The cleaning industry has a key role in the promotion of healthy and hygienic environments. In recent years, this role has become more complex and challenging due to an increase in the prevalence of multi-drug resistant organisms in non-healthcare settings and the emergence of new pandemic strains of influenza viruses. As “Defenders of Public Health,” we must have a keen awareness of the rapid advances in science and technology regarding effective cleaning and decontamination processes; as well as ensure our cleaning practices match the increasing demands from society to keep our communities healthy.
The technology and science of Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) utilizes both anionic and non-ionic surfactants to efficiently remove soils from surfaces. In fact, AHP has been proven to prevent cross contamination, and has been identified as a viable bleach alternative in disinfection based on reduced toxicity, low contact times and high efficiency. AHP is beneficial in preventing risks associated with chlorine gas inhalation, it has one of the lowest EPA toxicities among disinfectants, and can be used for both non-critical and critical environmental surfaces based on its varying concentrations.
In contrast, Hypochlorite disinfectants work only on a clean surface and lose their effectiveness when encountering foreign substances such as soil. Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is not an effective cleaner by itself. Once mixed with water, bleach becomes ineffective after 20 hours. Hypochlorite disinfectants are inactive against organic materials such as feces and can corrode metals as well as deteriorate fabrics. Nonetheless, chlorine disinfectants are effective against fungi, bacteria, and algae. The caveat is that many misinterpret their recommendations when performing routine infection control precautions.
AHP has been found to effective against C. difficile. A study was conducted on C. difficile spores in the environment of patients with C. difficile associated disease (CDAD) that were difficult to eliminate. Bleach (5000 ppm) had been advocated as an effective disinfectant for the environmental surfaces of patients with CDAD. Yet few alternatives to bleach for non-outbreak conditions had been evaluated in controlled healthcare studies. They concluded that AHP formulation provided a one-step process that significantly lowered the C. difficile spore level in toilets during non-outbreak conditions without the workplace safety concerns associated with 5000 ppm bleach.
Today, many cleaning staff are conditioned to believe that cleaning is a series of tasks they’ve learned to perform over the course of a shift. They are unaware of The Science Behind Cleaning and how this principle uses scientific philosophies that allows product selection to be based on science and the understanding of the relationship of soils and surfaces. Changing the Way, the World Views Clean, is a concerted effort within the cleaning industry to ensuring cleaning staff comprehends and practices effectively neutralizing health threats with the correct use of disinfectant cleaners.
Want to learn the Science Behind Cleaning, join IEHA today and study to become a Registered or Certified Executive Housekeeper. Visit www.ieha.org. Today’s recommended product is by Virox Technologies Inc. who has pioneered the broader acceptance of Hydrogen Peroxide based products with patented technology known as Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP®).