Norovirus, aka Norwalk, is in the news again. It’s sometimes called “stomach flu” but has nothing to do with any influenza virus. It does, however, deliver some nasty symptoms above and beyond your standard winter cold. There are no vaccines or antibiotics that can prevent or relieve symptoms but you can reduce your chances of catching it.
Chlorine bleach is an inexpensive and widely used chemical for sanitizing and disinfecting in restaurants, daycare and hospitals. The recommended concentrations for these can vary by as much as a factor of 50!. Unfortunately, the labels on off the shelf supermarket products are of little use when trying to dilute bleach correctly for most of these uses.
Can 10ppm Really Be Zero?
Test strips make fairly accurate measurements of pH levels, concentrations of sanitizers such as chlorine & hydrogen peroxide or the amount of Vitamin C in juice. The common factor in all these is that the measurement is made on a bulk solution. In other words, the liquid in question occupies some volume of a test tube, bottle or bucket.
Several of these strips have been repurposed for detecting residual levels of quat sanitizers & sulfite preservatives on the surfaces of things. Unfortunately, this has lead a misinterpretation of government regulations by so called experts who are either training or inspecting commercial food operations.
Chlorine Bleach Disinfectant Test Strips
Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) has long been used to remove stains, treat drinking water & disinfect food preparation materials. Many other chemicals are now being used for sanitizing & disinfection but chlorine bleach is cheap, readily available & has found new life as a potent agent against dangerous bugs including viruses such as Ebola & bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus) & VRE (vancomicin resistant Enterococcus).
Leak detection may trigger thoughts of NSA Internet snooping or community swimming pools but this blog is devoted to the earth needs of homeowners or safety & product quality assurance departments who discover water & other leaks & need to find & fix them.