Industry Trade Articles

A Scientific and Fact-Based Critique of the Article “Aquatic Toxicity and Green Cleaning – What are the Facts?

Nicole Kenny, BSc, Assoc. Chem. | Sanitation Canada

From time to time, I have been invited to contribute to Sanitation Canada as a guest writer on topical issues important to the industry all of us serve. It is always my intent to give an unbiased and balanced view of an issue. Infection Control is my target audience and this group demands certain standards when receiving information. They insist on facts, references, high ethics and creditability as they have an enormous task to ensure the safety of a facility when choosing products. Typically, my material is third party generated by industry experts and published in peer-reviewed journals (peer-reviewed, meaning it is anonymously scrutinized by a group of learned peers prior to publication). These standards are met in the dozens of presentations I make each year, the symposiums I attend, and the documents I prepare. Transparency is crucial and all my material can be viewed on line at the company web site.

Human Avian Influenza: A sanitation perspective

Nicole Kenny, BSc, Assoc. Chem. | Sanitation Canada

Many people, certainly the international media, are looking at what is now primarily a viral infection of birds, and predicting a doomsday scenario sufficient in scope to remove almost half of humanity from the face of the earth. In the worst case hypothesis, our hospitals will quickly swell beyond a rapidly diminishing capacity, workplaces will be abandoned grinding commerce to a halt, any large public gathering will be disbursed by public order, transit systems will shut down, face masks will be haute couture, and instead of shaking hands in casual greeting we will bump elbows. The good news is that this doomsday scenario is about as likely as the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series. The bad news is we need to get busy working on a plan for “the just-in-case.”

Biofilms: Friends or Foes?

Nicole Kenny, BSc, Assoc. Chem. | Sanitation Canada

Biofilms are nothing new to our world. As described in the Jeopardy question, they can be evident in any environment that has a flow of water and a surface to which to stick. In fact, since 1684 scientists have been striving to determine how to manage biofilms. More than three centuries ago, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek studied dental plaque (which he referred to as scurf), and made the following conclusions: “From whence I conclude, that the vinegar with which I washed my teeth, killed only those animals which were on the outside of the scurf, but did not pass thro the whole substance of it.”

When it Comes to Infection Control, Knowledge Really IS Power

Nicole Kenny, BSc, Assoc. Chem. | When it Comes to Infection Control,Knowledge Really ISPower

magine that your mother, who has been living in a long term care home, has just had routine surgery at the local hospital. The surgery was a success and your mother is recovering. But several days after the surgery, for no apparent reason, she takes a turn for the worse. Your mother has been exposed to a MRSA infection, which is serious and potentially life-threatening. How would you react? Two bets that your heart would have started pounding, your hands would be sweating and your face would flush — all natural reactions of fear. I would also bet that the first thing you would do when you got home is search the Internet to find out everything you could about MRSA and how your mother could have contracted it. You wanted to educate yourself because knowledge is power.

Bacillus anthracis Spore Decontamination in Food Grease


Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain spores were analyzed for their resistance against five disinfectants: commercial sodium hypochlorite, Spor-Klenz Ready-to-Use Cold Sterilant, Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP), Virkon, and Surface Decontamination Foam (SDF). The aim of this study was to find an effective disinfectant that would reduce the viability of B. anthracis Sterne spores at ≥6 log in the presence of variables such as animal grease and fat, stainless steel, and temperature (room temperature and 4°C). SDF and 10%sodium hypochlorite consistently reduced the growth of viable B. anthracis Sterne spores after 5 min in the presence of stainless steel at room temperature. It took at least 10 min of contact time for AHP to consistently reduce spore growth by ≥6 log, while it took at least 20 min for 5% bleach and Spor-Klenz to consistently inactivate ≥6 log spores in the presence of stainless steel at room temperature. AHP was the only disinfectant that reduced the viability of B. anthracis Sterne spores at ≥6 log in the presence of stainless steel and animal grease, both at room temperature and 4°C after 24 h of contact time.

Controlling Clostridium difficile

Nicole Kenny, BSc, Assoc. Chem | American Journal of Infection Control

Documenting effective approaches to eliminate environmental reservoirs and reduce the spread of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) has been difficult. This was a prospective study to determine if hospital-wide implementation of a disinfectant cleaner in a disposable wipe system to replace a cleaner alone could reduce HAIs over 1 year when housekeeping compliance was 80%

A History in Green Disinfectants

Lee Nesbitt, BMSc | CM Cleaning & Maintenance Management

Although environmentalism and conservatism can be traced back over a century, the modern green movement, as we know it today, truly took rise in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Rachel Carson's bestselling book, Silent Spring, with its exposé on toxic chemicals in consumer products, set off a domino effect that saw, amongst other things, the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970. In the decades since, the green movement has picked up pace, reaching fever pitch in recent years, highlighted by the success of An Inconvenient Truth. The result: Nearly no industry has been left untouched or unaffected, including that of chemical disinfectants. An industry and its products — which by their very nature were thought impossible to be made environmentally preferable — are forging ahead with new technologies and asking policymakers to follow suit.

How to Simplify Your Environmental Surfaces Cleaning Program

Jose Ramirez, PhD | Infection Control Today, June 30 2006

An emerging technology designed for cleaning and disinfection is making the job of healthcare environmental services more efficient, safer, and more responsible. Accelerated hydrogen peroxide (AHP™) technology allows for all-in-one capability to achieve excellent cleaning efficiencies without having to change products for different cleaning tasks or surface types. Not only does AHP™ technology allow for fewer SKUs, the product has been proven to be safer and has a reduced environmental load.

The 5 Common Myths of Disinfection

Olivia Lattimore, BHSc., MDRT

Lightning never strikes the same place twice, chewing gum takes 7 years to digest, and cold weather causes colds. What do all of these have in common? They are all myths or widely held, yet false beliefs among society. While these myths don’t have any consequences for those who believe them to be true, when it comes to myths pertaining to infection prevention, there can be adverse implications for both staff and patients, as believing in these falsehoods can lead to disinfection incompliance, increasing exposure to harmful pathogens. Facilities, such as dental practices, that require the use of chemical disinfectants as part of their infection prevention program, should be mindful of the 5 common disinfection myths to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Outbreak Updates for International Cruise Ships

The Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) requires cruise ships to log and report the number of passengers and crew who say they have symptoms of gastrointestinal illness. Learn more about illnesses and outbreaks reported to VSP.