Virox Insights Blog

Germs for sale! Buy 1 get 1 free!

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Mon, Dec 18, 2017 @ 10:39 AM

I LOVE to shop, in fact many refer to me as a shopaholic. The best feeling is scoring a sweet sale, especially a BOGO (buy one, get one free) deal, because more is better right? However, the one thing that sobers my shopping high is the wise saying from my mother “it’s not a deal if you don’t need it”.

You might be wondering what the link between shopping and disinfection is. Well, conducting disinfectant efficacy testing is much like taking a shopping trip to your favourite department store. There are endless pathogens to choose from, some designer which are very costly and others that are staples and necessary to have on your product label. I am sure we have all treated ourselves to a shopping spree where we have bought things we don’t need. And guess what…disinfectant manufacturers do to! In an effort to look more effective many disinfectant manufactures will list an infinite number of pathogens on their product label. The catch? These claims are either irrelevant or are different strains of the same pathogen. It’s like buying 100 different camisoles when you only really need a few (black, white, etc).

So how does one identify if their disinfectant is playing the claims game or instead focuses on the relevant pathogens of concern? There are different classes of pathogens, each with surrogate organisms that are reflective of the gold standard or more difficult to kill pathogen in that class such as:


Vegetative bacteria:
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (gram negative) and Staphylococcus aureus (gram positive)

Fungi: Trichophyton mentagrophytes

Viruses: Poliovirus or Adenovirus (non-enveloped)

Mycobacteria: Mycobacterium bovis or Mycobacterium terrae

Bacterial Spores: Bacillus subtilis and Clostridium sporogenes


When cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, it is important to consider what pathogens are relevant to patients, clients, and the facility and focus your attention on a disinfectant formulation that provides a balance between effectiveness and minimal toxicity to increase user compliance.

So what if you’re “shopping” for a particular pathogen but it’s not listed on your disinfectant’s label? Does that mean the disinfectant won’t be effective? Not necessarily. The easiest thing to do is identify what kind of pathogen we are dealing with and where it sits on the hierarchy of susceptibility.


Is the pathogen a virus, bacteria, fungi, mycobacteria, or bacterial spore? Once you’ve identified what kind of pathogen we are dealing with, using the Hierarchy of Susceptibility, the next step is to identify where the pathogen sits on the pyramid. Using the Gold Standard pathogens, one can see what pathogens should be included on the product label to determine if efficacy can be expected. For example, if your facility is concerned with Influenza (since we are getting into Cold and Flu season) and it’s not listed on your product label, if you do a quick Google search you will see that Influenza is an enveloped virus which sits at the bottom of the pyramid. This tells you that Influenza is easy to kill via chemical disinfection. Next, looking at your disinfectant product label, if your disinfectant has efficacy claims against the gold standard pathogens for viruses (Poliovirus or Adenovirus) efficacy against Influenza can be expected, especially since the gold standard pathogens for viruses are non-enveloped which are much more difficult to kill. So if your disinfectant can kill the more difficult to kill germs efficacy can be expected against the easier to kill germs.

 Hierarchy.jpg


So where does AHP® fit into all of this? As much as I love to shop, we don’t believe in adding claims to your product label for the sake of adding claims. Instead we aim to include the most relevant claims across the susceptibility pyramid. All AHP® based disinfectants contain efficacy against a broad spectrum of pathogens including enveloped viruses, vegetative bacteria, fungi, non-enveloped viruses, mycobacteria (RTU and Wipes), and there are even AHP® formulations with claims against bacterial spores. AHP® provides fast and consistent, broad-spectrum efficacy protecting your facility against pathogens you are most concerned with, without compromising safety to the user or environment. Download our efficacy flow chart to ensure you disinfectant is effective against the pathogens your facility is currently battling.

 

Insightfully yours,

 

Olivia Lattimore

 

 

 

 

                         

Topics: cleaner, cleaning, Sufactants, biosecurity, infection control, disinfectant, Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, Product Labels, Hierarchy of Susceptibility

Clearing Up the Cleaning Confusion

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 @ 11:43 AM

 docconfused.jpg

 

The Legacy Chemical Coalition has upped its game since the Microbe Militia grew in size. Previously requiring cleaning prior to disinfection, many members of the Legacy Chemical Coalition have re-formulated themselves to become One-Step cleaner disinfectants, eliminating the need to pre-clean making them more efficient during battles. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that products labelled as One-Step cleaner disinfectants are also good cleaners.

When a disinfectant is labelled as “One-Step” all this means is that the product has proven to remain effective in a 5% soil challenge, it does not mean that the product is a good cleaner. The truth of the matter is, some One-Step products actually have poor cleaning capabilities. What makes a disinfectant a good cleaner is its surfactant package. Surfactants act as detergents which use an electrical charge to lift and remove soils from the surface.  

There are 3 main types of surfactants used in disinfectants: anionic, non-ionic, and cationic. Anionic surfactants have superior cleaning abilities as the electrical charge from the anionic surfactants interacts better with soil particles allowing for easier removal. Non-ionic surfactants help in preventing redeposition of soils that have been lifted off the surface. In other words, non-ionic surfactants grab onto the soils and hang on to them. The last category is cationic surfactants which are used in Quaternary Ammonium Compound (Quat) based disinfectants. Cationic surfactants have antimicrobial characteristics which is why they are often found in Quat based hard-surface disinfectants, but do not interact with soil particles as efficiently as anionic surfactants.

The Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) technology utilizes both anionic and non-ionic surfactants to efficiently remove soils from surfaces. In fact, AHP® has been proven to prevent cross contamination! 

Don’t believe me? Download this Disinfectant Digest to learn more!  Astockdoc.jpgnd if you want to see AHP® in action watch the following video showing the difference in cleaning capabilities between AHP® and a leading Quat-Alcohol product.

With the cleaning confusion cleared up, it’s time to take on the Microbe Militia. Keeping a clean and disinfected surface ensures surfaces remain free from harmful microbes and that patients, clients, and staff are better protected.  


 

Insightfully yours,

Olivia Lattimore

 

                         

Topics: cleaner, cleaning, Sufactants, biosecurity, infection control, disinfectant, Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP

What’s new for 2017?

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Wed, Jan 04, 2017 @ 01:58 PM

Oliviavacuum.jpg

Let me begin by saying…HAPPY NEW YEAR! In my last blog post, I admitted to being a total Christmas junkie. I am sure I was not the only one who felt a little bit sad packing up the Christmas decorations knowing that I still have to endure another 3-4 months of winter without having any holiday cheer. There is something satisfying, however, about starting a new year with fresh starts and new beginnings. In fact, I started 2017 by giving my house a top to bottom clean with my new vacuum cleaner, re-organized all my closets, and purged a bunch of junk that we collected during 2016. Fresh starts feel great, but I am not the only one taking advantage of New Year. The New Year also signifies new opportunities for emerging pathogens to make their debut appearance. Let’s take a look at some of the top emerging pathogens from 2016.

According to the World Health Organization, emerging diseases from 2016 requiring urgent attention include: Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever, Ebola, Lassa fever, MERS, SARS, Nipah and Rift Valley fever. As these diseases start to make headlines the tendency is to start freaking out! We go straight to our disinfectant to see if it has an efficacy claim against the new pathogen and when we can’t find the efficacy claim we call the manufacturer frantically asking if our disinfectant will be effective. It’s important to understand that when new pathogens emerge, it takes time to identify what that pathogen is and develop an EPA/Health Canada approved efficacy testing protocol and/or determine if regulatory bodies will in fact allow such a claim on the label. But there is no need to panic because if your facility is using an ideal disinfectant, your facility should be protected from these emerging pathogens.

Spectrum of Efficacy

Did you know that all of the emerging pathogens I mentioned above are enveloped viruses? Enveloped viruses are considered the easy to kill viruses (compared to non-enveloped viruses) and are very susceptible to hospital grade disinfectants. However, what we don’t know is if the emerging pathogens of 2017 will be just as easy to kill which is why we want to use a disinfectant with a broad spectrum of efficacy. Having efficacy claims against bacteria, enveloped viruses, non-enveloped viruses and fungi will ensure that your disinfectant can handle any new pathogens that might come your way. Non-enveloped viruses are especially important, as in 2016, the EPA developed an emerging pathogen guidance document for viral pathogens not listed on EPA registered disinfectant labels. In order to be eligible to meet the Emerging Pathogen Guidance, the disinfectant product must meet the following 2 criteria. 

  1. The product is an EPA-registered, hospital/healthcare or broad-spectrum disinfectant with directions for use on hard, porous or non-porous surfaces.
  2. The currently accepted product label (from an EPA registered product as described above) should have disinfectant efficacy claims against at least one of the following viral pathogen groupings:
    1. A product should be approved by EPA to inactivate at least one large or one small non-enveloped virus (such as Poliovirus, Norovirus or Adenovirus) to be eligible for use against an enveloped emerging viral pathogen.
    2. A product should be approved by EPA to inactivate at least one small, non-enveloped virus to be eligible for use against a large, non-enveloped emerging viral pathogen.
    3. A product should be approved by EPA to inactivate at least two small, non-enveloped viruses to be eligible for use against a small, non-enveloped emerging viral pathogen.

Disinfectant Compliance

While your disinfectant may have a broad spectrum of germicidal efficacy, it will ultimately be useless if staff do not properly use the disinfectant. There are many factors that result in poor compliance including: long contact times, 2 step disinfection verses 1 step, poor safety profile, and not being user friendly. Ultimately we want our disinfectants to not only have a broad spectrum of efficacy but we want them to have fast and realistic contact times that can be achieved in 1 application, be a one-step cleaner disinfectant, be non-toxic and non-irritating and come available in multiple sizes and formats. In fact, Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) disinfectants have been designed with all of these criteria in mind. All AHP® based disinfectants have a broad spectrum of germicidal efficacy including efficacy against gram negative and gram positive bacteria, enveloped viruses, non-enveloped viruses, and fungi in fast and realistic contact times (as fast as 30 seconds against non-enveloped viruses). Furthermore AHP® based disinfectants have been formulated to stay wet for their required contact time, and are proven to be non-toxic, non-irritating and non-respiratory sensitizing. Finally, AHP® based disinfectants are available in multiple sizes and formats making it user friendly to ensure that we give users the best shot at compliance.

I’m sure many of you have made some New Year’s resolutions, so please share them with me in the comments, or tweet them to me @olivialattimore! I hope we can all make creating cleaner and safer environments for our patients, clients, customers and staff a goal for 2017. I wish you all an amazing year ahead!

Insightfully yours,

Olivia

Topics: new year, new year cleaning, cleaning, vacuum, 2017, potential outbreaks, world health organization

How Safe is Your Smile?

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 @ 09:35 AM

Tooth.jpg
If you are like me, a simple trip to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned is a nerve wracking event. My palms sweat, my legs shake and all I can think about is my escape route. But it's not just the sound of the drill that ramps up my nerves, it's my knowledge of infection prevention and the fact that I might possibly know too much about germs and transmission. From ensuring my hygienist practices good hand hygiene tomonitoring how the patient care area has been disinfected,  I am constantly auditing my dentist's office toensure they are giving me the safest dental visit. I recently had the opportunity to attend OSAP's Dental Infection Control Boot Camp which is a core education course covering all the basics of infection prevention and safety.  Some of highlights included lectures on the History and Principles of Infection Control, Sharps Safety, Sterilization and Disinfection of Patient-Care Items, Operatory Preparation, Dental Unit Water Lines, and my personal favorite Transmission of Infectious Agents in the Dental Setting. While we learned all about the potential health risks to both Dental professionals and patients such as, HIV and Hepatitis B transmission, susceptibility of catching an antibiotic resistant organism, and the negative effects of biofilm buildup in waterlines, have you ever considered the safety of the disinfectants that you use around your facility day in, day out?

Cleaning and disinfecting products have emerged as a significant risk for users and occupants. Research has indicated the potential of disinfectant products to contribute to significant respiratory hazards including the onset of asthma or exacerbation of existing asthma. In fact work-related asthma accounts for approximately 16% of total reported asthma cases in the US. Disinfectants have also been associated with acute illness reports among workers, primarily affecting the eyes and skin. These occupational health hazards not only have negative physical implications, but also negative economical impacts both directly and indirectly.

There are many aspects to selecting the ideal disinfectant such as microbial efficacy, contact time, surface compatibility, and of course safety. When choosing a disinfectant, pay special attention to the HMIS rating. HMIS stands for Hazardous Materials Identification System which helps identify the risk of a product in terms of health concern, flammability, and physical hazards which in turn determine what personal protective equipment is needed.  The rule of thumb is, the lower the number the better, so a disinfectant with a HMIS rating of 0/0/0 would be considered safe for users and occupants.  Also consider the chemistry of the disinfectant. Some chemistries such as phenols are listed by governing bodies as being carcinogenic. There are other chemistries such as bleach that are known to be sensitizing agents or cause occupational asthma. Look for safe and proven technologies such as Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) found in SciCan's Optim Line of Cleaners and Disinfectants. AHP® based disinfectants are designed to be easier on employees and occupants which result in user compliance as users are not afraid to use the product! So What makes AHP® so safe? The ingredients used in AHP® products are all listed on the EPA and Health Canada Inerts list and the FDA GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) list. Further, AHP® provides a HMIS rating of "0", meaning it has been proven to be non-toxic, non-irritating to the eyes and skin, non-skin sensitizing and does not require the use of PPE to handle. Last, but certainly not least, AHP® has been proven to be VOC free, meaning it will not negatively impact indoor air quality. 

Isn't it about time that we stop compromising between efficacy and safety? Not only do we have a responsibility to keep our patients safe, but we must remember to keep ourselves safe! Let's provide smiles that are not only clean and healthy, but safe too!

Insightfully yours,

Olivia

Topics: cleaning, EPA, HMIS, OSAP, optim, Dental, Dental hygiene, Teeth

Enterovirus has you winded? Breathe a sigh of relief with AHP!

Posted by Mikeisha Paul on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

enterovirusIf you read the news and you have children and/ or have children with asthma, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is a little more than concerning. What's important to note is that EV-D68  is very closely related to poliovirus. In terms of cleaning and disinfection that puts you at quite the advantage.  If you are an Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) user, then you know that all of our surface disinfectant products have demonstrated efficacy against non- enveloped (not easy to kill ) viruses such as poliovirus . If you haven't guessed it already, disinfectant efficacy against poliovirus or other non-enveloped viruses means it will kill enterovirus on surfaces. Due to the rarity there are no specific disinfectant products for environmental disinfection with efficacy claims for EV-D68.  

Now that you have your weapon - AHP, that is only half the battle. When you read up on the symptoms for enterovirus you will discover that it is spread through nasal secretions when coughing sneezing or blowing your nose - which can contaminate frequently touched surfaces. Therefore, it's important to follow proper protocol when cleaning and disinfecting and in some cases a little elbow grease to completely remove any sticky mucous that may have dried on the surface and hard to see.  Also keep in mind that a high touch surface for a child and a high touch surface for an adult can be drastically different.   

Use the following instructions to clean and disinfect a surface using AHP against enterovirus:  

1. Apply the solution to either the surface or device surface or to cloth.

2. Clean all horizontal surfaces in the room ensuring that the cloth is changed when soiled. Place used cloth in a marked plastic-lined waste receptacle.

3. Disinfect all horizontal surface of the room by applying the disinfectant and allowing for contact time as per the product label.

4. If using cloth & bucket method with double dipping, once room has been cleaned discard all unused cleaning solution before proceeding to the next room.

5. Allow surfaces to air dry or wipe dry if surfaces are still wet after the contact time as been achieved.

6. Periodic rinsing of soft surfaces such as vinyl or naugahyde is suggested as well as equipment regularly handled by hand. 

  For more detailed procedure please visit our enterovirus resource page.   

Insightfully Yours,

Mikeisha

Topics: Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, cleaning, disinfection, Enterovirus, poliovirus, virucidal, virus, non-enveloped

Don't Let Influenza Take the Spring Out of Your Step

Posted by Mikeisha Paul on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 @ 03:03 PM

Influenza AHP accel Blog pic2Spring may be here but we are still not out of the woods when it comes to influenza. As the weather gets warmer we start to think of influenza less and less. But it is evident from the latest news reports, that flu season is still in full swing. In the health care world, we anticipate the arrival of flu season every year so it is important to be prepared to help prevent the spread of influenza in your institution. As you may know, on surfaces influenza is not difficult to kill. If you are an AHP user, you are already aware that in Canada and the US,  we have
efficacy against Influenza A viruses - whether the strain be H1N1,H5N1, H10N8 H7N8 or H5N8, AHP has got you covered.

So now you have the right product... but are you using it properly? For cleaning and disinfection to prevent the spread of influenza on environmental surfaces, compliance to protocols is very important.  Influenza may be easy to kill on surfaces but if you are not giving the disinfectant a chance to do its job then you put yourself and others at risk of infection. One of the ways influenza is spread is when an infected person emits droplets through coughs or sneezes, contaminating the surfaces nearby . The challenge is, by the time you get the chance to disinfect the surface,  the droplets may already be dry or even worse protected by mucus or other secretions. This is why having a product that cleans as well as disinfects is important. Many products may claim to have cleaning capabilities and in reality have no detergency properties. AHP was formulated with superior surfactants that can help remove and penetrate body fluids that have dried on surfaces and contain influenza, so that you can have confidence that the surface is actually being disinfected.

AHP products have been approved as One Step Cleaner Disinfectants in both Canada and the US and  come in three different formats to suit your needs: Concentrates, Ready to Use liquids and Pre-moistened wipes.

If you need specific guidance on how to use AHP products to prevent the spread of influenza we have created a resource page  to help you get through the end of the flu season!

Insightfully yours,

Mikeisha

Topics: Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, cleaning, disinfection, environmental cleaning, influenza, enveloped virus, flu season, environmental services

Norovirus- A Pain in the…

Posted by Mikeisha Paul on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 @ 03:45 PM

So you survived the hustle bustle of the holiday season unscathed, perhaps a few pounds heavier but unscathed nonetheless. Then it happens: the nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains and cramps, diarrhea and just the feeling of being unwell. After a day or so the symptoms won’t let up so you go to the local emergency room just to be safe. The doctor tells you to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest and you go home and hope for the best. The only thing is, you have Norovirus and now have just unwittingly contaminated the very place you went to for help – the hospital emergency room. Hospitals are typically prepared
for the worst at all times but with the amount of people that pass the ER door each day and   typically short turnover time, this could potentially be a serious problem.

In reality, there are two possible outcomes: one good and one bad.

Here’s the good outcome – a result of planning, training and action, based on current infection
prevention information:

Let’s go back to the ER waiting room for a moment. I forgot to mention that you took at least 2 trips to the washroom while waiting to be seen and when you finally arrived in a room for assessment, you vomited. At this point you are thinking, “This bug that I’ve got is a royal pain!” and you couldn’t be more right because although you and your partner  did a pretty good job of cleaning up, there are probably thousands of virus particles that have contaminated the environmental surfaces in that room quietly waiting for new hosts. Not to mention that your partner is feeling a bit queasy too. Luckily, the nurse is aware of your potentially infectious state and informs the environmental services (EVS) worker of the appropriate cleaning measures to take before entering the room.

The instructions are, “This patient most likely has norovirus, so treat this room as if it were an isolation room”. The concern with norovirus is that it doesn't take much of the virus to make
someone sick, so as a result extra care needs to be taken when cleaning a room contaminated with norovirus to prevent the spread of infection.

The EVS worker is not alarmed by this because the right tools are available to prevent the spread of norovirus from room to room. Training has been provided with the appropriate protocols and the EVS worker feels extremely confident that the disinfectant he/she is about to use to clean this potentially hazardous room will do the job it’s intended to do – kill norovirus. Does the disinfectant at your facility have a norovirus claim? This facility has implemented a great prevention program and the EVS worker knows the products he will use are fast and effective against Norovirus in 3 minutes or less, making compliance a breeze! How long does it take the disinfectant at your facility to kill norovirus?

See, what you didn’t know is this hospital was aware of the importance of a norovirus claim when determining which disinfectant to use in their facility. The burden of nororvirus in a facility can be tremendous when you consider the increased cost of bed closures, nursing, infected staff and infection control expenses. It goes without saying, that Norovirus is expensive. A single norovirus outbreak can cost up to $65,190 [1] and with increased disinfection efforts, that cost can drop to $40,040! Using that same example, if you increase that single occurrence to 5 norovirus cases, the cost reduction can be as much as $99,363 [2], that's an outstanding savings!! The last thing any institution needs is a disinfectant that is not equipped to handle the job.  Most disinfectants do not have a norovirus claim! Talk about inconvenient... Good thing all of our Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) products are effective against hard to kill pathogens such as norovirus in the US and Canada. In the US, AHP EPA-approved disinfectants are available under the brand names Accel TB Ready-To-Use, Accel TB Wipes and Accel Concentrate. In Canada, AHP Health Canada approved disinfectants are available under the brand name Accel PREVention (EcoLogo Certified) and Accel INTERVention.

Accel Norovirus blog image

According to the CDC,  the price tag for norovirus is $2 billion in the US due to cost of healthcare and lost productivity! It seems that if norovirus itself isn't enough of a pain (in the you know where!) the bill definitely will be! It begs the question of why institutions would even choose to continue to carry the financial burden of not having an effective norovirus disinfection program when they can choose AHP and save. Routine cleaning and disinfection with an effecitive disinfectant such as Accel, can help facilities prevent and stop Norovirus outbreaks in their tracks.

On that note let's leave the bad outcome for another day!

Insightfully yours,

Mikeisha



[1] Impact of an outbreak of norovirus on hospital resources. Walter Zingg, MD. Carlo Colombo, RN, MPH; Thomas Jucker, RN; Walter Bossart, PhD; Christian Ruef, MD. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, vol.26, No. 3 March 2005; pp. 263-267.

[2] Economic value of norovirus outbreak control measures in healthcare settings, 2010 by B. Y. Lee, Z. S. Wettstein, S. M. McGlone, R. R. Bailey, C. A. Umscheid, K. J.  Smith and R. R. Muder

Topics: Accel, Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, Norovirus, healthcare, AHP, cleaning, environmental cleaning, environmental services, compliance, contact time, EPA, healthcare aquired infections, hydrogen peroxide, pathogen, superbugs, surface, wipes, DIN

Giving You Insight into the World of AHP

Posted by Mikeisha Paul on Mon, Oct 07, 2013 @ 12:25 PM

 

Insight: the capacity to discern the true nature of a situation

The world of product usage for infection prevention can be a confusing one. There are so many products out there with a surplus of  information to sort through, it may be difficult to determine what is relevant for you. The reality is, the healthcare environment is a busy place where the tools are given (in the form of hospital grade disinfectants) but there is simply not enough time to sort through all the details. The list of possible questions can get quite extensive depending on the situation.

Whatever your question may be our goal will be to make your Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) product experience easier. We will take the technical and make it un-technical – keeping it simple and straight forward. As we go along, we invite you to participate in conversations, ask questions and provide suggestions on what topics you would like to know more about while keeping it relevant, relatable and fun!

Here at Virox we have truly built a family-like culture and whether you are a loyal user of our
technology or if you are here out of curiosity we want you to have the inside scoop on AHP and the Accel product line. We will address various aspects of our products via carefully selected themes that will aim to address what is really important for our AHP users. If you have a problem AHP has a remedy!

In essence this blog will be your Insight into the world of AHP! So what would you like to know?

 Screen Shot 2013 11 21 at 8.20.01 AM

 

 

Topics: Accel, Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, cleaning, disinfection, chemistry, disinfectant, disinfect

latestposts5

  • Insights--Blog.jpgOlivia is a passionate member of the Professional and Technical Services (PTS) team and is dedicated to educating readers on the importance of Infection Prevention and Control..