Long term effects of using a cheap sanitiser

Long term effects of using a cheap sanitiser

Sanitisers used to belong in hospitals and bathrooms. Now we carry bottles of sanitisers in our handbags, our cars, to work and to the shops. We sanitise our hands every time we walk into a building – by law.

Before Covid-19 changed the world that we live in, consumers were bent toward fining natural alternative to harsh cleaning products. Now, when it comes to sanitisers, there’s an emphasis on ‘the most effective sanitisers’. Unfortunately, due to the economic impact of the Pandemic, there is a concurrent emphasis on ‘the cheapest sanitisers’. Put these two together, and you have a recipe for ‘cheap and nasty’ sanitisers that can have long term effects on surfaces, skin and human health.

 The long-term effects of cheap surface sanitisers:

  • Discoloration of many surfaces
  • Cracking of surfaces. This is particularly bad, as the cracks can become havens for bacteria and viruses, making the surface almost impossible to sanitise properly over time.

The long-term effects of cheap hand sanitisers:

  • Dermatological effects: constant daily use of hand sanitisers affects the skin. Effects include skin irritation, with long term cracking and yellowing of the skin on the palms of your hands. This is inevitable to a certain degree. However, cheap sanitisers will cause the most damage to skin.
  • Impact on overall health: Over the long term, you will absorb chemicals through your skin. Sanitisers also release chemical compounds as aerosols. These are breathed in and can impact your sinuses and lungs.

Perhaps the worst effect of cheap surface sanitisers is that they don’t work as well as they should. In or current reality, the impact could be a Covid-19 outbreak at your business or in your home. (And don’t forget about the other ‘bugs’ and contaminants we used to sanitise for!)

Luckily ‘cheap’ does not have to mean low quality. There are cost-effective, safe sanitisers on the market that have little to no long-term negative effects.

Hand and surface sanitisers can be effective as well as cost effective. They can also be eco-friendly. This is thanks to the development of bio-degradable options that work just as well, if not better, than the harsh chemicals in cheap sanitisers.


Successful Treatment at Buffalo City Waste Water

Successful Treatment at Buffalo City Waste Water


After extensive consultations and presentations to different stakeholders within the Water and Sanitation Sector, including the National Department and Local Municipalities, BlueStream Environmental Sales and Technology approached Buffalo City Metro with a view to exploring the possibility of piloting Biotreat™ and Hydro-Activator™, in order to confirm their reliability and effectiveness.

On 17 November 2015 a formal proposal was submitted to the office of the Acting Municipal Manager, Mr. N Ncunyana, requesting a platform to pilot Biotreat™.

On the 3 December 2015, we were referred to the office of the Engineering Director, where we were introduced to Mr. M Westerberg, a General Manager of the Engineering. After our presentation to him and his team an agreement to pilot was reached. The Central Waste Water Treatment Works was recommended, due to the smell pollution affecting the nearby communities.

Mr. Jonathan Clark, a Senior Process Controller for Waste Water Treatment Plants was seconded to oversee the Pilot on behalf of the Municipality, working hand-in-hand with Mr. Zwelizukile Sikhukukazi, Director of Special Projects and Stakeholder Relations at Bluestream Environmental Sales and Technology.

On the 06 December 2015 we met with Mr. Jonathan Clark in the Waste Water Treatment Plant to prepare and plan for the implementation strategy. He recommended that we focus most on the secondary digester and the treatment of Anaerobic Ponds One and Two. It was agreed that the pilot would be conducted with a view to eliminating odours, oxygenating the water, treating and eliminating algae, faeces and any other undesirable organic substances.

We agreed that the implementation strategy would include the use of Hydro-Activator, BioTreat Liquid and BioTreat Powder, in both the Anaerobic Ponds and the Secondary Digester and started the implementation on 08 December 2015. 


On 08 December 2015, we arrived in the site at around 09:00, and we met with Mr. Brad Turton, who introduced himself as a Plant Process Controller at the Central Waste Water Treatment Works. He was with three other gentlemen, whom we later learned are working for another service provider (TVR Construction) doing a daily maintenance in the plant.

Mr. Jonathan Clark was not in attendance, but Mr. Brad Turton was able to assist us and provide all the necessary support for the execution of our mandate.

Before we started the treatment we took some pictures of the current state of the anaerobic ponds, which had thick sludge on top throughout, and thereafter treated the first anaerobic pond with Hydro-Activator. We went to treat the secondary digester with BioTreat Liquid and BioTreat Powder.

The following are the pictures taken on 08 December of the anaerobic ponds and the secondary digester.

BioTreat Liquid and BioTreat Powder in the anaerobic ponds
BioTreat Liquid and BioTreat Powder in the anaerobic ponds in Buffalo City

The thick crust of the sludge buildup can clearly be seen in the above pictures.

On 10 December we revisited the site, with a view to observing the progress. It came to our attention that there was a major unpleasant smell coming out of the secondary digester, which led to us having to treat it more with BioTreat Liquid.

On 18 December we revisited the site and were pleased to realize that there was a major improvement in the condition of both the secondary digester and the anaerobic ponds, and there was a lot less smell.

We again treated the designated areas, for which we used BioTreat Liquid and BioTreat Powder in the anaerobic ponds and in the secondary digester.



The level of Sludge is slowly dropping down, and the smell emanating from the digester is greatly improved. 


When we first came to the Plant on the 6 of December, there was hard sludge on top covering the whole first anaerobic pond. The second anaerobic pond was not too bad compared to the first one, though it also needed attention. Please refer to the pictures below.


AFTER (28 days later)..Clear water, hard sludge gone, smell eliminated

AFTER (28 days later)..Clear water, hard sludge gone, smell eliminated
We believe that the above pictures, comments from residents nearby and observation of BCC Officials, are proof of the efficacy of our products

Resident’s comments:

We interviewed a number of residents of the nearby residential areas (Braelyn Shelters) and Gompo. We have also spoken to the ward Councilor of the area Cllr. Mandisa. We recorded the interviews, which were overwhelmingly positive. Here is a selection of comments:

1. Daniel zizele – There was a very bad smell before the December, it was even difficult to eat food at times, I’m not experiencing any smell at the moment, I would be very happy if you can continue treating that place.

2. Nomaphelo Nokulila – Ever since I came here the smell from the place across has always been a problem, I left on the 16 of December for Christmas holidays, though I never notice anything before I left but since I came back I don’t fill any smell like before, I am very happy.

3. Thembelani Peter – I’m not sure why you guys have not been treating this place before, maybe it’s because it’s about the elections again, but anyway thanks. There was a bad smell here be December, but now there is a huge difference, no smell at all, please continue to treat that place.

4. Mrs. Lusanda Twetwa – Since we came back from Cape Town on the 20th of December I have not had the smell up to now, but before we le on the 28 0f November I can confirm it was really bad here.

5. Ms. Mandisa Dyani – I have recently relocated my Kids to Ezilalini, last year it was really painful to see my daughter coughing and complaining about the sewerage smell, I wish she was here to now so she can feel the deference.


We believe that we have successfully demonstrated a viable solution to some of the sanitation challenges that face our communities on a daily basis. We are able to offer a better life for all at a competitive price, a marked improvement in living conditions – a solution that restores dignity to the community

Please note that we have also noted the overloading and a high volume of soil\ sand, and it is our recommendation that an arrangement be made to desludge anaerobic ponds one and the two.

Further to our recommendations and proposal, it is our wish to include a minor maintenance plan that will include grass cutting around all the ponds and the entire plant yard of the Central Waste Water Treatment Works.

We thank you for the time taken in the consideration of this document, and in particular, those associated with the successful implementation of the pilot project at the Central Waste Water Treatment Works. 

How to optimize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

How to optimize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

We are almost a year into the Covid-19 Pandemic. We have been through various stages of lockdown. In 2021, we have more lockdowns to come. It’s far from over.

The impact on businesses has been huge and varied according to industry. However, there’s one burden all businesses and industries share: PPE. Personal Protective Equipment is part of every business’s overhead in 2021. It’s likely that it will be for at least the remainder of the year, if not longer.

Unfortunately, this extra overhead comes at a time when most businesses cannot easily afford it. Operational budgets are squeezed. Cashflow is tight, or ‘negative’. But PPE is required to operate safely and legally. So, how does one budget for it? How do you get the most from your PPE within your budget? Following are some tips on how to optimise your PPE – from purchasing to use, cleaning, and disposal.

Buying PPE:

  • Buy in bulk as far as you can:
    When it comes to personal protective equipment, it is very unlikely that you can ever have too much. This will ensure that you are always equipped with the necessary items and can help reduce costs in comparison to having to continuously buy as you use.
  • Go for quality & check safety ratings:
    It is better to pay more initially and ensure that you have PPE that is up to quality standards as these items will last longer and you will be required to purchase replacement items less often.
  • Always have the basics:
    The basics can include consumables such as masks, hand sanitizers, gloves, and goggles.

Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, these items are essential for business and personal use and it is always recommended to have them available.

Best PPE use and care:

While most PPE will consist of single-use items that are to be worn once and then disposed of, in a time where supplies may be scarce or run low, some items may be re-used to a certain extent:

  • Masks & N95 Respirators: While these are considered single-use items, masks can be worn until they become visibly soiled or moist from respiration. N95 respirators can be worn continuously for up to 8 hours, or until the inside of the mask becomes soiled.

If you are in a situation where you may be required to re-use your masks, always ensure to keep it stored in a clean, breathable container or paper bag while it is not in use.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Eye Protection: Protective eye equipment can serve multiple uses. However, it is recommended that these items are cleaned thoroughly between each use. When cleaning your goggles / face masks always wear gloves and ensure to wipe and disinfect both the inside and outside of the item. Make sure that these items are completely dry after cleaning before using them again. 
  • Gowns / Full Body Suits: Paper and plastic gowns, lab coats, and coveralls can be reused, on the strict condition that they are not visibly soiled, or you know that you have not been directly contaminated.

If you are planning to reuse your gown / coverall, it is imperative to take it off as gently as possible, while wearing clean gloves and ensuring that the item does not come into contact with your face.

You can store the item by hanging it up in a well-ventilated area and ensure that it does not come into contact with any other garments.

Non-single-use items: Items that are not usually intended for single-use such as foggers and sanitizers should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly before and after each use.

Could cleaning products be affecting your health?

Could cleaning products be affecting your health?

Many traditional household cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals. This is common knowledge; we all know that we should not drink the Bleach. We also know to hold our noses when we use some cleaning products and avoid getting drain cleaner on our bare skin. But did you know that even long after you can longer smell the chemicals in the air, you may still be inhaling them? And that long-term, regular exposure to even small amounts of these chemicals in the air could make you sick? If you feel ‘a bit off’ a lot of the time (and who doesn’t these days?), consider the following:

Some of the most common harmful substances found cleaning products:

There are many chemicals in cleaning products that could impact on your health. The following are just some of them:

  • Ammonia: main ingredient in all-purpose cleaners
  • Sodium hydroxide: bleach, detergents and drain cleaners
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): contained in many home cleaning products. These are the most dangerous. They vaporise easily at room temperature and are invisible, if not always odorless. An example is formaldehyde.

The impact of cleaning product chemicals on your health:

Impact depends on susceptibility (e.g. asthmatics will be more prone to react to aerosol compounds), frequency of use, ventilation etc. However, over time, many people will experience at least some of the following allergy-type symptoms:

  • Itchy, red eyes
  • Stuffy noses and sneezing
  • Rashes
  • Tight chest / shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Dizziness and lack of co-ordination
  • Tiredness and depression

That ‘common cold’ you keep getting might just be thanks to all the cleaning products under the sink!

In severe cases, these chemicals can cause:

  • Asthma attacks
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dermatitis
  • Chronic Eczema
  • May cause Cancer
  • VOCs can build up in your liver and kidneys

However, there are now many eco-friendly cleaning products on the market that are health-friendly too. Free of the caustic substances and solvents that can cause irritation, and the VOCs that can build up in your system over the long term, but no less effective as cleaning agents.

BlueStream specialises in finding environmentally acceptable solutions to all oil, diesel, petroleum, grease and fat problems.



How your business can help the environment

How your business can help the environment

Every business is going to have an impact on the environment. Though the specific impact varies greatly within industries, and so therefor the solutions, there is one environmental impact shared by every business -the effects of what your office, restaurant or workshop puts down the drain.

This is one area where you can make an immediate positive change.

Most ‘traditional cleaning products’ are bad for the environment. Harsh chemical in cleaning products may do the job, but they get flushed into sewer systems. From there, they contribute to pollution of waterways, dams, and the ocean.

Cleaning must be done, but there are alternative eco-friendly cleaning products on the market now. These make it possible for every business to lessen its impact on the environment.

Environmentally friendly solvent-free cleaning chemicals for your business:

1. Degreasers – for general purpose and ‘specific application’. Form dishwashing liquid to truck engine wash. You can now get eco degreasers that do the job as well as ever. In some cases better. These environmentally friendlier products do not use the traditional solvents, acids, other caustics, parabens, and other substances that do not biodegrade and would poison water supplies and the ground. As a bonus, they are not corrosive, and they are better for your health too.

2. Pipe and drain cleaners. Commonly known to be dangerous caustic substances for humans, they have traditionally been just as dangerous for the environment. Innovation in eco-friendly heavy-duty cleaning has afforded us alternative drain cleaners that are less harsh but work just as well. They are solvent free, acid and paraben free, water-soluble, and 100% biodegradable.

3. In the age of Covid-19, hand and surface sanitisers are essential. This would normally add you the chemical load going down drains. However, eco-friendly sanitisers that are fully biodegradable are better for you and your employers, and for the environment.

Each business uses different products and has a different impact. To simplify matters, it’s worth investing in a consultation that would help you identify eco-alternatives to the cleaning products you use in your business.