Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Confused Flour Beetle Fumigation

The confused flour beetle is perhaps the most frequently intercepted pest of stored products. Adults and larvae feed on all cereal products, groundnuts, cacao, spices, dried figs and dates, palm kernels, various nuts, oil seeds, and cotton seed. Adults live for one to two years, are capable of flight in warmer conditions, and have been known to produce quinones, which at high population densities tend to trigger dispersion. Because they are such a common concern in flour mills and food processing plants with limited control options, experiments were conducted exposing confused flour beetles to gaseous chlorine dioxide.

The confused flour beetles were exposed to chlorine dioxide at different concentrations and at different lengths to see the effect of the gas on the survivability of the beetles. They were monitored for nine to ten days after exposure. While chlorine dioxide gas is not approved for pest fumigation, preliminary studies indicate that a dosage of 3000 ppm-hours is effective at eliminating all confused flour beetles upon completion.

Learn more about the efficacy and food industry applications at an upcoming workshop or visit us at booth #433 at the Food Safety Summit in May.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Comparison of Sterilization Technologies on Electronics

Although there is considerable literature about sterilization methods, there is little written about the impact of sterilization on electronics. Thanks to the advances in semiconductor and packaging technologies, integrated circuits (ICs) are found in a widening selection of equipment including medical devices. For these devices’ applications, they must remain free from harmful contaminants such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, and spores. Therefore, Maxim Integrated Products, Inc performed a study in June 2010 comparing the biocidal efficacy and material compatibility of steam, Ethylene (EtO), Gaseous Chlorine Dioxide (CD), Vapor Phase Hydrogen Peroxide (VPHP), Hydrogen Peroxide Plasma, Gamma radiation, and Electron Beam sterilization suitability for objects containing batteries or electronics.

The complete application note can be read here, but Table 1 summarizes the methods discussed and their compatibility to embedded electronics. Chlorine dioxide has no known adverse effects on electronic components and is, therefore, the best overall choice for compatibility. EtO and VPHP are noted as excellent choices for electronic medical devices that do not include batteries. Other methods might require electronics to be modified specifically for exposure.

ClorDiSys had no involvement with any testing or research in the development of Maxim’s Application Note.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Ultraviolet Light and the Human Bed Bug

The dramatic resurgence of bed bugs in the United States poses significant problems for individuals, public health officials, and the pest control industry. Bed bugs are responsible for a variety of health concerns, causing the CDC to recently release a joint statement with the EPA declaring bed bugs a significant public health problem. Unfortunately, bed bugs are resilient and difficult to remove due to their cryptic behavior and general physiology.  They are active nocturnally when hosts are sleeping and unaware, and their flattened bodies allow them to squeeze into cracks and crevices, making removal by physical or chemical control methods difficult.

No individual control measure, chemical or otherwise, has proven to be one hundred percent effective in the removal of bed bugs from domestic structures. Eradicating bed bugs from a premise is extremely challenging. Over-reliance on pesticides, such as pyrethroids, has been linked to increased resistance in bed bug populations. Alternative methods of control are needed to aid in a broader removal strategy. Ultraviolet (UV) light is known to damage DNA by altering the nuclei of the cells due to photolytic processes; however, its various effects on arthropods have not been well documented. A 2013 Ohio State University study examined the impact of ultraviolet light on bed bug survival and behavior, and is a first step in determining the potential of UV as a control measure.

The study exposed the two developmental stages of Cimex lectularius, the egg and the first nymphal instar, to ultraviolet light for periods of 1, 2, 5, or 10 seconds at a distance of 4 cm.  A dose response curve was created by calculating mortality following an interval of 2 weeks. Behavioral observations were also conducted to assess the effects of UV exposure on the host seeking abilities of first instar nymphs.  Egg stage mortality was significantly higher in groups exposed to 2, 5, or 10 sec of UV light, with almost no subjects surviving 5 and 10 sec exposures. Mortality in first instar nymphs was somewhat less dramatic, with only the 5 and 10 sec exposures showing significant effects. The 10 sec exposure was the only treatment to cause mortality higher than 50%. It was believed treatment was less effective because these eggs were further along in their development. Behavioral observations supported the hypotheses that host-seeking abilities would be adversely impacted by exposure to UV light.  Both the 5 and 10 sec exposures significantly decreased the host-seeking success rate in first instar nymphs.

This project strongly suggests that ultraviolet light is effective, both in killing bed bugs and impairing their ability to reach a host. While eggs have proven to be most resistant to current control tactics, they are highly vulnerable to UV treatment. Particularly appealing is the fact that UV light provides a dry, chemical-free, and residue-free method of control that, with proper shielding, could be used by consumers without the aid of professionals. This study offers initial proof of concept that it is possible to kill bed bugs using only light.

To read the Ohio State University study in its entirety, click here. If you are attending EMS Today February 20-22, stop by booth #1145 to see some of the ClorDiSys UV-C product line and discuss applications.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Case Study: Aquaculture Facility Decontamination

ClorDiSys Solutions was contacted to decontaminate fifteen aquaculture tanks and their corresponding sump and piping system due to a Mycobacteria Marinum outbreak, all while filled with water. The decontamination of the tanks and piping was performed by mixing in a total of 1980 gallons of 3000 ppm liquid chlorine dioxide (EPA registration #75757-2). Plastic sheeting was placed on top of the open-air tanks in order to reduce the head-space above the water and reduce the off-gassing of chlorine dioxide. Concentration measurements (dissolved in solution) were taken within the tanks for efficacy and in the air outside of the tanks for safety.  A concentration of 10ppm was targeted within the water in the tanks, then held for over four hours.  Upon completion, air bubblers were used in order to remove the gas from the solution and ventilate it out of the tank room.  Once concentrations within both the air and water fell to 0.0 ppm, the tank room and aquaculture tanks were deemed safe for use.

Upon completion, the aquaculture facility was able to safely resume the farming of fish. The decontamination of the fifteen tanks and piping system was a success based on post-decontamination sampling. No contamination or health effects have been noticed in the 8 months since the decontamination process took place. Aside from aquaculture facilities, parallels can be drawn to other water systems that would be of benefit to this type of decontamination process.  With the growing use of zebrafish within research facilities to the recent increased use of automated watering systems, there are numerous applications where water treatment is a growing concern.

If you are attending the USDA ARS 5th International Biosafety & Biocontainment Symposium, additional information about this project will be presented as a poster, #47 DECONTAMINATION OF AN AQUACULTURE FACILITY USING LIQUID CHLORINE DIOXIDE.

Interested in more information about CSI-3000 and its wide range of applications in various industries? Click here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Contamination Control in Deli Production Facilities

When it comes to sanitizing an entire production area with equipment, machinery, 30-foot ceilings, HVAC ducting, and a myriad of other obstacles, physically spraying chemicals onto everything without missing a spot becomes an impossible task. All antimicrobial agents have a certain concentration and required contact time in order to guarantee kill, and with liquids, it’s hard to assure every single organism has been contacted for the appropriate amount of time. Some liquids can also be harsh on equipment and require a post-decontamination rinse. Mists, fogs, and vapors are composed of large molecules which can stick to surfaces preventing penetration of extremely small openings like scratches. Cracks, pipe and screw threads will not be completely decontaminated. Using gaseous chlorine dioxide or ultraviolet light disinfection, these stresses are all eliminated.

Room Decontamination with Chlorine Dioxide Gas
Chlorine dioxide is a true gas at room temperature, so it will fill its container evenly and completely like oxygen in the air, no matter how small or large a volume is being treated. With a molecule size of 0.124nm, CD gas can get inside machinery or equipment that would be difficult or impossible with liquids or vapors, simply because it is such a small molecule.  Coupled with its gaseous state, this means it will contact every surface, penetrate into every crack, all equipment, ductwork and any other place that might harbor micro-organisms.. Gaseous CD is the only decontaminating fumigant that penetrates water, decontaminating both the water and the surface beneath. Being a completely residue free process enables CD gas to be used safely on food contact surfaces as no additional cleaning needs to be performed. In addition to the production or packaging areas, a “Decon Room” can be created where portable equipment, supplies, tools, etc. can be rolled in and completely decontaminated.

Surface Disinfection with UV-C
Daily sanitization of a workspace is the most effective method to reduce the risk of contamination. Quaternary sanitizers are commonly used in wipe-downs, but most liquids require a longer contact time than a wipe-down can guarantee, meaning dangerous microbes can survive. Ultraviolet light, specifically UV-C, is a particularly useful tool in combating these unexpected surface organisms. UV-C is a chemical-free technology which ensures a complete surface disinfection in mere minutes. It works by emitting light at the 254nm wavelength, which inactivates the DNA of cells, rendering them effectively dead. UV does not cause any kind of harm to surfaces or inorganic materials, meaning equipment is safe all the way through the cycle. UV cycles are quick and inexpensive with cycle ranging between one and ten minutes and costing just pennies to operate. Whether the intent is to disinfect an entire kitchen, specific surfaces, or tools/supplies, UV has the ability to meet your needs.

Case Study: UV-C Treatment of Cutting Boards
The University of Guelph studied the effect that the UV-C has on Salmonella typhimurium inoculated on plastic cutting boards (unscratched and scratched). The surfaces were incubated for 0 hours, 1 hour, and 24 hours at room temperature. After incubation, the cutting boards were then exposed for 1 minute and 5 minutes to UV-C light from our Lantern UV-C device. For Salmonella typhimurium inoculated on unscratched cutting boards, there was a >5-log reduction when exposed to 5 minutes and about 3-log reduction when exposed for 1 minute at all incubation times. For scratched plastic, there was a >5-log reduction at 0 hours and 24-hour incubation time, and a 3-log reduction at 1 hour incubation time. For a 1-minute exposure, there was a 2-log reduction for 0 hours and 1 hour incubation time and a 4-log for a 24 hour incubation time. Current testing is being done using similar parameters for Listeria monocytogenes.

For more information on this utilization of chlorine dioxide gas and ultraviolet light disinfection, read our application note. To learn more about improving food safety and sanitation from a variety of perspectives, check out the 3rd Annual Food Safety & Microbiology Conference February 24-27, 2019 in Atlanta.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection within Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery centers visited to receive an elective procedure, meaning that quality is of utmost importance in not only the results of the procedure itself, but in the facility, post op recovery, and experience overall. Surfaces in healthcare facilities are often overlooked or difficult to clean, and more commonly, the traditional methods of cleaning being utilized are not sufficient.  A 2017 study by the Journal of Hospital Infections found that in 2016, 31% of privacy curtains in a Burns/Plastic Surgery ward were contaminated with MRSA1.  If contaminants are not properly taken care of, there is a high risk for multiple transmissions of a disease or bacteria.  Studies determined that the most common nosocomial pathogens, diseases acquired during a stay at a healthcare facility, may well survive on surfaces for months and be a continuous source of transmission if not properly treated.  The best way to reduce nosocomial pathogens is through disinfection of surfaces in the immediate environment of patients2.

How Does UV Light Solve These Problems?
Ultraviolet light provides chemical-free, liquid-free disinfection that has been proven effective against viruses, bacteria, molds, and spores. UV-C light can reach surfaces that are harder to wipe down, such as remotes, knobs, and curtains. When imagining luxury service, patients want to be ensured top-rated customer service from all levels of care the moment that they step foot in the door.  Ensuring their health is the most important component of this experience. 

In the waiting room, Torch Aire-Recessed can allow for continuous disinfection of the flow of air.  Replacing a ceiling tile, the Torch Aire-Recessed can disinfect all the air in a 2,100 ft3 room once every ten minutes.  Any air flowing through is being treated by the concealed UV-C bulbs that kill any pathogen that enter.  The device is quiet, effective, and since the bulbs are hidden from view, can operate even in the presence of patients and staff.  The Torch Aire-Recessed also has applications in the Patient and Operating Rooms where it can disinfect the air of any organisms aerosolized during the actual surgical procedure.

Room disinfection devices, such as the Torch or Torch+, can be used in operating rooms and patient rooms. For unique spaces with difficult to reach areas, the Torch-Flex or Torch-Double Flex might be more applicable with their adjustable arms that can fit between tight spaces or underneath beds. While these are all portable options that can be shared between many rooms, a more permanent and customized approach is to install Flashbar panels directly into a space to provide maximum UV-C exposure with the flip of a switch. 

Relying on cleaners coming in to manually wipe down surfaces and supplies is not enough. Ultraviolet light provides a fast, low-cost approach to disinfecting areas that are often overlooked otherwise.  Your patients and staff will all experience the comforts of knowing their health is a priority, and you are taking all measures to ensure the best care.

Click here to learn more about ultraviolet light disinfection or attend our upcoming Ultraviolet Light 101 webinar on Tuesday, February 5th.

1. Shek, K. et al.  Rate of contamination of hospital privacy curtains on a burns and plastic surgery ward: a cross-sectional study.  Journal of Hospital Infection , Volume 96 , Issue 1 , 54 – 58.
2. Kramer et al. How Long Do Nosocomial Pathogens Persist on Inanimate Surfaces? A Systematic Review. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2006.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Case Studies: Decontamination of Dairy Plants in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia

Food processors around the world are increasingly demanding tighter ingredient specifications and consistent ingredient performance to meet new product developments as well as facility and equipment upgrades. That is in addition to withstanding the already challenging distribution and storage conditions. Milk powder specifications, specifically spore contamination levels, have been barriers to expanding trade in certain application segments. That was particularly the case in Southeast Asia, where end users cited inconsistencies and lax specifications in some U.S. products. Spores—which can significantly affect product quality and lead to taste, texture and appearance defects—were at the center of those criticisms. There is no silver bullet when it comes to spore control, but implementing an effective cleaning system to remove residual product, fouling and microbes, including spore-formers from processing facilities, will minimize re-contamination from run to run.

New Zealand exports about 95% of its dairy production. Australia exports nearly half of the milk that it produces, making it the third largest exporter behind the EU and New Zealand. In the US, exports of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose totaled 161,882 metric tons, equivalent to 14.9 percent of U.S. milk production in June (2016), according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council. With each dairy producing country (US/NZ/AU) increasing its exports, contaminations can significantly impact the bottom line.

ClorDiSys Solutions and its partners are positioned around the world to help eliminate these contaminations and ensure product quality and safety. Some facilities have implemented procedures to execute fumigations of their facilities on a yearly, bi-yearly, or other routine basis. This supplements the regular wash-down procedures which are currently employed by facilities. By utilizing chlorine dioxide gas, the chances of a contamination drastically decline as the gas is able to reach all surfaces and eliminate all organisms everywhere. These are just some of the dairy facilities that have been decontaminated by ClorDiSys.

This 1,000,000 ft3 (28,000m3) facility consisted of New Powder Warehouse, Old Powder Warehouse, Tote Packaging, Stork Dryer, Delaval Dryer, MCC and Bin room.  The Dryer areas both consisted of ceiling heights greater than 90 ft (27m) with various equipment and access platforms. 

This 300,000 ft3 (8,500 m3) facility consisted of a small packaging room, a mixing room, and a Dryer Room. The Dryer Room was 70ft (21m) in height and consisted of various processing equipment with access platforms. Even after thorough cleaning and liquid decontamination, a persistent salmonella problem could not be eradicated until gaseous chlorine dioxide was used.

This facility required decontaminations of an aseptic room of approximately 9,000 ft3 (255 m3), 2 processing vessels (Tank #8V, and Tank #9V) and all piping leading to and from the area of approximately 8,500 ft3 (241 m3) and an additional room of approximately 10,000 ft3 (283 m3).

This 1,300,000 ft3 (36,812 m3) facility consisted of Several Production Areas (4), Sandwich Mezzanine, Re Run Room, Old Kitchen, Kitchen 1st and 2nd floor, Old 40 Degree Room, New 40 Degree Room, 40 Degree Room, several Tank Alley’s, and CIP room.

This 578,000 ft3 (16,367 m3) facility consisted of Niro Room, Bin Room, Recon Room, Packaging Room and Control room.

To read more about the decontamination of dairy facilities, click here. We are also hosting a Food Facility Decontamination Service webinar on Thursday, March 7th with other industry applications.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A Note for Those with Fitness-focused New Year's Resolutions

Why Your Home Gym Might Not Be As Clean As You Think
Guest Post written by Karoline Gore

A whopping 65% of Americans prefer to work out at home rather than at the gym, according to Augusta Free Press. Instead, 25.51 million individuals do in-home gym exercise, reports Statista. However, with research revealing that free weights typically carry 362 times more bacteria than a public toilet, it’s essential that you use decontaminants such as chlorine dioxide to keep your personal gym equipment clean.

Ditch your shoes
Professor of Microbiology, Charles P. Gerba states that within three months of wear, 13% of shoes carry E.coli. Meanwhile, 90% of footwear is contaminated by feces, which typically carries the streptococcal virus. This virus most commonly causes strep throat. Therefore, it's important that your outdoor shoes are kept away from your home gym. It's best practice to remove your shoes at the front door and to have another pair which are solely used inside your personal gym. But if this isn't possible, a deep clean of your floors should be carried out using an effective sterilant.

Give your treadmill the attention it deserves
Research into the bacteria harbored on treadmills has revealed that they carry 64 times more bacteria than a public bathroom faucet. And it's easy to see why, as when sweat travels down your body, it picks up bacteria and fungi. After each use, you should wipe your treadmill down with a clean cloth and disinfectant spray to remove bacteria from the machine. You should also utilize a chlorine dioxide gas cleaning service on a regular basis to give your equipment a deep clean. Meanwhile, you can protect your home gym and treadmill equipment by using a treadmill mat beneath your treadmill. This will stop sweat and bacteria from falling on the floor and transferring to your other equipment.

Eradicate germs on your hands
Individuals encounter 60,000 germs on a daily basis. Typically, you’ll come into contact with germs when handling money, opening doors and pressing elevator buttons. Germs can live from anywhere between a few hours to days. Therefore, before you enter your home gym, it’s wise to thoroughly wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water to prevent any bacteria that are lurking on your hands from transferring onto your gym equipment and multiplying. You should also consume immune system boosting nutrients.

Home gyms are a great way for exercise enthusiasts to get fit. However, you must be aware of the potential amount of germs and bacteria that can be found on your gym equipment. Thankfully, with a thorough cleaning routine and by taking precautions, your home gym will be a safe and sterile environment, and you can continue your exercise routines with peace of mind.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Excited for an Event-Filled 2019

Happy New Year! We have a lot planned for 2019, and we are thrilled to share the variety of events and educational opportunities we have scheduled with you.

Every month, we offer complimentary webinars regarding contamination control.  These 30-minute presentations range from the introduction to chlorine dioxide gas and ultraviolet light to more specific webinars detailing industry applications such as disinfecting items into a cleanroom and the inactivation of pinworm eggs, beta-lactams, and amplicons.  Click here to see the upcoming webinars and to sign up.

We offer free contamination control workshops across the United States. These educational seminars explore the various methods of disinfection and sterilization available, allowing you to make informed decisions when reviewing your contamination control plan. Focus will be given to chlorine dioxide gas, which is at the forefront of keeping facilities cleaner and safer than ever before, as well as ultraviolet light disinfection. See if we will be in a city near you!

  • March 26 – Philadelphia, PA
  • March 27 – Rockville, MD
  • April 9 – Des Moines, IA
  • April 10 – Kansas City, MO
  • May 20 – Minneapolis, MN
  • June 6 – Chicago, IL
  • June 25 – Boston, MA
  • June 26 – Hartford, CT

To register for one of these workshops, click here.

Conferences & Trade Shows
We are hosting the third annual Food Safety and Microbiology Conference February 24th to the 27th in Atlanta, Georgia. Curated in partnership with Kornacki Microbiology Solutions, this 2.5 day event delivers high-level problem solving sessions featuring a mix of regulatory information, microbiological tips and tricks, and innovative solutions in order to provide clear takeaways which will help your company operate cleaner, safer, and more efficient than ever before.

February is also the start of our trade show season. Whether it is a tabletop display, a 10’ x 20’ booth, or an opportunity to present, we certainly stay busy and welcome the opportunity to reconnect with clients and hopefully engage some new prospects as well. We attend too many conferences to list here, but visit our website to see where we might cross paths.

Our calendar of events is always changing, so keep an eye out for new additions, and we hope to see you somewhere in 2019!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection within Doctor's Offices

Risk of Contamination at the Doctor’s

Germs and disease can be spread anywhere, but public places have a higher potential to become a transmission point due to their large transient population. One of the most high-risk public places are doctor’s offices, because of the high volume of sick visitors coming in contact with many items and surfaces. Guidelines for Disease Control and Prevention in the Physician’s Office reveal that tools such as stethoscopes have been shown to be frequently contaminated with antibiotic resistant organisms such as MRSA and VRE1. Stethoscopes are used on most, if not all, patients. Additional studies have determined ballpoint pens, patient charts, tablet computers, computer keyboards and computer mice can also be contaminated with infectious agents. These items are rarely cleaned and can easily transfer disease to patients and staff due to their frequent use and tendency to be shared. In pediatric offices, there is a major concern regarding the toys kept in the waiting area, as contamination of toys by fecal coliforms, rotavirus and other pathogens has been well documented in hospitals, physician’s offices, and day care centers2. Additionally, with sick patients prone to coughing, sneezing, and vomiting, the aerosolization of germs and disease are another area of concern for transmission between patients and to staff.  Not only can infections be spread through the air, but airborne transmission can cause infections to land on surfaces besides the common touchpoints and travel greater distances.

UV Applications within a Healthcare Facility 

Ultraviolet (UV) light provides chemical-free, liquid-free disinfection proven effective against viruses, bacteria, molds, and spores. UV light can be effective on surfaces that are harder to wipe down, such as remotes, knobs, keyboards, etc. When UV light is used, the exposure can be observed through a window to safely and easily determine if critical surfaces are being adequately exposed to light. This is contrary to spray and wipe methods which are extremely difficult to determine if an area has been missed.

In the waiting and exam rooms, the Torch-Aire allows for continuous disinfection of the room’s air.  The device is quiet, effective, and safe to operate continuously throughout the day, even with patients and staff in the room.  The Torch-Aire simply pulls the room air through a UV treatment tunnel which disinfects it and returns it back into the room. Room surfaces can be disinfected by a variety of UV disinfection towers, including the Torch and Torch+.  These UV systems are able to provide a 99% reduction of many harmful organisms within 5 minutes. For areas needing special attention, the Torch-Flex and Torch Double-Flex are capable of applying UV disinfection within tight spaces and focused areas. If a permanent UV system is desired, the Flashbar can be installed in the room to provide an even simpler UV system for routine disinfection.  Components, equipment, office accessories, and even toys, can be placed in a Flashbox, or for smaller items, a Flashbox-mini.  These devices allow items to be placed inside them and quickly be exposed to UV-C light for disinfection in as little as 1 minute.

Relying on cleaners coming in nightly is not enough to provide your patients the best protection from germs that they deserve. Ultraviolet light disinfection methods provide a low cost, simple approach to address areas often unable to be properly cleaned otherwise. In order to provide the best quality of care for patients and reduce the risk of spreading germs, a clean and healthy patient environment is essential. Your patients and staff will all benefit from knowing that they are being protected while in your office. 

1. Canada, Provincial Health Services Authority, BC Centre for Disease Control. (2004). Guidelines for Infection Prevention and Control in the Physician’s Office.

2. Paediatr Child Health. 2008 May; 13(5): 408–419.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Case Study: Decontamination of an ABSL-3 Facility and its Ductwork

A university’s ABSL-3 area was set to be renovated.  The laboratory had been used for research with tuberculosis (TB) and needed to be decontaminated before it could undergo extensive renovation. The associated ductwork also required decontamination prior to demolition of the existing exhaust system.  Removing contaminated ductwork is a complicated and difficult task, and it proved easier and more cost effective to decontaminate the ductwork along with the laboratory prior to removal of the existing ductwork. Current decontamination methods for rooms include manual spraying and wiping with chemical disinfectants or the application of formaldehyde gas, hydrogen peroxide vapor, or chlorine dioxide gas. When ductwork is also involved in the decontamination, the methods that are practical for implementation become more limited.

The manual spray/ wipe method was ruled out very quickly. Personnel must spray each and every surface with the decontaminating agent, ensure sufficient coverage with the sprayed liquid, allow the agent to remain on the surface for the specified contact time (typically 10-20 minutes), and then wipe the surface. This method seems extremely prone to human error, especially when considering the difficulty in accessing every interior surface in the ductwork. Formaldehyde gas was considered as a possible method as it is effective over a broad range of organisms, has relatively low cost, and can effectively reach applicable surfaces due to its gaseous properties. However, formaldehyde is listed as a potential carcinogen by the U.S. EPA and as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It also requires neutralization and manual wiping of the potentially harmful neutralization byproduct, consisting of paraformaldehyde and/or the neutralization product. Vapor Phase Hydrogen Peroxide (VPHP) was another method evaluated. VPHP is an effective sterilant under ideal conditions but has the potential for inconsistent distribution where temperature gradients exist or where small areas (like the inside of ductwork) trap the movement of vapors and create condensation. Additionally, VPHP has been known to break down upon contact with galvanized metal such as that used in this project’s ductwork. These potential drawbacks led project leadership to seek other options. 

Chlorine dioxide gas (CD) was evaluated. It is not carcinogenic and does not leave a residue.  It has a yellowish-green color, which allows its concentration to be precisely monitored and controlled by a UV-VIS spectrophotometer.  This permits effective process control of the decontamination cycle, because concentration parameters can be established and validated.  CD has broad biological efficacy and has been approved for use as a sterilant by the US EPA.  As a gas, CD is not susceptible to temperature gradients, and CD does not condense at typical ambient temperatures or upon contact with the metals found in ductwork. As such, ClorDiSys Solutions, Inc. was selected for the project using chlorine dioxide gas.

After evacuation of all occupants, animals and disposable supplies from the area, the HVAC system was modified to allow for containment and re-circulation of CD. The decontamination process consisted of a humidification phase where steam generators were placed in the areas to raise and hold 65%-75% Rh for over of 30 minutes. Once the areas were humidified, the steam generators were shut off, and the gassing cycle was initiated. The cycle progressed until the concentration reached the target concentration of 1 mg/liter (360 PPM). This was achieved in approximately 75 minutes. At this time, the gas source was turned off, and the concentration held in the areas for a minimum of two hours, achieving a minimum exposure of 720 PPM-hrs. After the two-hour contact time, aeration was initiated by temporarily reconnecting the room exhaust duct to the building exhaust riser. The aeration continued until the CD levels were below the detection level of the concentration monitoring system. When the levels within the project area were at or below 0.1 PPM, (approximately 20 minutes) the areas were entered.  

The results of the decontamination cycle were successful and yielded a total dosage greater than 1090 ppm-hour exposure of chlorine dioxide gas.  This level is more than adequate to provide a 6-log sporicidal reduction referenced in various published sources.  Demolition of the ductwork started the next day.

ClorDiSys Solutions’ gaseous CD is the safest and most effective way to decontaminate your BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories, passthroughs, chambers, biological safety cabinets, HEPA filters and any other lab spaces. To learn more about our process and its applications, click here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Top Reasons to Attend the 2019 Food Safety & Microbiology Conference

The 2019 Food Safety and Microbiology Conference is a 2.5 day event that delivers high-level problem solving sessions in order to elevate food safety programs and address emerging food safety issues. This is the third year ClorDiSys Solutions and Kornacki Microbiology Solutions is hosting the conference with the location changing each time. In 2019, we will be at the Emory Conference Center Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia from February 24th to the 27th. Here are five reasons why anyone responsible for designing and implementing food safety, HACCP, or preventive controls programs should attend:

You'll be able to meet, listen to, and learn from world class speakers with a variety of backgrounds. These industry, academic, and governmental food safety professionals will be available outside of their presentation times for introductions and additional questions. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Art Liang - Senior Advisor for Food Safety, CDC
  • Dina Scott - Total Quality Manager, Darden Restaurant Group
  • Duane Grassmann - Corporate Hygiene Manager, Nestle USA
  • Michele Sayles - Executive Director of Food Safety and Quality, Diamond Pet Food
  • Dr. Francisco Diez-Gonzalez - Director of the Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia
  • Melissa Calicchia - Chief Science Officer, Food Microbiological Laboratories

The agenda will feature a mix of regulatory information, microbiological tips and tricks, and innovative solutions in order to provide a well-rounded balance for all attendees.  Upon leaving, you'll have clear takeaways which will help improve your company operate cleaner, safer, and more efficient than ever before.

Get ready for some Southern hospitality, because this year’s conference is taking place at the Emory Conference Center Hotel in Atlanta. Nestled next to Hahn Woods, a peaceful 26-acre nature preserve, the hotel’s location is the ideal combination of a tranquil and convenient. When you aren’t attending our conference sessions, take advantage of the on-site amenities including in-room dining, two restaurants, fitness center, indoor pool, and outdoor fire pit. Explore nearby hiking and bike trails, historic attractions and monuments, or go shopping at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.

This Annual Conference is a lot of learning packed into a short amount of time, but you’ll also have opportunities to relax and get to know your industry peers. Don’t miss our Welcome Reception at Wisteria Lanes! Wisteria Lanes is a private, retro-styled bowling alley located at the Emory Conference Center Hotel featuring six full-service bowling lanes, a video gaming station, large screen televisions, billiard tables and shuffleboard. Admission to reception is included in your registration fee.  Outside of Sunday’s Welcome Reception and our Monday Happy Hour, there will be other opportunities for networking and getting to know your fellow attendees.

Registration is $995 per person with discounted group and government rates available. Registration can be completed at or by completing this registration form. We hope to see you in February!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Liquid Chlorine Dioxide Solutions

Chlorine dioxide has been recognized as a disinfectant since the early 1900s and has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for many applications across a variety of industries. Liquid chlorine dioxide is very versatile and can be used to wipe down surfaces, fog, pour down drains, and more. Fogging is a simple, affordable approach to decontaminate a space, but it will not penetrate as perfectly as chlorine dioxide gas into every space in a facility, but fogging can be useful dependent on your facility’s needs. Adding liquid chlorine dioxide to drains is crucial, because these hot spots harbor harmful organisms likely to spread to other areas causing a more widespread issue. Chlorine dioxide is especially effective at biofilm removal, so adding the continued use of liquid chlorine dioxide to your company’s sanitation program will dramatically reduce and prevent biofilm formation.

CSI 3000™ is an EPA-registered (#75757-2) pure chlorine dioxide concentrate. No on-site mixing or “activation” is required, just dilute from the 3000 ppm to the necessary concentration. It is easier to apply, safer to handle, and more effective than chlorine or bromine-based products. It is used to control microorganisms in food, research, production, pharmaceutical and agricultural applications.

More specialized applications include:

  • Treatment of potable water for human consumption
  • Treatment of ventilation systems, industrial air washers, humidifiers, and evaporative coolers
  • Fruit and vegetable wash
  • Process water for vegetable rinses, tanks, and lines
  • Sanitizer for food contact surfaces, including bottling plants
  • Treatment of incubator rooms, hatching room, and egg rooms
  • Treatment for red meat including parts and organs including ready to eat meats
  • Stainless Steel transfer lines, hydrocoolers, and pasteurizers
  • Lube additive to control bacterial lime and odor on conveyors and chains
  • Treatment of animal transport vehicles
  • Disinfection of animal confinement facilities
  • Treatment of agricultural storage facilities

Liquid chlorine dioxide can complement your everyday cleaning practices. To learn more about the applications and benefits, click here or call ClorDiSys at (908) 236-4100.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Use of Portable Decontamination Chambers

The Portable Chlorine Dioxide Gas Decontamination Chamber is an easily transportable, sealed chamber designed for use in any governmental, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, laboratory, research or surgical setting. It offers the ability to decontaminate small and medium sized equipment and components inside a portable unit rather than in an entire room or a large fixed chamber. The portable decontamination chamber is used in conjunction with a chlorine dioxide generator to provide a rapid and highly effective method of sterilization and transport items under aseptic conditions to a different part of your facility. It also offers a way to sterilize components within the room where they are kept to minimize the chance for cross-contamination. The CD generation equipment is also easily portable and features a sophisticated sterilant concentration monitoring system to assure a tightly controlled sterilization process that is easy to validate due to the repeatable cycle.

The portable decontamination chamber contains removable shelving inside to handle multiple or large components such as computers, electronics, medical devices, sterile products, and instruments. The chamber has HEPA filtered air intakes to keep components sterile after decontamination. It can connect to your facility’s exhaust system for direct aeration or utilize an integrated carbon scrubber to remove the gas from the chamber. Custom sizing is available to fit the facility’s needs. Decontamination time can be under 90 minutes for a 63 ft3 (1.8 m3) chamber and costs under $7 in consumables per cycle.

To learn more, visit our product page or request a portable decontamination chamber quote.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Method Comparison: Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde has many properties which make it a highly effective sterilizing agent. The earliest reports of its use as a fumigant date back to the 1880s, and it has remained the chemical of choice for laboratory fumigation for decades. Like chlorine dioxide, formaldehyde is a true gas that has excellent distribution and penetration completely filling any area it is injected into. However, to be effective, formaldehyde requires long contact times (on the order of 6-12 hours), and the gas requires a post-exposure neutralization step after the contact time is completed. This neutralization step leaves residuals which must be cleaned after the decontamination.

Formaldehyde usage may be simple and inexpensive, but concerns exist over its toxicity and carcinogenicity. In fact, the European Union has banned its use in certain applications. Formaldehyde is a toxic chemical that is classified as a Group 1 human carcinogen. Largely for these reasons, formaldehyde is being used less and less for decontamination.  Gaseous chlorine dioxide is being chosen by many facilities as a safer and more effective fumigation alternative.

Learn more here from a 2011 study that compared six different microbial fumigation methods with the goal to evaluate the biocidal efficacy of alternatives to formaldehyde.

Confused Flour Beetle Fumigation

The confused flour beetle is perhaps the most frequently intercepted pest of stored products. Adults and larvae feed on all cereal products,...