Disinfectants, Sporicides, Sanitizers, Sterilants, Aldehydes, Oxiranes and Antisepsis

Proper Disinfection Helps Eliminate Pathogenic Micro-Organisms

Disinfectants eliminate virtually all recognized pathogenic micro-organisms but not necessarily all microbial forms (e.g., bacterial endospores) on inanimate objects.  Special ingredients dissolve the cell’s outer wall and denature the organism’s protein.

Quick Note on Germs and Bacteria

There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE Between Killing Germs and Bacteria Versus Viruses and Other Pathogens

While using anti-bacterial hand soaps helps, too many TV commercials leave people believing that they are saving their family from everything “bad” with a quick wipe of a wet cloth.  Not even close.  Heck, even vinegar supposedly kills germs and most bacteria!

Levels of Disinfectants Vary

High Level (Tuberculocidal) Disinfectants

Tuberculocidal (TB) High Level Disinfectants are recommended by the CDC in its guidelines for the reprocessing of semi-critical instruments or devices.  High Level TB Disinfectants kills the same pathogens as standard and EPA Registered disinfectants plus T/B Microbes.

Intermediate Level (Hospital Grade) Disinfectants

Intermediate Level (Hospital Grade) Disinfectants are not necessarily capable of killing bacterial spores, but will inactivate M. tuberculosis var., Bovis, which is significantly more resistant to aqueous germicides than ordinary vegetative bacteria.  Kills pathogens eliminated by general disinfectants plus Pseudomonas Aeruginosa (Low Level) Salmonella Staphylococcus Aureus.

EPA Registered Disinfectants

EPA Registered disinfectants are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency and eliminate each specific micro-organism outlined in its product labeling.  It should be noted that no disinfectant is generally effective against endospores.

Low Level (General) Disinfectants

Low Level (General) Disinfectants cannot be relied upon to destroy, (within a practical period of time) bacterial endospores, mycobacteria, all fungi, or small, non-lipid viruses.  It will kill Staphylococcus Aureus (Low Level) and Salmonella Choleraesuis.

Sanitzers Eliminate Nearly 100% of Specific Micro-Organisms

Sanitizers are designed to eliminate 99.999% of specific micro-organisms in an environment and are generally used to control microbes.

Sterilants Eliminate 100% of All Living Micro-Organisms on Hard Surfaces

Sterilants will eliminate 100% of all living micro-organisms on a hard surface. However, sterilants are generally poor cleaners due to their lack of detergency.

Sporicides are the Highest Level of Disinfection

Sporicides, the highest level of disinfection, destroy or eliminate living micro-organisms in a given environment. Spores are the most difficult form of micro-organism to destroy.

The EPA Considers the Term Sporicide to be Synonymous With “Sterilizer”

Sterilization is Critical to Infection Control

Sterilization is widely used on medical and surgical instruments and equipment.

Autoclaving

Autoclaving uses steam under pressure

Dry Heat Ovens

Dry heat ovens are used primarily for sterilization of medical instruments

Low Temperature Gas

Low temperature gas (usually ethylene oxide), is used primarily for sterilization of medical instruments

Liquid Chemical Sterilants

Liquid Chemical Sterilants are used primarily for delicate instruments which cannot withstand high temperature and gases

Aldehydes

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde can be used as a sporicide and disinfectant in enclosed areas (such as rooms or small chambers)

Glutaraldehyde

Glutaraldehyde formulations are used in hospitals and dental offices to disinfect and sterilize medical equipment

Oxiranes

Ethylene oxide

Ethylene oxide is an effective gas that is widely used to sterilize medical supplies that may be damaged by heat

Antisepsis are Germicides, Used on Skin or Living Tissue

The use of antiseptics, which are germicides used on skin or living tissue,for the purpose of inhibiting or destroying micro-organisms.

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