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Amanda Smith from AAS discusses her business and career

Amanda Smith is the founder of AAS, a highly-regarded distributor of industrial chemicals, infection control supplies, catering resources and other commercial cleaning products. Given the rise of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the social and business sectors need for infection control supplies has grown exponentially in recent months. These products include and sanitiser gels, sanitising sprays, disinfectant cleaners, hand wash liquids, face masks and other necessary products.

Fortunately for us, Amanda was able to answer several questions we had about AAS and their contributions to maintaining public health and safety during the era of COVID-19.

Hi Amanda, when and why did you start AAS LTD?

We started AAS many years ago. Many of our staff have backgrounds in engineering, public health and infection control, which has ensured that we have the necessary technical expertise in the field. I recognised a hole in the market, where there were opportunities to develop environmentally safe cleaning products for industrial and commercial settings. Our goal has always been to provide our clients with reliable products that reinforce public health standards.

What kind of infection control products do you sell?

We distribute a wide range of infection control products. Because we are a trusted wholesaler with terrific supplier relationships, we can distribute reliable and safe infection control supplies at competitive rates. Our most popular products include hand sanitising gels, sanitising sprays, sanitising station dispensers, disinfectant wipes, hand cleaners, face masks and fogging machines. Fogging machines distribute aerosol and disinfectant solutions into the air, which settle on surfaces and disinfect them. This makes them perfect for large office spaces (where hand cleaning would take a lot longer).

Are there any rules for using hand cleaners?

There is a wide range of hand cleaners available for use. The World Health Organisation has been encouraging people across the world to follow their guidelines on handwashing, which require people to wash their hands regularly using soap/water or alcohol-based solutions. Your hands should be dried thoroughly when finished. The time spent cleaning your hands should equate to you singing “Happy Birthday” twice (roughly 20-30 seconds).

In terms of steps, firstly wet your hands with water. Then, apply enough soap to cover both hands and rub them together (palm to palm). Interlace your fingers and rub back and forth over your knuckles. Rub your thumbs using the rotational technique (e.g. clasping your left thumb in your right palm and visa versa).

What should people look at when purchasing a face mask? Do all face masks have the same protection?

There are three main types of face masks available: surgical masks, N95 masks and cloth masks, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. Surgical masks can filter out large particles in the air; however, they tend to be loose-fitting, so the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is yet to confirm how effective they are at combatting COVID-19. On the other hand, N95 masks are highly effective at fighting COVID-19 because they can filter both large and small particles in the air. Finally, because there have been shortages in both N95 and surgical masks across the United States and the rest of the world, cloth masks have grown in popularity. They are cheap and straightforward to make; however, because the user makes them, their effectiveness is predicated on how well the person has designed their mask. Naturally, this can lead to a lot of problems, since people might still be able to spread the virus, despite wearing a cloth mask.

Which tips would you give to your customers when selecting any infection control products?

For our customers, I always recommend that they cover the bases when it comes to infection control. Make sure you have an adequate supply of hand sanitiser, cleaners, gels and disinfectant wipes to ensure surfaces always remain safe and clean. It’s better to have too much than not enough. Automatic dispensers are highly effective because they minimise contact, so they work very well in large office spaces.

Do you have any plans for increasing your range of infection control products?

The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the infection control sector to unprecedented levels of growth. Because of the historically high levels of demand for our infection control supplies, we are hoping to expand our product range and distribution network to include more brands and products. This way, we’ll be able to reach more customers.

From a distribution perspective, what are your plans for when the crisis has passed?

Once the crisis has passed, we do expect demand for infection control products to fall slightly. However, there’s no doubt that the spread of COVID-19 will irrevocably change health standards across the world, making restrictions and guidelines more stringent. While our distribution services will likely be refined and pulled back, we still expect many large commercial and industrial sectors to require essential sanitisation resources to maintain security and health in a post-COVID world.