Thursday, December 19, 2019

Wishing You, Your Colleagues, and Families Good Times and Good Cheer this Holiday Season

No matter what holiday you celebrate, all of us here at ClorDiSys Solutions wish you a very happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year! As we take time to reflect on this year and those who have helped shape our business, we believe 2019 was an absolute success full of growth and challenging projects. We thank you for your continued support. May your days be merry and bright!

Monday, December 23 8:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday, December 24 CLOSED
Wednesday, December 25 CLOSED
Thursday, December 26 CLOSED
Friday, December 27 8:00am – 5:00pm

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Why, When, and How to Choose High-Level Disinfection in Healthcare

The Spaulding Classification categorizes medical devices based on their risk of infection to help determine what level of disinfection or sterilization is required to render them safe for reuse. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy’s (ASGE) Multisociety guideline on reprocessing flexible GI endoscopes: 2016 update describes the three classes as critical, semi-critical, and non-critical. While healthcare has followed the Spaulding classification system to determine the required level of processing for medical devices for decades, infection outbreaks related to contaminated devices, most notably endoscopes, have prompted hospitals, manufacturers, regulators and industry associations to reevaluate the processing of reusable medical equipment.

ClorDiSys Solutions’ Brand Manager, Emily Lorcheim, was asked by Healthcare Purchasing News when, why and how to choose high-level disinfection or sterilization. Her response was “Issues on determining whether high-level disinfection or sterilization is appropriate are many times based off the intended application. Disinfection is defined as a 99.99% to 99.999% level of kill, whereas sterilization is the elimination of all organisms and results in a 99.9999%, or 6-log sporicidal reduction. Sterilization is required in healthcare for applications such as implantable medical devices, or if there is a major occurrence of a significant disease.” Emily added “High-level disinfection is key on items that should be rid of organisms often, due to frequent human contact and therefore potential contamination. These items can include cell phones, tablets, office supplies, remotes, etc. Another opportunity where measures of high-level disinfection can be utilized is on external medical equipment that either cannot be easily cleaned due to size restraints or being fixed in position, or cannot be treated with certain sterilizing chemicals or conditions. Methods may cause material damages, especially liquid methods, which may be corrosive or leave residues.”

Most healthcare facilities use an array of processes to clean, disinfect and sterilize surgical equipment and instrumentation. Emily points out “many times sterilization methods require long exposure times, harsh chemicals, sealing spaces off or separate chambers… many of these methods are not conducive to the fast-paced environment of the healthcare setting. High-level disinfection can be applied in a variety of methods, quickly, easily and effectively to maintain a safe healthcare environment.” Regardless of the modality, high-level disinfection or sterilization, a device won’t be safe for use unless it has been properly cleaned according to the manufacturer’s IFU. Attention must be dedicated to the training, certification and competencies for individuals performing these cleaning activities, because as Damien Berg, Regional Manager of Sterile Processing at UCHealth, stated “We don’t ever want to say no to a product that could save a life, but we also don’t want to hurt a life by agreeing to a product that is too challenging to clean or for which we don’t have the necessary technology to process.”

Click here to read Kara Nadeau’s “Disinfection by Degrees” article in its entirety.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Top Reasons to Attend the 2020 Food Safety and Microbiology Conference

In response to the everyday challenges food safety professionals face, ClorDiSys Solutions and Kornacki Microbiology Solutions, Inc organized the Annual Food Safety and Microbiology Conference. With 2020 being our fourth year, we invite those working in industry, government, or research focused on food microbiology, quality assurance and control, sanitation, plant management, technical services, or operations to this 2.5 day event covering a variety of topics from new legislation to new technologies. If this sounds like you, here are a few reasons why you cannot miss this conference.

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.

This conference aims to deliver high-level problem solving sessions in order to elevate your food safety program and address emerging food safety issues.  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.

This year’s conference is being held at the Hilton Palacio del Rio, located along the River Walk, San Antonio’s most popular attraction. Walking distance from restaurants, bars, shops, and the Alamo, this landmark hotel features rich South Texas stylings and original art. Be sure to check out their five onsite restaurants and bars – Coffee Cupboard, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub, River’s Edge Café, Tex’s Sports Bar (the only sports bar on the River Walk) and Rincon Alegre Lobby Bar. Oh, did we mention it is only eight miles from the San Antonio Airport?

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. Join us for traditional Mexican food, drinks, and a live performance by Mariachi Alma de Jalisco at our Preconference Mixer Sunday evening, the Monday happy hour reception sponsored by Food Safety Net Services, and the one-hour narrated Go Rio River Cruise Wednesday afternoon, an unforgettable way to experience the world-famous San Antonio River Walk. Admission to all activities is included in the registration fee.

To learn more about the program and registration, click here. We hope to see you in Texas!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Controlling Spoilage Organisms and Pathogens on Food Products

Last month, the Michigan-based company, North Bay Produce, voluntarily recalled over 2,000 cases of fresh apples due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recall affected a number of varieties including Fuji, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, and Red Delicious. The apples were shipped from one North Bay Produce packinghouse to wholesalers, retailers, and brokers in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. Thankfully, to date, health officials have not linked this recall to any reports of illness. With so many occurrences like this one in the news, ClorDiSys Solutions’ objective for 2020 is to further explore the control of spoilage organisms and pathogens on food products in order to help deliver a safer product to consumers.

ClorDiSys Solutions has always been a company driven by research.  Starting with chlorine dioxide’s effect on organisms within the environment, we've implemented those findings into our operations to better maintain safe food processing environments. Next year, we would like to focus on working with the FDA to obtain approval to decontaminate individual food items in order to control spoilage organisms and other pathogens that cause foodborne illness. We have been approved to treat blueberries and potatoes, and our company is currently exploring the treatment of walnuts and apples. ClorDiSys has also done preliminary research on other food types including seeds and grains.

If you’re interested in new methods to control spoilage organisms and pathogens on product within your supply chain, contact us to start a conversation.  We have a number of solutions within our company which may help including liquid chlorine dioxide, ultraviolet light, and gaseous chlorine dioxide. We have a few food contact notices involving chlorine dioxide currently, which can be read about here. With partnerships to many food safety experts and laboratories throughout the world, we provide a global network to take on any challenge.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Establishing Sterility in a New Facility

ClorDiSys' decontamination services take place primarily for contamination response, commissioning of new construction or renovated spaces, and routine preventive decontamination. The majority of what we do are large areas and entire facilities to get rid of widespread contamination problems and really give a baseline sterilization mark. With years of experience across a wide variety of industries and facility ages, we have a number of tricks and options to accommodate any project.

Recently our Decontamination Service team helped a biomedical research client who was moving into a larger building previously occupied by another company.  The building was renovated in order to handle the needs of the client, with a new ventilation system installed as part of that renovation.  Equipment was moved in from their previous location, and the ventilation system was balanced.  As the last step, the facility would undergo a chlorine dioxide gas treatment to provide a 6-log sterilization level kill before officially opening for research.  This enabled all of the equipment to be sterilized along with the building.  This is safer and faster than autoclaving everything in, as that process cannot be used on animal rack filters and most electronics.  Those materials typically do not receive a high-level decontamination if chlorine dioxide gas isn’t utilized as other liquid based decontamination methods are similarly incompatible.  The decontamination took place over the course of an 8-hour shift, with all process parameters being met to achieve the targeted 6-log sporicidal reduction.  Afterwards, the client was safe to start occupying the facility and begin their research.

Generally speaking, if the space can be sealed, it can be decontaminated. Some of the more common applications are buildings with unique layouts and multiple floors, processing and production areas, HEPA housing and ductwork, cold rooms, even tented pieces of equipment. If you are interested in exploring a decontamination service project for your facility, click here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Case Study: Listeria Control in a Ready-to-Eat Food Facility

Listeria monocytogenes' ability to survive in extreme conditions and form biofilms on various surfaces is a significant challenge for food safety. Last week, members of our Decontamination Service team helped a ready-to-eat food facility win the fight against l. monocytogenes. Treating an area just shy of 1,000,000 ft3, the service team completed the decontamination in just two days thanks to a very helpful in-house staff.  The first day consisted of sealing the space from the surrounding areas and sealing the ventilation system off at the roof.  Chlorine dioxide gas generators were setup with tubing run to various locations within the space to speed up the natural gas distribution.  50 biological indicators, all containing over a million bacterial spores, were placed at locations chosen by the facility's Quality Assurance and Food Safety personnel.  The decontamination itself took place on the second day, with gas concentrations being monitored continuously throughout the process from multiple locations throughout the space.  Once the final sampling location eclipsed the target dosage, the decontamination was deemed complete, and the gas was aerated from the facility.  Once the gas was removed and the area was safe for reentry, our team retrieved our supplies and packed them up.  Biological indicators were recovered and processed the next day to check for growth.  After 36 hours of incubation, all biological indicators were negative for growth, capping off a successful decontamination.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

FDA November Discussion on Ethylene Oxide Replacement

Ethylene oxide (EtO) medical device sterilization has come under fire recently. Thirty-two people have filed claims against ethylene oxide sterilizing company Sterigenics, believing emissions has led to cause cancer in their bodies. The Chicago Sun Times reports:
“They’ve known for 34 years and they willfully pumped this out in our communities ...,” said Jeanne Hochhalter. "Nobody should have to go through anything like this." Hochhalter, who grew up in Burr Ridge, was one of 32 people who filed suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County this week against Sterigenics, which has a plant in Willowbrook where medical instruments are sterilized. In February, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency shut down the facility after air quality monitoring recorded spikes of the gas ethylene oxide in surrounding neighborhoods (Esposito 2019).
Despite the environmental concern and public outrage, Sterigenics was allowed to reopen the Willowbrook facility in July.  However, the risk is still found in ethylene oxide sterilization.  In 2016, EPA published an updated Information on the Integrated Risk Information System determination which classified ethylene oxide to be a carcinogenic gas. Now, there is a consideration for an alternative sterilization method to be found, however due to the high level of use, it will be a great feat to switch, plus there is a risk of not having the proper ability to handle the workload either.

Ethylene oxide currently bears the brunt of the medical device sterilization in the country:
Currently, ethylene oxide is used to sterilize more than half of medical devices that need sterilization due to its chemical compatibility with many different device materials and ability to treat devices that are heat- or moisture-sensitive.
The second most common method to sterilize medical devices is radiation, such as gamma irradiation, X-ray radiation and electron beam radiation, which collectively represents about 45% of devices currently being sterilized.
The other common method currently is using pressurized steam, constituting about 5% of sterilization, according to FDA (BioMed Tech, Lim, 2019).
The FDA organized regulators from public health agencies, medical device manufacturers and expert physicians gathering Wednesday November 6th and Thursday November 7th at a two-day meeting to discuss how to address challenges with ethylene oxide. The FDA is looking to determine if there is a viable alternative for large scale medical device sterilization. There are many determinants, but one is if there is an elimination of ethylene oxide, what the FDA can do to prevent device shortages if reduced sterilization capabilities come to pass. New concerns present many challenges to an industry, but offer many opportunities for advancement in the possible use of even greater technology as well.

ClorDiSys Solutions Inc’s Director of Operations, Paul Lorcheim, is a panel member presenting an alternative sterilization technology method, chlorine dioxide.  Chlorine dioxide has long been determined safe for use on medical devices, particularly because it does not leave residues and it is an EPA registered sterilant. The FDA has the webcast day one of the meeting here, and day two is webcast here.

Esposito, Stefano. “Lawsuits Filed against Medical Supply Sterilization Plant Linked to
Increased Cancer Rates.” Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Sun-Times, 20 Aug. 2019,

Lim, D. (2019, November 6). 7 questions about ethylene oxide as FDA panel convenes.
Retrieved from

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

AALAS National Meeting 2019 Recap

Each fall since 1950, the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) has held its annual National Meeting. The AALAS National Meeting is the largest gathering in the world of professionals concerned with the production, care, and use of laboratory animals. The 2019 meeting was held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver from October 13-17th. The spotlight forum was, "One Health–Connections Between Animal, Human, and Environmental Health. ClorDiSys Solutions exhibited at the National Meeting, one of our biggest shows of the year, in booth #209. The life sciences were really the second industry ClorDiSys introduced their products and services following our original focus on the pharmaceutical market.

We hosted a small dinner reception for AALAS attendees at the Denver Firefighters Museum after exhibit hall hours Tuesday evening. ClorDiSys provided a delicious BBQ dinner catered by Roaming Buffalo, and our guests had full access to all of the historic firehouse’s exhibits. From well-preserved lockers to restored antique firetrucks, even a 9/11 memorial, it really was a walk through history. The 2020 National Meeting is scheduled to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, so we are open to suggestions for any local gems to take our group next year. Thank you to all who could join us!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

ClorDiSys' Trip to Jamaica to Address Mold Prevention and Remediation

ClorDiSys Solutions' Director of Technology, Mark Czarneski, was recently down in Jamaica at the annual CanEx Jamaica Business Conference & Expo, which provided our company with the opportunity to explore the Caribbean agricultural market.  We learned from a variety of countries what their concerns are with regards to mold, mildew, and pathogens.  Throughout the growing cycle, and after, ClorDiSys has the ability to prevent and remediate these issues.  We are able to do so through unique and ever-changing approaches depending on the terrain, crop, and needs of the grower as well as the consumer's needs and requirements.  We currently have studies underway utilizing our ultraviolet light disinfection systems on a commercial farm in Montego Bay. We are both excited and optimistic about the successful results.

Mark Czarneski, Director of Techonology - ClorDiSys Solutions

ClorDiSys with Honorable Audley Shaw, the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries of Jamaica

ClorDiSys with Sabato Scofield Caesar, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, and Industry of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Case Study: Airline and Retail Catering Kitchen

ClorDiSys Solutions has a wide range of experience within the food industry, having worked in Ready-to-Eat (RTE) facilities, dairy facilities, commercial kitchens, pet food facilities, and beverage plants. Biodecontamination can take place for a variety of applications. Recently, our Decontamination Services team performed a decontamination at a catering kitchen for airlines and airport retail locations.  The facility was fighting some positive environmental results and needed to regain control.  Due to the busy nature of their operation, limiting the stoppage of production was extremely important.  The chlorine dioxide gas process requires the environment to be fully sealed off from surrounding areas for safety.  The Cold Food Production Area was able to be sealed off quickly, while the Hot Food Kitchen required a much greater level of attention in order to properly seal it off from surrounding areas.  With this in mind, a two-tiered approach was taken in order to balance efficacy and treatment times.  Within the Cold Food Production Area, chlorine dioxide gas was utilized to provide a 6-log sterilization level kill of all surfaces within the space.  The Hot Food Kitchen would sanitized by fogging the area with a liquid chlorine dioxide solution.  This process does not require as tight of a seal, in turn requiring less set-up time.  This allowed both areas to be treated within the allotted downtime, while still providing an adequate level of treatment.  Environmental monitoring results taken after the treatment came back negative, and the chlorine dioxide decontamination was shown to be successful.

Generally speaking, if the space can be sealed, it can be decontaminated. If you have a service project you'd like to explore, contact us here.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Case Study: Tented Equipment in a Laboratory

ClorDiSys provides biodecontamination services for routine or single-time events, specializing in contamination prevention and response. Last week, our Decontamination Service team was in the Midwest to perform a decon at a research facility.  Our team was brought in to decontaminate a CliniMACS Prodigy® Instrument manufactured by Miltenyi Biotec.  The CliniMACS Prodigy allows for automated cell processing within a closed system and was shipped to the research facility to be used for a contract research project within their laboratory.  The research facility required the decontamination to take place to ensure that the incoming device would be sterile before entering the laboratory.  Being a small device, the CliniMACS Prodigy was moved into an airlock and tented for decontamination.  Tenting the CliniMACS Prodigy took approximately 20 minutes, and the decontamination started shortly thereafter.  The decontamination took a total of 2 hours. After which, the chlorine dioxide gas was removed using a carbon scrubber.  Once complete, the tent was removed from the CliniMACS Prodigy, and it was safe to be brought into the laboratory.

ClorDiSys' chlorine dioxide gas technology allows for a complete decontamination of your facility, room, equipment, or ductwork with minimal downtime. View a sample of some other decontamination service projects here, and Request a Decontamination Service Quote if you have a project you'd like to explore.

Monday, September 9, 2019

AirGlow: In-duct Ultraviolet Light Disinfection System

AirGlow™ is an in-duct ultraviolet light disinfection system that can be installed in any HVAC system. Ultraviolet light (UV) is a specific part of the electromagnetic spectrum of light that offers bactericidal effects. When a micro-organism is exposed to UV-C, the nuclei of the cells are altered due to photolytic processes. This process prevents further replication and causes cell death. As air passes the quartz glass UV-C bulbs of the AirGlow, the travelling air is disinfected, and harmful organisms that may have been present are killed. This provides continuous disinfection without special attention or risk of exposure to people in room.

The AirGlow can be utilized for two distinct purposes. To help reduce and/or eliminate the growth of bacteria, mold and spores as well as prevent the spread of airborne transmitted diseases, the AirGlow would be positioned parallel to the airflow to maximize contact time on the organisms. To improve energy efficiency, the AirGlow would be positioned parallel to the cooling coils. Used in this configuration, biofilm production on the coils is prevented. Biofilms are known to increase static pressure and cause the HVAC system to work harder and less efficient. Clean coils can deliver a 30% increase in cooling capacity which in turn reduces energy consumption and costs.

The AirGlow is constructed of corrosion-resistant stainless steel, and it is offered in a variety of sizes. The following information is required to size an ultraviolet system for duct air treatment:
Duct or plenum size
Length of compartment or duct where AirGlow is to be installed
Air speed typically provided in cfm (cubic feet per minute)
Approximate air temperature

If you are interested in learning more about the AirGlow™ and how it can benefit your company’s HVAC, call ClorDiSys at (908) 236-4100. If you would like more information about sizes and pricing, request a quote here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Can Your Facility Benefit from Use of a Portable Decontamination Chamber?

The ClorDiSys Portable Chlorine Dioxide Gas Decontamination Chamber is used in conjunction with a CD Generator to provide a rapid and highly effective method to decontaminate small and medium sized equipment and components. Both the chamber and the gas generator are easily portable allowing for a decontamination station to be set up anywhere in your facility. Items can be treated near the point of contamination reducing the possibility of spreading the potential risk, or components can be sterilized before use, then safely moved under aseptic conditions to a different part of your facility. Decontamination time can be under 90 minutes for a 63 ft3 (1.8 m3) chamber and costs under $7 in consumables per cycle.

The Portable Decontamination Chamber comes equipped with all necessary connections to easily interface with our chlorine dioxide gas generators. All of ClorDiSys' Portable Decontamination Chambers are manufactured with the utmost of care and made of rugged, durable materials to stand up to the demands of continuous use. The Chamber contains removable shelving inside, so both your large and multiple small items can be decontaminated by adding or removing shelving levels as needed.  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. The Portable Decontamination Chamber pictured is 70"W x 72"H x 30"D (178 cm x 183 cm x 76 cm), and has a decontamination capacity of 75 ft3 (2 m3), however, ClorDiSys works closely with all of its customers to provide a custom solution for any situation.

Visit our product page to learn more or request a portable decontamination chamber quote.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Dangerous Reality of Drinking a Disinfectant

The FDA recently issued a warning for sodium chlorite products such as “Miracle” or “Master” Mineral Solution. At ClorDiSys, we would like to echo these concerns, as we do not recommend the ingestion of sodium chlorite or chlorine dioxide.  These products are sold online as “treatments” by many independent distributors. Such products go by a variety of names including Miracle or Master Mineral Solution, MMS, Chlorine Dioxide (CD) Protocol, and Water Purification Solution (WPS). Websites selling Miracle Mineral Solution describe the product as a liquid that is 28 percent sodium chlorite in distilled water. When mixed according to package directions with citric acid, that liquid becomes chlorine dioxide.  Some distributors promote on social media dangerous claims that this is an antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial liquid that is a remedy for autism, cancer, flu, and other conditions. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not aware of any research showing that these products are safe or effective for treating any illness. In fact, the agency has received many reports that these products have made consumers sick, and they strongly urge consumers to discontinue their use and not to purchase them.

As a world leader in chlorine dioxide, ClorDiSys Solutions has received phone calls from curious consumers asking if it is safe to ingest these or any of our products. Our response aligns with that of the FDA. Both sodium chlorite and chlorine dioxide are not meant to be consumed by people. Drinking any of these chlorine dioxide products can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, severe dehydration, or even death. Please click here to read more from the FDA’s consumer warning. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection UV-C Check Strips

There are many industries where disinfection without the use of chemicals is critical, and ultraviolet light can provide a safe, effective solution. To ensure light exposure during a disinfection cycle, UV-C Check Strips are used. UV-C Check Strips are photochromic intensity indicators that create a simple, reliable, low cost method of monitoring ultraviolet light intensity. The Check Strips have an adhesive backing that allows for easy application to any surface.  When exposed to UV-C, the yellow labels undergo a gradual color change from yellow to green that is directly related to the energy value received.  With increased exposure, the indicator labels will deepen in color. While this color change does not guarantee sterilization, it is a way to provide validation of disinfection in a clear and easy manner.  UV-C Check Strips are important in ensuring that packaging or surfaces have indeed been exposed to germicidal ultraviolet light.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

ClorDiSys Disinfection Services

If your facility does not necessarily require a 6-log (99.9999%) sterilization level decontamination, ClorDiSys does offer alternative disinfection options to our chlorine dioxide gas services. However, please note, the difference between spore and bacterial inactivation is the same as the difference between sterilization and disinfection. For a chemical agent to be classified as a sterilant, it must be demonstrated to be effective at inactivating spores, the hardest organisms to kill. Disinfection, on the other hand, does not require the complete inactivation of spores or all microbial life and is normally validated against a few vegetative bacteria species. For this reason, disinfecting agents are less rigorous decontaminating agents and are not as effective as sterilizing agents.

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection Services
ClorDiSys offers ultraviolet light services for contamination response or routine preventive disinfection. Ultraviolet light provides a quick, chemical free disinfection method capable of eliminating viruses, bacteria, and mold from the air and visible surfaces. UV-C is extremely inexpensive, and disinfection cycles are fast, allowing for quick turnover times of the spaces being disinfected. Utilizing products such as our Torch UV Tower, we can get a calculated 99% reduction of bacteria in 1 minute and spores in 5 minutes. Rooms, vehicles, and other enclosed spaces can be disinfected quickly and safely using this residue free process.

Chlorine Dioxide Fogging Disinfection Services
ClorDiSys also provides disinfection fogging services with liquid chlorine dioxide. The liquid chlorine dioxide is sprayed on surfaces at concentrations capable of eliminating viruses, bacteria, fungi and spores. Handheld foggers are used, so a trained technician can reach more surfaces than a stationary fogger, by opening enclosures and changing the angle of application in order to minimize shadow areas which are not being contacted.

In one case, a new facility was disinfected by fogging with a liquid chlorine dioxide to provide a clean start for research taking place within the facility.  A high concentration liquid chlorine dioxide was fogged throughout the facility, similar to a hydrogen peroxide vapor treatment.  A team opened drawers, cabinets, and equipment in order to ensure that all visible surfaces were sprayed and treated with liquid chlorine dioxide. This method offers a level of disinfection comparable to utilizing VPHP.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Reception at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience

Following the IAFP exhibit hall hours on Monday, July 22nd, ClorDiSys Solutions hosted a reception at Kentucky’s first commercial distiller, Evan Williams. Located on Louisville’s historic Whiskey Row, guests entered through a safe door and took a step back in time to the Age of Prohibition where catered hors d’oeuvres and drinks were served in the venue’s “Speakeasy”.

We also had the opportunity to experience an Open House Tour of the distillery. On this self-guided tour, we passed recreations of the Louisville wharf in the late 18th Century as well as Whiskey Row from the late 1800’s through the present. Evan Williams’ Bourbon Hosts were stationed along the way to educate us and lead in four premium bourbon tastings. Additionally, we saw a state-of-the-art, modern, operating distillery utilizing the same type of pot stills as the early Bourbon-making days.

Thank you to all who were able to join us at this event, and congratulations to those who won our giveaways including an Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet and an Echo Show. This reception is certainly going to be a tough act to follow in Cleveland for the 2020 IAFP Annual Meeting, but we are up for the challenge.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Decontaminating Dry Processing Environments

This week, the International Association for Food Protection's (IAFP) annual meeting took place in Louisville, KY.  We had the privilege of participating in a session entitled, “Challenges of Sanitation in Dry Processing Environments: What are the Evolving Methods?” Alongside a group of our industry peers, we discussed how dry gasses can be used to complement your sanitation process. During the presentation, we described how “harborage locations” within a production environment only exist when your sanitation method is ineffective at penetrating the cracks and crevices within a facility.  Gases naturally fill up the volume they are contained within evenly, meaning that there are no surfaces which go uncontacted.  

Chlorine dioxide gas and ozone gas are two residue-free, dry gas sanitation methods that are capable of penetrating into crevices further than pathogens can hide.  This is because they have a smaller molecule size than the smallest virus, measuring in between 0.124-0.127 nm. Ozone has difficulty in large environments however, as it breaks down rather quickly with a half-life of about 30 minutes.  This makes it difficult to accumulate the proper dosage at locations further from the ozone generator as treatment times typically range from 4-36 hours.  Chlorine dioxide has a half-life much longer than the treatment time, meaning that there is no natural loss in concentration during the decontamination itself.

Gas decontamination offers a fundamentally better chance of contacting pathogens throughout a facility, which is the biggest challenge to traditional sanitation methods.  Using chlorine dioxide gas as a supplement to your traditional sanitation method in order to provide a periodic “deep clean” will help establish a true “clean break” within your facility.  Whether treating your entire production facility, a single piece of equipment, or the inside of equipment and its piping / PC lines, chlorine dioxide gas is extremely well suited to eliminate pathogens wherever they reside.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst.

Why are food facilities in need of decontamination? The most obvious is in contamination response. This could be for facilities that are shutdown and in the middle of a recall, or those simply battling some positive swab results in zones two, three or four. For situations like these, ClorDiSys offers pre-planning for an emergency decontamination. First, we would initiate communication between everyone who would potentially be involved. We would sit down with your facilities, quality and EHS people and make sure everyone knew their role if a contamination should occur. Next, we would establish potential scenarios to determine pricing. In most cases, this is better pricing, simply because other companies might see that you are vulnerable in the case of a contamination and see it as an opportunity to take advantage with the price tag. With us, you would know the cost up front and it’s likely to be less because we have planned ahead with you. Also, the preparation would not just involve you and us, but we have access to other professionals in the field who could be helpful. Finally, as long as everything can be taken care of remotely, there is no cost for us to plan this with you and the result would be a well-written procedure that you could keep in your files.

What do we need to create an emergency response plan? The only things that we would need from your company are a floor plan of the facility, the estimated cubic footage, some photos of the area, and information on the exhaust system. The reason for the exhaust system information is that we would need to know how to aerate – either directly into the air or broken down with carbon scrubbers. Preparing this plan with you could also potentially involve a site visit from us to get a better idea of the little details that would go into a successful decontamination.

If you’re ready to get started, email Kevin Lorcheim or call (908) 236-4100. You can also visit us at the IAFP Annual Meeting next week. We are booth #213.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

CD Checkstrips: Color Changing Chemical Indicators

CD Checkstrips are designed to provide an easy, quick and cost-effective way to document your chlorine dioxide decontamination process. The 1/2" x 3 3/4" strips offer a visual confirmation that chlorine dioxide gas was present in the area in which the test strip was placed. The check marks on the paper strips will change color from purple to pink when contacted by chlorine dioxide gas. The color-changed strips can be kept as part of your facility log to provide documented evidence that the decontamination process was performed. This color change does not guarantee sporicidal sterilization. For sterilization cycle verification and validation, Biological Indicators (BI’s) should be used. CD Checkstrips are non-hazardous and can be disposed of as regular waste. Click here to request a quote or call our office at (908) 236-4100.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Chlorine Dioxide: The Safest of all Decontaminating Agents

All decontamination methods have a safety risk due to the nature of their use. Because of that, a variety of aspects should be considered to ensure that the process will be safe for your environment and employees. Gaseous chlorine dioxide (CD) can be used safer than other fumigation methods due to its chemical properties and safety profile.

The best safety feature with CD gas is that it is self-alerting. Chlorine dioxide has an odor threshold at or below the 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA), so the user is self-alerted to exposure at a low level and the reliance on external equipment is not as imperative. With Vapor Phase Hydrogen Peroxide (VPHP), there is no odor to provide a warning of exposure. This alone makes CD gas safer since the user and nearby personnel are self-alerted before unsafe levels are achieved, and the reliance upon external equipment is less critical.

Chlorine dioxide gas has a shorter cycle time than other high level decontamination methods, lowering the risk profile for the process itself.  Decontaminating a 10” x 20” room would take approximately 3.5 hours from start to end when it is safe to reenter the room.  Formaldehyde would be about 12.5 hours, and VPHP could be 10+ hours. VPHP has longer cycles because of the extended aeration times due to the nature of vapor condensation and absorption issues that do not apply with a true gas. Formaldehyde has long cycles because of long exposure times and the neutralization time. A longer cycle time represents a greater risk as the room contains an unsafe environment throughout the decontamination process.  CD gas is able to reduce the risk by completing its decontamination cycle in a much shorter time while still delivering a complete, 6-log decontamination of the room.
Chlorine dioxide is typically used at lower concentrations for room decontamination. VPHP concentrations are typically 750-1500 ppm. Formaldehyde concentration is typically 10,000 ppm. CD concentration is typically 360 ppm. Use concentrations for all agents are much higher than safe levels, however if something goes wrong, the higher concentration of formaldehyde and VPHP poses a greater risk.

The chlorine dioxide gas generating equipment is located outside the room or chamber being decontaminated.  If equipment is inside the room and some issue occurs, the possibility exists where the user may have to enter the during unsafe conditions in order to shut the equipment down.  Since our CD generation equipment is located outside the chamber, if an issue occurs, the equipment can easily be shutdown by hitting the stop button located on the generator or simply pulling the plug.

Chlorine dioxide gas is not classified as a carcinogen by any health organization.  Chlorine dioxide is used to treat drinking water in over 800 municipalities within the United States, and it is widely used in Europe as well.  Chlorine dioxide is also on the National Organic Program’s List of Approved and Prohibited Substances as an approved substance for use in organic foods. Formaldehyde is classified as a known carcinogen by most of the leading health organizations worldwide, and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) designates VPHP as an A3, Confirmed Animal Carcinogen with Unknown Relevance to Humans.

One of the most important safety factors for decontamination methods are their ability to completely decontaminate the space they are introduced into.  Chlorine dioxide and formaldehyde are gasses which reach and penetrate all areas throughout the room/chamber including cracks, crevices and other hard to reach areas.  Vapors have difficulty reaching these areas due to poor diffusive properties and condensation issues. If the decontaminating agent cannot reach ALL of the dangerous organisms in the space, at the proper concentration, for the prescribed amount of time, then a complete decontamination will not occur and worker safety is compromised. CD gas is able to be accurately measured in real-time using a UV-vis spectrophotometer, allowing for the correct concentration and exposure levels to be met every time, making it very reliable.

For more safety facts and method comparisons, visit our website.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Case Study: Mold Remediation of a Research Facility

In the Spring of 2012, a hospital’s life science research facility experienced flooding when a pipe located two floors above burst. In addition to water damage throughout the space, mold spores, including Aspergillus niger, were introduced and distributed. Prior to repairs being made, a full facility decontamination took place to eliminate any mold or mold spores. Chlorine dioxide gas (CD) was chosen as the method of decontamination. Sixteen biological indicators (BI) consisting of Geobacillus stearothermophilus were placed throughout the 145,000 ft3 facility which contained animal holding rooms, procedure rooms, a laboratory, a cage wash area, storage rooms, necropsy rooms, locker rooms, and bathrooms.

During the decontamination, which took place over the course of 2 days, the surrounding areas of the facility were occupied. Chemical monitoring took place throughout the event to ensure that facility personnel were not exposed to any leakage. Upon completion of the decontamination, the 16 biological indicators exposed, as well as a positive control BI, were tested for growth. After the incubation period, only the positive control exhibited growth, demonstrating that the decontamination was a success and the facility was free of mold and mold spores. Success was also satisfied as there was no physical residue, and no visible indication of material degradation on any of the surfaces within the building, including the ventilated racks, plastic caging, and biological safety cabinets. There was also no visible indication of effect to any electronics or measurement devices in the area.

To read more about this specific decontamination, click here. If you are curious how ClorDiSys Solutions can help with your facility's contamination control, call us at (908) 236-4100.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Mold Remediation in the Cannabis Industry

During the marijuana growing process, mold can occur at any point. Mold is a major threat to cannabis, and an outbreak can be detrimental to an entire crop and, in turn, profits. Mold prevention and remediation are practices that are essential to a successful grower. Before plants enter the growing room, it is key that measures are taken to ensure no mold spores are present. This can be done to 100% effectiveness through chlorine dioxide gas decontamination. An entire facility can be sealed and decontaminated using gaseous CD to completely sterilize the space, eliminating any pre-existing organisms and their spores. A quick, chemical-free, highly effective room disinfection alternative can be implemented through ultraviolet light. Unlike a gas that can result in complete distribution of the decontaminating agent, UV-C will only kill where light is emitted onto. However, for an affordable and simple method, UV-C is the optimal solution.

The Torch™ is an easily transportable, powerful disinfection system that can be positioned in the room to achieve a 99% kill level on any surface, including plants, the light is emitted onto in mere minutes. Seeds and buds can be placed in an ultraviolet light chamber, such as the Flashbox™ or Flashbox-mini™, to achieve kill on potential spores without causing death to the seed. Seeds can also be placed inside of a Tyvek™ pouch and decontaminated inside a chlorine dioxide gas isolator.

Mold spores are also highly present in the air. To destroy this risk, ultraviolet light air circulation technology can be implemented to eliminate spores. Designed to replace a standard ceiling tile, the Torch Aire-Recessed™ installs easily to help reduce airborne pathogens. Air is drawn into the fixture through the louvered filter panels and disinfected within the center chamber. This design prevents UV-C exposure to those in the room by restricting light from passing into the occupied room, making it safe for people to be in the room at all times.

View all of our contamination control products to see what might fit your facility's needs best. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Case Study: Successful Decontamination of an Aseptic Fill Isolator Using Chlorine Dioxide Gas

Isolators are gas-tight enclosures typically used in either animal isolation or pharmaceutical production applications. The isolator acts as a small clean room to protect what is contained within it from any type of contaminant that exists in the normal environment. In any scenario of isolator use, the cleaning of the inside is periodically needed and can often present a challenge to the user and facility. In many applications, the isolator will be sprayed with a variety of cleaning compounds and then wiped down. While the spray and wipe is better than not cleaning at all, it will rarely result in creating a sterile environment within the isolator. The best method for creating a sterile isolator before or after use is by exposing it to a true gas, such as a chlorine dioxide (CD).

One pharmaceutical company tested a chlorine dioxide gas generator for its sporicidal activity on a prototype La Calhene aseptic fill isolator equipped with two half-suits. Twenty biological indicators were used as the microbial challenge for each test.  They were placed throughout the isolator on representative surfaces such as the exhaust vent, HEPA fan grill, and accumulator.  The biological indicators were either used in their original glassine envelopes or removed from the glassine envelope and transferred into Tyvek/film pouches. The variables of humidification time, CD concentration and CD exposure time were manipulated. Charging time to an exposure concentration of 5mg/L took approximately 9 minutes. Aeration time to safe exposure levels of 0.1ppm took less than an hour. Several exposure cycles were shown to be successful using biological indicator spore strips each having a population of 106 spores. Additionally, chlorine dioxide gas penetrated into dead-leg areas and hard to reach areas of the isolator, such as deep vents, half-suit armpits and beneath other structures. Chlorine dioxide has proven itself to be a practical and effective method for disinfecting isolators as demonstrated by the high-level spore reduction.

To read this company’s isolator decontamination study in full, click here. For more about this specific application, click here.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Influx of Influenza

It is widely known that the flu is a threat to everyone’s health.  The CDC estimates that the flu has resulted in between 9.3 million and 49 million illnesses each year in the United States since 20101.  We often times hear that the flu vaccine is the best approach to avoid contracting the illness, however it is not always effective.  There are two main explanations as to why the vaccine may not prevent contracting the flu.  One is the overall attributes of the person being vaccinated, such as their age and health.  The other is the correlation between the flu viruses currently in the environment and the flu vaccine currently designed to protect our population. 

Another way to eliminate the harmful influenza virus is by eliminating it from the environment through ultraviolet light (UV-C) disinfection.  With the proper dosage, UV-C kills any organism that the light shines upon.  There are even UV-C devices designed to disinfect airborne contaminants such as the influenza virus.  The Torch Aire- Recessed™ replaces a 2’x4’ ceiling tile and has the ability to disinfect up to 12,600 cubic feet per hour.  Air is pulled into the unit and passed over enclosed UV-C lamps to kill any harmful organism in seconds.  The air is then sent through a filter, trapping any large particulates before they have the chance to reenter the space.  It is perfect for any healthcare setting thanks to its ability to continuously run while the room is occupied, as well as its ease of placement and its rapid and effective performance.

Learn more about this unit, and other UV-C disinfection devices that can fit any application you may have, by contacting us here or by visiting us at APIC June 12-14 in Philadelphia at booth 1239!   


Friday, May 17, 2019

The Myths and Misconceptions of Chlorine Dioxide Gas

Chlorine dioxide gas has been recognized as a disinfectant since the early 1900's, and it has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for many applications in a variety of industries. It has been demonstrated effective as a broad spectrum, anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal agent, as well as a deodorizer. Even though chlorine dioxide has been around for over a century, there is still a surprising amount of inaccurate information and misconceptions. We would like to take the opportunity to address some of those misrepresentations.

Although chlorine dioxide has "chlorine" in its name, its chemistry is radically different from that of chlorine. When reacting with other substances, it is weaker and more selective, allowing it to be a more efficient and effective sterilizer. For example, it does not react with ammonia or most organic compounds. Most importantly, chlorine dioxide oxidizes products rather than chlorinating them, eliminating the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs) and other environmentally undesirable chlorinated organic compounds.

The very reason decontaminating agents are used is for the purpose of killing organisms. As such, no agent can truly claim to be safe. However, chlorine dioxide gas is the safest fumigant available, due to its physical attributes and process advantages. Chlorine dioxide is not classified as a carcinogen by any health agency. Chlorine dioxide does have an odor similar to chlorine, which is beneficial because chlorine is such a recognizable smell. The odor detection level is very similar to the OSHA 8-hr safety level of .1 ppm allowing you to detect any gas leakage quickly. Cycle times are shorter with CD gas due to its faster aeration time to safe levels. This means that a potentially unsafe condition exists for a far shorter time when using CD for room decontamination.

Unlike many decontaminating agents, chlorine dioxide has the unique ability to retain its sterilization capacity in water. Chlorine reacts with water to form hydrochloric acid, but chlorine dioxide does not, maintaining a neutral pH in water. Gaseous CD is the only decontaminating fumigant that penetrates water, decontaminating both the water and the surface beneath.

The leading liquid chlorine dioxide solutions are produced through the mixing of an acid and a base. It is this acid which makes the liquid chlorine dioxide solution highly corrosive. ClorDiSys, however, does not produce chlorine dioxide gas in this same way. The method of generation ClorDiSys uses is a completely dry process where a 2% chlorine, 98% nitrogen gas flows through a matrix of sodium chlorite to produce producing 100% pure chlorine dioxide gas. The chlorine dioxide gas generated through the ClorDiSys process has an oxidation potential that is 1.5 times less that of vapor-phase hydrogen peroxide (VPHP), making it technically less corrosive. Because ours is a pure and dry process, our chlorine dioxide gas doesn’t leave a residue and does not require additional cleanup.

Chlorine dioxide is widely used as an antimicrobial and as an oxidizing agent in drinking water, poultry process water, swimming pools, and mouthwash preparations. It is used to sanitize fruit and vegetables and also equipment for food and beverage processing. It is also employed in life science research laboratories, pharmaceutical facilities, and the healthcare industry to decontaminate rooms, passthroughs, isolators, and ductwork as well as product and component sterilization. It is also extensively used to bleach, deodorize, and detoxify a wide variety of materials, including cellulose, paper-pulp, flour, leather, fats and oils, and textiles. Approximately 4 to 5 million pounds are used daily.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Contract Sterilization

ClorDiSys Solutions offers Contract Sterilization Services where we can decontaminate your items, equipment, supplies, and products at our facility and then ship them back to you or onward to a third party. ClorDiSys utilizes chlorine dioxide gas, a US EPA registered sterilant capable of killing all viruses, bacteria, fungi, and spores. Chlorine dioxide gas is also effective against beta lactams such as Penicillins, Cephalosporins, and Carbapenums as well as amplicons and pinworm eggs. Customers can choose to single or double wrap items in Tyvek and may include biological indicators as well. Turnaround time is traditionally 24 hours, with items typically being shipped back the day after they arrive. In some cases, turnaround time can be hours, with the items arriving, being treated, and shipped on the same day. Upon completion, you will be issued a Contract Decontamination Certification Sheet describing the process and showing the sterilization cycle data.

  • Sterilization for Non-Sterile Facilities
    • Medical Devices, Instruments, HEPA and other Sterilizing Filters
  • Equipment, Components, and Items entering a Clean Facility
    • Tools, Computers, Printers, Keyboards, RFID Tags, Monitoring Instruments, Microscopes, Animal Cages, Shoes, and Safety Glasses
  • Decontamination of Contaminated Components
    • Returns from user sites, mold issues, pinworm eggs, amplicons, and beta lactams

View our sample submittal form and call the office at (908) 236-4100 with any questions.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Chlorine Dioxide: What Does it Kill?

ClorDiSys' chlorine dioxide (CD) gas is registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a sterilizer (EPA Reg#: 80802-1). The US EPA defines a sterilizer as able "to destroy or eliminate all forms of microbial life including fungi, viruses, and all forms of bacteria and their spores," meaning ClorDiSys' chlorine dioxide gas will inactivate any form of antimicrobial life including spores. Spores are among the hardest organisms to kill and for this reason sterilizing agents are considered the most rigorous decontaminating agents. The difference between spore and bacterial inactivation is the same as the difference between sterilization and disinfection. CD gas is also proven effective against beta-lactams, pinworm eggs, and amplicons. Testing has been done using chlorine dioxide on a multitude of specific organism types. A table with some of the more commonly seen organisms that chlorine dioxide has been proven to eliminate can be viewed here. As testing is constantly ongoing, this is not to be thought of as a complete list of organisms in which chlorine dioxide gas is effective against. To date, no organism tested against CD gas has proved resistant.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Chlorine Dioxide & Food Contact Surfaces

As a residue free process, chlorine dioxide gas is safe for use on food contact surfaces. It is even on the National Organic Program's List of Approved and Prohibited Substances as an approved substance for use on organic foods. ClorDiSys has also been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) for antimicrobial fruit and vegetable rinses in both the gaseous and liquid states with more approvals in the works now.

Chlorine dioxide’s use is allowed under FDA jurisdiction as given in the following regulations: 
  • GRAS Notice 062, GRAS Notice 161

The above incorporate a variety of industry applications including chlorine dioxide’s use as an antimicrobial agent in water used in both poultry processing and for washing fruits and vegetables. It is also allowed as a sanitizing solution on food-processing equipment and utensils, to bleach whole wheat flour, and can be used in packaging materials for fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. 

Food Contact Notices (FCN) are required for any new food contact substance and uses which do not fall under the scope of the regulations above. A FCN is effective for the manufacturer, the Food Contact Substance (FCS), and the conditions of use identified in the notification and not effective for a similar or identical substance produced or prepared by another manufacturer. ClorDiSys has the following food contact notices in place: 
  • FCN 1665 – Chlorine dioxide as an antimicrobial agent used to fumigate fruits and vegetables, including raw agricultural commodities. 
  • FCN 1634 – Chlorine dioxide as an antimicrobial agent in water used in poultry processing and to wash fruits and vegetables, including raw agricultural commodities (RAC). 
  • FCN 1421 – Chlorine dioxide as an antimicrobial agent in air to treat fruits and vegetables. 
  • FCN 1400 – Chlorine dioxide as an antimicrobial agent in water used in poultry processing and to wash fruits and vegetables that are not raw agricultural commodities.

Click here to view the Food Contact Notices in their entirety, and be sure to stop by Booth #1635 at next week’s Petfood Forum and Booth #433 at next month’s Food Safety Summit.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Fogging with Liquid Chlorine Dioxide

If your facility does not necessarily require a 6-log (99.9999%) sterilization level decontamination, ClorDiSys offers alternative options to our chlorine dioxide gas services including chlorine dioxide fogging. The term fogging is the method of decontamination when a liquid is applied in a mist onto a room’s surfaces. Compared to gaseous chlorine dioxide, which spreads throughout an entire facility and penetrates into the smallest cracks, fogging has some limitations.  Liquid fogging has many factors that reduce the ability of this agent to reach all the required areas for the required amount of time in order to achieve a successful decontamination cycle.  Liquids have difficulty penetrating into crevices as they cannot overcome the surface tension.   

When providing disinfection fogging services, ClorDiSys sprays surfaces with liquid chlorine dioxide applied at concentrations capable of eliminating viruses, bacteria, fungi and spores. Handheld foggers are used such that a trained technician is able to reach more surfaces than a stationary fogger by opening drawers, cabinets and enclosures, as well as changing the angle of application in order to minimize shadow areas which are not being contacted. During application, PPE such as a full-face respirator or PAPR is required for all people in the room. Safe concentrations should be verified prior to re-entry without PPE. In most cases, only minutes are required to get below 0.1 ppm prior to re-entry.

Fogging with a liquid chlorine dioxide provides a more economical disinfection method compared to gaseous decontamination, offering a value proposition for less critical contamination control applications.  Interested in learning more about fogging with liquid chlorine dioxide? Email us with any questions or potential projects.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Sealing Up Spaces for Decontamination

Properly sealing a space prior to decontamination is important no matter what method is being used, as they all include some level of risk.  While sealing a space is not a highly challenging process, it does involve both a keen eye and attention to detail.  Typically, the materials used to seal a space consist of duct tape and plastic, occasionally caulk.  The general guideline to sealing a space involves the following:

Seal around any penetrations into the space

This step includes checking to see if any pipes, electrical conduit, conveyors, ductwork, or other items go through the wall/floor/ceiling.  Sometimes these penetrations are sealed, using caulk, gaskets or other means.  When they are not sealed and there is a gap for air to travel into/out of the space, additional sealing is necessary in order to contain the decontaminating agent.  If permanent sealing is appropriate, the gaps can be caulked in place.  For circumstances where permanent sealing is not allowed, duct tape is the primary sealing tool.

Sealing off the HVAC system

In order to provide the decontaminating agent the contact time necessary to achieve the level of kill desired, the space must be isolated from an active HVAC.  Depending upon how the HVAC system interacts with the space and surrounding areas, the supply and exhaust can either be sealed off at the room level or at the roof level.

Sealing doors

Finally, once the penetrations are sealed and the space is isolated from the HVAC, the doors are all that is left to be sealed.  Once again, simply using duct tape to seal around the door is sufficient to properly seal off the area being decontaminated.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection at Hospitals

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can happen in any health care facility, including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and long-term care facilities.  HAIs have increased 36% over the past two decades. Patients come in contact with many items and surfaces within a hospital. Surfaces such as walls, curtains, remotes, clothing, and handrails are all potential transfer sites of infection. 41% of patient rooms had at least one surface contaminated with MRSA and/or C. difficile.1 The air is another carrier for harmful organisms, leaving the setting as a whole to be potentially very dangerous.

ClorDiSys is proud to offer a complete line of ultraviolet light disinfection products and services to enhance your healthcare facility’s infection prevention program. In the waiting rooms, operating rooms, and patient rooms, the Torch Aire-Recessed allows for continuous disinfection of the flow of air by simply 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.

Room surfaces can be disinfected by a variety of UV disinfection systems, including the Torch and Torch+. The Torch is an inexpensive, easily transportable, powerful disinfection system used to provide a rapid and highly effective method to disinfect surfaces and common touch points to reduce the transfer of dangerous organisms. Each Torch tower produces an efficient UV-C output of 12 mJ/minute (200 μw/cm2) to get a calculated 99% reduction of MRSA in 1 minute and Clostridium difficile spores in 5 minutes. The Torch system is designed to be so economical that multiple units are affordable enough to place into a room at the same time to eliminate shadow areas and maximize coverage. 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 option is desired, the Flashbar can be installed in the room to provide an even simpler UV system for routine disinfection. By adjusting the quantity and placement of Flashbar units in a room, decontamination can match workflow patterns involved in the facility’s layout.

Make sure your patients leave healthy and stay healthy. Learn more on April 16 at our Ultraviolet Light 101 webinar or visit Booth #1848 at next week’s AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo.

1.           Faires et al. The Identification and Epidemiology of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile in Patient Rooms and the Ward Environment. BMC Infectious Diseases 2013.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Case Studies: Protein Powder Facilities

Chlorine dioxide gas (CD) is the most effective method of decontamination available. It has been used in the food industry for many years for the decontamination of facilities, tanks, rooms, laboratories, piping systems, duct work, spiral freezers, cargo trailers, tented pieces of equipment, and so much more. Below are a couple examples of projects ClorDiSys completed in protein powder facilities.

Protein Powder Refining and Packaging Facility
This 300,000 cubic feet facility consisted of a small packaging room, a mixing room, and a dryer room. The dryer room was 70 feet 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. ClorDiSys was able to fumigate the facility utilizing gaseous chlorine dioxide and eliminate the organisms while providing sporicidal kill of Biological Indicators (BI) placed throughout the facility.

Protein Powder Grinding, Drying, and Packaging Facility
This seven room, 200,000 cubic feet facility consisted of packaging rooms, grinding room, mixing room, and a dryer room. The rooms consisted of various processing equipment. There was also an adjacent control room and office area that were also decontaminated to ensure a thorough treatment. ClorDiSys was able to fumigate the facility utilizing gaseous chlorine dioxide and eliminate the organisms while providing sporicidal kill of Biological Indicators (BI) placed throughout the facility.

The decontamination cycle employed by ClorDiSys involves many checks and safety factors to ensure that a thorough level of kill took place. Biological Indicators, also known as BIs or spore strips, are used as a test of the process efficacy.  The BIs used by ClorDiSys consist of a paper substrate impregnated with more than a million bacterial spores wrapped within Tyvek, because this particular organism is known to be of high resistance.  BIs are placed within the area being decontaminated, usually in hard-to-reach areas or hot spots, to confirm the decontamination’s success. 

You can read more case studies from a variety of industries in our Decontamination Services brochure.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Lyophilizer Sterilization

Lyophilizer and freeze dryer are synonymous names for the same equipment. A lyophilizer (lyo) executes a water removal process typically used to preserve perishable materials, to extend shelf life or make the material more convenient for transport. It is usually decontaminated on a periodic basis and after each production batch. The standard process is to decontaminate by using steam to raise the temperature and hold it there until 6-log kill is attained. After the proper sterilization time is reached, the lyophilizer is then left to cool before product is brought in for another cycle. Because of the large thermal mass, this can take many hours. Lyophilizers also need to pull deep vacuums to perform the drying function. Heating and cooling with steam causes thermal expansion and contraction which compromises the tight tolerances required to keep the lyo sealed enough to reach deep vacuum levels. To mitigate these concerns and provide a faster sterilization cycle, chlorine dioxide gas can be used to decontaminate the components.

  • Quicker cycles with Chlorine Dioxide Gas than Steam or Vapor Phase Hydrogen Peroxide
    • 1.5 to 3 hours depending on desired level of kill and sensitivity of components versus 24 hours for steam or 8 to 12 hours for VPHP.

  • Less stress on the lyophilizer with Chlorine Dioxide Gas than Steam 
    • No thermal stresses with CD gas as there are with steam, because there are no heating and cooling requirements.
  • No cycle development required for Chlorine Dioxide Gas
    • CD: 1 mg/liter for 2 hours or 5 mg/liter for 30 minutes of exposure. 
    • VPHP: Cycle parameters must be developed for every specific application. If ambient temperatures change, the cycle parameters most likely need to be changed.

To learn more, read our Application Note about this specific use.

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.