaners do not expire. Health Canada does require a minimum of 2-year expiry dates to be put on all DIN products. This is a mandatory requirement that is not based on efficacy changes after 2-years.
We have a PDF of our Decon 30 Efficacy Table you can click to download here, and our Benefect Botanical Disinfectant Efficacy Table you can click to download here or find both on our Documents page here.
The OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030 is a US standard covering procedures for managing sites where there is blood & potential bloodborne pathogen exposure such as HIV & Hep B, from the employee & employers perspective. The requirements for a disinfectant to be used is to be “suitable” and Health Canada recognizes any Hospital Disinfectant as suitable. OSHA however, subsequently recognized Tuberculocidal (TB or Mycobacterial) disinfectants as being suitable, with or without these other organisms because the TB claims are recognized as “Intermediate-Level” claims, thus are a surrogate or superior indicator of potency.
Note: Hep B is not any more difficult to kill than Influenza, but the tests are extremely expensive (due to the cells having to be grown on live duck or other animal cells), therefore it is not as common a claim as TB.
Benefect is a Tuberculocidal Disinfectant (a.k.a. Intermediate-Level) therefore is fully compliant with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.
The following are recommendations to assist in picking an appropriate drum pump:
- Designed for liquids with the viscosity of water; not for oil based solutions.
- No parts that may rust (product is water based); plastic is best.
- No internal lubricant or parts requiring lubrication (can dissolve & contaminate the drum and product within).
- No styrene plastic, such as foam seals or other parts (styrene is a low-quality plastic, like a CD case or Styrofoam & has poor chemical resistance).
- The neck needs to fit into a 2” hole.
Check with your preferred Restoration Distributor to see if they have a particular brand that they recommend.
Yes, the Benefect Broad Spectrum Disinfectant label states to shake before applying - but there are no efficacy concerns, or we would not still be in business after 20 years. Plus we would never have passed the strict Health Canada approval process in the first place.
- Benefect’s efficacy is proven (DIN 02242474).
- Our efficacy has been rigorously scrutinized & reconfirmed repeatedly by independent 3rd parties. This is the purpose behind the Health Canada registration process, plus Health Canada randomly re-tests products, plus we are required to confirm activity on every batch before we can even release them for sale, plus over 20 years of clearance passes on restoration jobs provides real-life proof.
- Lots of products require a shake, especially natural ones - like ketchup needs a good shake to mix in that little bit of water that always separates out, but it doesn’t have “an issue”.
- Our Thyme Oil is appropriately dispersed throughout the product to meet all our efficacy claims & always has been.
- Small components of some of the essential oils we use, which are not essential to the product being effective, don’t mix as well in water & naturally rise. The shake ensures consistent fragrance throughout & avoids the use of solvents.
- We ONLY formulate with natural ingredients. For years traditional chemists have told us to simply use synthetic versions of our ingredients, called “nature-inspired” or “botanically-derived” to make the production process easier or to make the product prettier or cheaper. But that is not who we are, Benefect is not a traditional chemical. And yes, our way is harder, but we believe the natural way is always better.
- All Health Canada registered Disinfectants have Health Canada approved label directions, which it is the law to follow - but if you can’t or don’t want to shake/stir/mix/agitate Benefect for whatever reason, buy Decon 30 (DIN 02425046) - it doesn’t have shake instructions.
Benefect Disinfectants are not required to be rinsed or wiped off, even on food contact surfaces.
Traditionally, all disinfectants were required to be rinsed or wiped off a surface because of their synthetic and potentially hazardous ingredients. Benefect disinfectants are exempt by Health Canada from this standard requirement because of the health and safety profiles of the botanical ingredients we use.
Always refer to the product label for information on specific applications.
Only the lemon and thyme fragrance is available at this time. The scent is a direct result of the thyme oil active ingredient that does the germ killing. Many fragrances that consumers are used to are actually synthetic and do not contribute to the germ-killing ability of the product.
Decon 30 was formulated with less of the thyme oil Active Ingredient and therefore has less of a fragrance. In addition, the fragrance will dissipate very quickly.
Health Canada’s directive is to maintain and protect public health. If Benefect Disinfectant is a potential public health threat, then they would require the product label to list any potential hazards. Health Canada has approved the Benefect product labels with no signal words or precautionary statements.
UL is the provider of the ECOLOGO certification program. ECOLOGO Certified products, are certified for reduced environmental impact. ECOLOGO Certifications are voluntary, multi-attribute, lifecycle based environmental certifications that indicate a product has undergone rigorous scientific testing, exhaustive auditing, or both, to prove its compliance with stringent, third-party, environmental performance standards. http://industries.ul.com/environment.
The manufacturing process used in a Meth Lab produces dangerous chemicals that become baked into surfaces, walls and floors. These residues can be cleaned with Quantum, Chemical Residue Remover that uses dynamic chemistry to break down the residues, so they can be removed. As a ready to use cleaner, simply apply to surfaces and allow to dwell for 10-minutes. Every meth lab clean-up job will be different, so a re-application may be required. Wipe off or rinse the surface with water. Note: Benefect Disinfectant may be used after cleaning with Quantum, if microbial growth is a concern.
The answer is Yes… sort of. Health Canada doesn't specifically look at the process of water damage or sewage clean up, but they do review where and how the product will be applied.
You can find those application sites listed on the Health Canada registered disinfectant label. For example on the Benefect Health Canada approved label, it states…
"Suitable for use in restoration, decontamination & remediation sites (fire, water, sewage, trauma scene) including residential, schools, offices, hotels, health care & food preparation facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, medical, veterinary & dental offices, health professional, chiropractic & physiotherapy clinics, child care centers, nurseries, sickrooms, restaurants, kitchens, cafeterias, food storage areas, fitness gyms, spas, zoos, barns & kennels."
Health Canada isn't approving a product to be used in Water Damage Restoration so much, as they are approving where a disinfectant can be applied. Health Canada’s main interest is to protect the public's health & safety and so they are concerned with the product's level of toxicity and what exposure risks there might be to humans in that environment.
Benefect Disinfectants do not have any toxicity warnings, signal words or precautionary statements. That means, even though the product is regulated and controlled by Health Canada, there is very little restriction in where the product can be applied.
Disinfectants that have toxicity will come with appropriate label warnings, Personal Protective Equipment requirements and first aid instructions to effectively handle those toxicity issues in any environment, including but not limited to, a building with Water Damage.
You can apply a disinfectant to a porous surface, and it will kill the organisms it comes in contact with. The difficulty with porous surfaces is that organisms can't be reached making it almost impossible to ensure the disinfectant contacts every organism. Therefore, Health Canada will not allow any “disinfecting” claims (Killing 99.99%) to be made on porous materials, for any product.
Regulated disinfectant products can have “Cleaning” or “Deodorization” claims on porous surfaces however, these are not considered public health claims and therefore, are not regulated statements by Health Canada because there is no germ killing involved. This is not to be confused with a “Disinfection” claim.
Our Disinfectants have been formulated for specific purposes. Both of them use our authentically botanical technology and pose no harm to human health or the environment. Both products are Health Canada approved to kill viruses, bacteria and mold. That makes both products appropriate for all water damage including sewage, mold and CAT work.
Benefect Decon 30 Disinfectant has been formulated for the needs of the professional restoration contractor. It kills bacteria in 30 seconds which makes it ideal for use on the vertical surfaces encountered every day on the job & it penetrates deep into surfaces. Plus it has a lighter scent than the original Disinfectant, which dissipates faster too.
Benefect Disinfectant additionally kills Tuberculosis, which is recommended by OSHA for jobs involving bloodborne pathogens.
Ideal for the following applications:
Benefect Decon 30 Disinfectant: water damage, sewage, mold, CAT events, carpet and contents
Benefect Disinfectant: water damage, sewage, mold, CAT events, trauma scene cleanup
We only formulate with the safest, sustainable ingredients. Our disinfectant products (Benefect Botanical Disinfectant, Benefect Decon 30 and Benefect Disinfecting Wipes) are all comprised of botanical ingredients. The formulas are a proprietary blend of essential oils including thyme, lemongrass and oregano, plus a bio-surfactant (the cleaning & emulsifying component) derived from palm kernel, pharmaceutical grade water, and naturally occurring groundwater ions. We have a PDF of our Ingredients List you can click to download here or find it on our Documents page here.
They don’t! Our disinfectants have been tested up to 5-years after manufacturing date with no degradation in efficacy and our cleaners do not expire. Health Canada however, limits expiry dates on all DIN product labels to 2 years (this is a mandatory requirement for all Disinfectants in Canada).
No, mostly because we are not big believers in the reality of the science behind residual “kill” claims. Namely that the test assumes the treated surface never gets re-contaminated, which we don’t think is real-life because people open doors & windows, sneeze, pat dogs, touch surfaces…and other normal things. Also, we’re not big fans of products that are made to remain on a surface, our products volatilize away, leaving no residue, which we prefer.
This is a tricky one because this is an area of much confusion in the industry. The bottom line is that no “Disinfectant” is Health Canada approved for use in “Air Duct Systems”. Health Canada does not allow “Disinfection” claims (or any public health claims such as “kills germs”) to be claimed within “Air Duct Systems”. And it actually makes sense because proper pre-cleaning, complete surface coverage & contact time cannot be proven within an entire air handling system when an operator can’t even see the entire system, never mind touch it to clean it. In other words, Health Canada approved label Directions cannot be effectively followed in Air Duct Systems.
Having said that, the regulations do not prevent the application of Benefect in air duct systems – just making any public health claims. Additionally, both of our current Benefect Disinfectants are approved for used on “coils & drain pans of HVAC&R equipment, air conditioning & refrigeration equipment” etc. as stated on the Health Canada approved labels because these components can be seen & touched, so the label directions can be correctly followed.
Many Benefect products have been certified by UL Ecologo (UL 2794 - 2012 Standard for Sustainability for Disinfectants and Disinfectant Cleaners). You will find the logo on our products which verifies our certification, and simply needs to be presented when on a job that is in a LEED certified building.
What the Ecologo certification means is that our products have been scrutinized for environment impact and human safety, and verified to meet the criteria for certification. The certification and its standards are accepted under the International Green Construction Code. In addition, it qualifies for credits under LEED v4.
That credit can be claimed under Operations & Maintenance
- EQ Credit 7: Green Cleaning - Products & Materials.
That is the main credit for using green products but Benefect products can be used to help get other credits as well. For example, some certified buildings also get additional LEED credits by having a strict air quality policy, which would include the use of no-VOC products such as Benefect to earn credits here as well.
Health Canada has recommended contact dwell times that are standard in order to effectively kill different types of microorganisms. Benefect Disinfectants require contact dwell times from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, depending on the organism. However, since Benefect Disinfectants are all no-rinse, no-wipe products, you do not need to count contact times – simply wet the surface & let it air dry.
The answer is pretty straightforward – Benefect disinfectant is the only authentically botanical disinfectant technology in the world & has the highest safety rating allowable by Health Canada, which means it poses no harm to the health of employees or customers or to the environment. All the benefit without the risk of traditional chemicals. Which is why we ask, “why would you choose anything else?”