Attention All Unit 5 Custodians: DO NOT USE Disinfectant Cleaners You are Not Familiar With or Have Not Been Trained to Use In recent weeks, custodians at two CSU campuses were instructed to use – without proper training or equipment - hazardous chemicals to clean surfaces for COVID-19 once traditional disinfectant wipes run out. At Channel Islands, custodians reported eye irritation, redness and sore eyes after using “Fast Break Concentrate Non Acid Disinfectant Bathroom Cleaner” from SSS Navigator in March. Then last week, custodians at Sacramento were instructed to use a cleaning agent contained in plastic bottles labeled “RE-JUV-NAL.” The main active ingredient in both cleaning agents is alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride. Hazards associated with the chemical are listed as skin corrosion, irritation or burn; serious eye damage or irritation; and hazardous to aquatic environment. In both instances, alert workers notified union leaders and labor representatives who reached out to Management to express concerns for workers’ safety. Managers quickly recalled the products. “…use of this chemical without being vetted through Environmental Health and Safety, and without appropriate training, PPE, and procedures is an immediate and unacceptable risk to the health and safety of CSUEU represented employees,” reads a portion of CSUEU’s “cease and desist” letters sent to Channel Islands and Sacramento. In Sacramento’s case, a custodian alerted their union labor representative on April 2 when disinfectant wipes had run low and a new cleaning agent was introduced. With more awareness about the hazards of the chemical learned from the Channel Islands experience, the Union immediately contacted Management and by the next day, the chemical was pulled from use. “We greatly appreciate Management’s recognition and quick action to stop the use of new chemicals without providing staff with proper instructions,” said Catherine Hutchinson, CSUEU Vice President for Finance who works at Channel Islands as Instructional Support Technician III. “This is a dangerous environment our front-line Support Staff are working in. Responsible and responsive CSU leadership that takes in workers’ feedback and concerns will help us succeed in uncertain times.” If you are instructed to use new cleaning agents that you are not familiar with and/or for which you have not been provided proper instructions & training, please let your steward and union representatives know right away.