Skip to main content

How to Kill Germs without Killing People

By Lawrence Smith
October 15, 2018



Okay, that title may sound a bit extreme. But actually it’s not crazy at all. We all want our living and working spaces to be clean. Whether we’re in our own kitchen or our favorite restaurant, in a bathroom or boardroom, hotel or hospital, we don’t want to deal with dirt and germs. Hence the hundreds of cleaning and disinfecting products we have to choose from.

Ironically, the very products we depend on to make our physical environment clean and safe are often highly toxic.

From the CDC to the World Health Organization to The American Lung Association, the verdict is in: cleaners and disinfectants are harming us. Even killing us. These products are complicit in birth defects, ADHD, autism, asthma and allergies, respiratory disease and even cancer. One recent study in particular stands out: Norway’s University of Bergen studied 6,235 people over 20 years and concluded that the regular use of cleaning sprays is as harmful to lungs as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 10 to 20 years. This is particularly true for women. For men, it is important to know that endocrine disruptors found in cleaning products have been linked to the startling reduction in sperm count over the last generation and a half. A 52% reduction, in fact. And that’s from an analysis of 185 studies of nearly 43,000 men. Startling statistics indeed.


This brings us to one of the big challenges of the cleaning industry, i.e. how to kill germs without harming the very people we’re trying to protect. The good news is that there is a technology that can kill germs – 80 to 100 times better at it than bleach, in fact – yet is also harmless to people and the planet.


We begin with Electrochemically Activated Water, or ECA for short, a technology that has been around for decades. In simplest terms, ECA uses salt, water and electricity to produce products that can replace cleaners, degreasers, window cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants. In fact, ECA can reduce your use of cleaning chemicals by well over 50%. And it will not harm people or the planet.


Dwell time is crucial to disinfecting, of course, and most chemical disinfectants require that a surface be kept wet for 10 minutes. ECA’s disinfectant will kill most bacteria in seconds – yes, seconds. Even nasty ones like E.coli, MRSA and norovirus. ECA leaves no chemical residue, emits no fumes or VOCs, and has no fragrance (the evils of fragrances could fill an entire article!).


ECA is produced by On Site Generation, or OSG. OSG means what it says: a facility produces its own cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants right on site. No more reordering of chemicals, no more deliveries, tremendous cost savings.


Together, ECA and OSG are a winning combination when it comes to both green cleanin

g and sustainability.


From a sustainability perspective, this combination is unrivaled, even when compared to third party-certified green chemicals. On Site Generation means no extraction of raw materials, no manufacturing, no transportation of product, and reduced waste. This adds up to a huge reduction in your carbon footprint. As more investors look for businesses that take sustainability seriously, ECA and OSG are an especially winning combination.


No wonder U.S. Green Chamber CEO, Michelle Thatcher, calls these technologies “a game changer for sustainability.”


As for green cleaning, ECA and OSG together add up to great benefits for you, your cleaning staff, your employees and your guests.


  • Produces products on site and on demand
  • Virtually eliminates reordering of cleaning products
  • Requires minimal training
  • Eliminates mixing, reducing harmful accidents
  • Reduces storage and handling
  • Reduces toxic exposure of staff, cutting absenteeism and workers compensation
  • Protects employees and guests from toxic exposure


This technology boosts your “green image” with increasingly savvy consumers who understand the dangers of toxic chemicals – to them, their children and the planet.


“But what about the bottom line?” you ask. Perhaps this is best answered by citing a case study from Georgia Institute of Technology, a recognized leader in sustainability research. They did their own testing of on site-generated ECA and concluded it was by far the best and most cost-effective way to clean their entire campus. They estimate they have reduced their use of chemical cleaners by over 90%. And they’re saving over $300,000 a year in cleaning costs. Clearly a boost to their bottom line.


So, can we clean without harming people? Absolutely. ECA and OSG are safe and effective, making cleaning with toxic chemicals a thing of the past.