The following article is taken from the March/April 2003 issue of Sanitation Canada.
Reproduced by permission of Perks Publications Inc.

Benefect® disinfectant
promises to "revolutionize germ control"

There is a new force to be reckoned with in the realm of germ control.

Benefect® disinfectant is said to be the only 100 per cent botanical, hospital-grade disinfectant in North America approved by both Health Canada and Environment Canada. It has also been hailed as the first-ever disinfectant spray that does not require warning labels.

Developed by Sensible Life Products, Benefect® disinfectant promises to "revolutionize germ control" and the way people clean their living spaces, workplaces, public buildings and food establishments.

A veteran entrepreneur at the age of 30, Sensible Life Products President Sam De Ath began his search for an alternative to toxic chemical disinfection after his son, Conor, was born with less than 10 per cent of his immune system functioning. Turning to his mother, Joy De Ath, an experienced aromacologist, they created the Benefect® disinfectant spray, which can kill over 99.9999 per cent of germs (the industry requirement for disinfection). And, with a pH equal to water, Benefect® is non-corrosive and ideal for use on cutting boards, children’s toys, toilets and surfaces that require disinfection. It is simply sprayed on the surface without rinsing or wiping.

"Up until now, the only way to kill disease-spreading organisms was with poisonous, synthetic chemicals that cannot be safely touched, inhaled or exposed to food surfaces," said Drew Armstrong, national sales manager, Sensible Life Products. "In contrast, Benefect® simulates a plant immune system to effectively and safely kill harmful germs and bacteria."

In the natural environment, plant species produce natural oils to eliminate germs. To illustrate, there are approximately only five disease-causing organisms on a square meter of forest floor. According to research conducted by the University of Arizona, that number multiples by at least one billion on the average kitchen dish cloth. These same essential oils from nature are combined, stabilized and accelerated in Benefect® and work together to create a healthy, disease-free environment.

Backed by over six years of scientific research, the Burlington-based developer of Benefect® has received Health Canada approvals for DIN, PCP and Fungicide. The disinfectant spray has also solidified its place on top of Environment Canada’s Environmental Choice Program (ECP) by being the only approved hospital-grade disinfectant accepted into this program. The ECP is a coveted program where environmentally- and socially-responsible products are recognized and praised as being preferable to products that are less "green friendly." The Bureau of Chemical Safety and The Canadian Food Inspection Agency have also approved Benefect® for use in connection with food, since there is no harmful residue that must be wiped away.

"Users now have access to a safer, non-synthetic and approved disinfectant for chemical-free cleaning," Armstrong said. "This means a safer option for Health and Safety, custodial staff, building constituents, restaurant patrons and those who have concerns about synthetic chemicals."

According to Armstrong, users can also be confident that bacteria, fungus and moulds are being safely and effectively controlled without products that can be potentially more toxic than the germs themselves.

Benefect® is said to be the only hospital-grade disinfectant that can legally claim no rinse, no wipe application on all surfaces, including those in contact with food. Cleaning staff can go from three steps of disinfection to only two. Since it is available in a ready-to-use (RTU) form, it is effective for the novice user which means that in areas such as day care and foodservice applications, the product can be freely used without fear of harm or contamination from any un-removed toxic residue.

Originally launched in the orthotic and prosthetic markets, Benefect® is a proven alternative to the toxic disinfectants that were previously available to clean the socket of prosthetic limbs or orthotic braces/supports. The issue wasn’t a question of germ control, but the chemical residue left by synthetic disinfectants inhibited the natural healing properties of the skin and perpetuated sores, blisters and open wounds.

"Many patients stopped using other products altogether and were left with malodour from the proliferation of germs in the socket," Armstrong said. "The switch to Benefect® proved that both the odours and the germs could be controlled while not inhibiting the skin’s natural healing process. Since Benefect® leaves no harmful residue and has Hazard Ratings of zero for fire, reactivity and health, it is safer for skin, lungs, fabrics and most surfaces."

In 2001, Sears Indoor Clean Air Services were looking for a better alternative that would be safer for their staff and customers, while leaving a refreshing scent. After extensive testing, they chose Benefect®. According to Armstrong, since switching over to the disinfectant almost two years ago, one Sears franchise reported almost a 25 per cent decrease in his staff sick days and that one of its clients – a nursing home – had more than a 20 per cent decrease in resident illness during the cold and flu season. They attributed this to the use of Benefect®.

From duct cleaning to disaster restoration, Benefect® has stood out as an alternative for damage caused by water, wind and fire. Allianz Insurance has issued a strong recommendation for the use of Benefect® in claims where a disinfectant is required.

"The use of the disinfectant has resulted in the saving of thousands of dollars, as clients do not need to be relocated during the clean-up process since other toxic disinfectants are no longer sprayed, fogged or misted in homes or businesses," he said. "Further, restoration technicians can use Benefect® without the use of costly respirators or loss in down time while they wait for conventional products to off-gas."

In markets where people responsible for cleaning environmental surfaces are mostly untrained individuals, Benefect® is an ideal fit. Shake, spray and walk away are the only steps that are required. For example, busy staff at day cares can easily use Benefect®, at any time, to control germs on change tables, toys and eating areas. These surfaces can be disinfected when required, without having to evacuate the area.

"Benefect® is poised to blossom in the food service and processing industry with its no rinse, no wipe claim, and the fact that there is no toxic residue left after proper use," Armstrong said. "Food service establishments can confidently use Benefect® and microfibre cloths to disinfect effectively and economically. Food processing establishments can realize cost reductions by simply not having to rinse food contact surfaces – which has alone been reported to save up to 30 per cent in labour for the cleaning staff."

Benefect® is said to have proven itself as a problem solver and a unique addition to environmental cleaning systems and protocols. Without compromising any existing programs and procedures, the natural disinfectant can be implemented into any existing cleaning system to enhance or improve disinfection requirements.

"Sensible Life Products has employed ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking when it comes to its brand and environmental technology platform," Armstrong said. "Like the renewable natural ingredients in Benefect®, Sensible Life Products has successfully penetrated key markets by repeatedly co-branding its technology. The company is committed to partnering with key players in markets, industry and retail."

Patented and pending in 81 countries, Sensible Life Products has paved the way of the future for chemical-free cleaning and disinfection

For more information, contact: Sam DeAth, president, Sensible Life Products, 7 Innovation Dr., Suite 34, Flamborough, Ont. L9H 7H9. Tel: 1-800-909-2813 (ext. *227), e-mail: Sam@SensibleLifeProducts.com or visit the company’s web site at www.ControlGerms.com.