And we think you should ban them too! In this article, you'll find the answers you need to make your own decision about whether p-DCB urinal deodorant blocks should remain in your facility or if a better, safer and more economical urinal maintenance alternative is available.
What is p-DCB?
p-DCB (para-dichlorobenzene or 1, 4 - para-dichlorobenzene) is a solid chemical that slowly turns into a gas when exposed to oxygen. It is most commonly used in urinal blocks. p-DCB is treated as a suspected carcinogen in Australia and a known carcinogen in other parts of the world. This statement and other recommendations are offered by the authorities to us without sufficient testing, experience and/or consultation from industry professionals with an understanding of the real world and the variables of it in use. Out-of-date tests by Australian government authorities are weak and in need of proper investigations. Rather than waiting for them to do something about it, best our industry sorts it out. That's why this article was written, to educate you to do something about it within your sphere of influence.
How do I know if the blocks I use are p-DCB?
Products containing p-DCB must show the warnings on the label. You will see the scary pictogram, warning and most probably: ‘Contains para-Dichlorobenzene.’ You can also find this information out on the SDS (Safety Data Sheet).
Why did we ban p-DCB urinal blocks?
- Most people handle urinal blocks without gloves! We also know that they touch themselves and other stuff with their hands thereafter.
- School students and the general public are known to throw PDCD urinal blocks at each other in the toilet block! The kids never get to read the warnings on the product label because it is in the cleaner's shed.
- School bullies force blocks into the mouth of their victims! If that makes you angry, that's good. Let's do something about it.
- Not all toilets and bathrooms are sufficiently ventilated. When you enter a men's toilet containing p-DCB blocks with bad ventilation, it hits you in the face and you breathe it right in!
- High exposure for cleaners: Here at XO2, we have plenty of lifetime cleaners as clients. They are the unsung heroes of facilities... 7 days a week, 365 days a year and only take a couple of weeks annual leave… ever. They service toilet blocks constantly! We are here to help and protect them.
If we know the risks of a product and don’t do something about it, we consider it an unacceptable duty of care on our part. So, we looked into the reports from organisations like DHHS, IARC, NICNAS, WHO, USSDP and Fair Work Australia on p-DCB and the alignment of the ingredient with XO2 values. From there, the decision was made to ban all products containing p-DCB from the range and develop better alternatives.
The end result is clearly better-performing blocks and screens that have eliminated the risks associated with the old pDCB blocks.
Why do chemical manufacturers use p-DCB?
p-DCB provides chemists with a slow-release function. For urinal blocks, a masking fragrance is added to the p-DCB that is slowly released into the air as the solid turns to gas. When you enter a toilet with p-DCB blocks, you definitely know it. The entire space smells of a gassy and unpleasant odour. Chemists want to fill the air with fragrance, however, there are much better alternatives than p-DCB.
Interesting note: p-DCB blocks have no cleaning performance and whilst you may think it gets smaller due to contact with water, it is actually getting smaller due to dissolving in the air! That is why they cause plumbing issues when they get small in size and block pipes and drains. Our alternative products are either water-soluble like XO2® Gee Wizz or not soluble at all like the XO2® Pee On It urinal screens - thus eliminating those annoying urinal blockage problems.
What is the alternative to p-DCB urinal blocks?
We definitely don’t need to use p-DCB in urinal blocks. As a matter of fact, we can make a much better block in every way by excluding p-DCB!
We have developed two other alternatives…
These advanced technology screens are manufactured using a specially engineered copolymer that is impregnated with organic odour treatment and fragrance compounds that are 200% stronger than traditional vinyl screens. They are available in 30-45 day or 60-day release options. And they are available in a range of different fragrances so that you can change things up. They act as a drain filter and an anti-splash device too!
The 3-way clean, sanitise and deodorise action provides a heavy-duty cleaner to emulsify build-up and clean the pipes, a special proactive bacterium charge to kill bad bacteria and germs, and a long-term jellybean deodoriser which absorbs and neutralises bad odours. All while safeguarding the urinal against uric acid and scale build up! They are also individually wrapped in a soluble film so that no contact is required :) Phosphate free. No poisons, corrosives or known allergens. Non-hazardous. Zero VOC. Septic and bio-cycle safe.
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