PITTSBURGH (KDKA)–The death of an employee at Buffalo Wild Wings in a Boston suburb could have happened here, says a local expert on commercial cleaning.
“We’ve had people with headaches, ongoing pains, and aches in their lungs, as well as in their head,” says Jeff Waddell.
Waddell, who trains cleaners for Local 32BJ of the Service Employees Union, talked to KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Friday afternoon.
Delano: “So you’ve seen it right here in Pittsburgh?’
Waddell: “Yes, I have.”
Waddell’s union colleagues clean most of the big office buildings downtown.
“Over a hundred buildings,” he says.
That’s a lot of buildings for a mistake to happen, and Waddell says the biggest mistake is mixing chemicals that should not be mixed.
“A lot of individuals will take techniques they learned from their mother or grandmother and try to take it into a professional workplace.”
“That doesn’t work. What’s happening is that you’re mixing the wrong chemicals with today’s chemistry. It doesn’t work.”
Waddell calls it cocktailing, and while cleaning agents do disinfect and clean, in the wrong combinations, they are lethal.
“They can be quite dangerous. Why? Because lack of information or training, you can mix chemicals and they can go into your lungs>”
“And, as we know from this situation, they can actually kill you because cross-mixing or cocktailing can be very harmful.”
Waddell has advice for everyone at home using chemical cleaners.
Always read the labels — wear gloves, eyeglasses, and protective masks — and have quick access to fresh air.
Bottom line, he says, “Know your products before you really use them in application.”