The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide says technicians need some guidance from a health authority regarding sanitizing vehicles.
MACS has called on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Center for Disease Control, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop uniform standards for sanitizing the cabins of vehicles.
According to a letter sent to those agencies, there are some 763,700 auto service technicians at 166,000 different automotive service facilities throughout the U.S. at risk of catching the virus in a customer’s car.
“Each vehicle cabin is a small, self-contained, climate-controlled environment, which restricts movement, requires close contact of occupants, and repeated touching of interior surfaces,” the letter says. “Air conditioning panel outlets are close to occupants’ faces, directing air at the occupant’s face, mouth and nose. The instrument panel surface can become contaminated by [the] breathing [or] coughing of front seat occupants.”
Given the risk, MACS says guidelines are needed for cleaning and disinfecting vehicles – for protection of both the consumer and service facilities. Without guidelines, cleaning misinformation and unverified product claims will thrive and the health of vehicle owners and service technicians may be adversely affected.
“Service technicians need guidelines for pre-cleaning vehicles prior to service to protect themselves from transmittable diseases and harmful bacteria,” the letter states. “They also need guidelines for dealing with challenges like servicing cabin air filters, evaporators, and system airflow components, which may become contaminated with virus.”
MACS made its request for guidelines to be provided “as soon as possible” on behalf of the motoring public and service industry,