Monday, November 30, 2020

What to Consider When Purchasing an Ultraviolet Light Disinfection Device

Ultraviolet light disinfection, or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), is a fast-growing and invaluable option for preventing the spread of hospital acquired infections. Since the pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, more consumers are interested in purchasing ultraviolet light products to disinfect surfaces in the home, office, transit, and other commercial spaces. This demand led to more UV manufacturing companies quickly forming to take advantage of the “opportunity.” While we encourage the utilization of this quick, reliable, chemical-free disinfection method, there is a combination of misconceptions and a lack of technical know-how that can lead to purchasing ineffective devices. Today, with so many UV light options on the market, how do you know what to choose? Here are some factors to consider when purchasing an ultraviolet light disinfection device.

PAY ATTENTION TO WAVELENGTH
Some products sold now that claim to be germicidal are actually the wrong wavelength. Ultraviolet light is divided into UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays. UV-A radiation is less hazardous than UV-B but is also significantly (approximately 1000 times) less effective than either UV-B or UV-C radiation at inactivating bacteria or viruses. It is the wavelengths in the UV-C spectrum (200-280 nm) which offer the greatest germicidal potential. The peak germicidal output is found at 265 nm, however most high-output UV-C devices produce light at the 254 nm wavelength. UV-B takes significantly much more time to reach the killing capacity of UV-C.  As UV-C light makes contact with pathogens, photolytic processes damage the DNA or RNA code, triggering lethal mutations that prevent them from reproducing properly, causing cell death.

THE THREE Ds: DOSE, DISTANCE, AND DIRECTION
The degree of inactivation by ultraviolet light is directly related to the UV-C dose applied. The UV-C dose is the product of intensity and exposure time. Light needs to contact surfaces at the correct intensity for the correct length of time to get the right dosage necessary to achieve the log reduction needed for inactivation of your target organism. When analyzing a UV-C device, compare the intensity of each unit at a certain distance. This will remove the subjective claims such as effective, fast, etc. with specific and quantifiable claims like “Device X” has an intensity of 180 microwatts per cm2 at an 8-foot distance. Many of the UV-C lamps sold for non-commercial or home use have a very low intensity, so it will require a longer exposure on a given surface area to provide effective inactivation of a bacteria or virus. 

UV-C can only inactivate organisms if they are directly exposed to the light. Therefore, the disinfection of surfaces may not be effective if the UV-C light is blocked or shaded, creating shadowed or hidden areas. Similarly, consider the size of the space or the equipment you are disinfecting because as distance from the lamp increases, effectiveness against microorganisms decreases. You may need to choose a light that is tall or angled to best reach areas of concern. Additionally, you may also consider the use of multiple lights at different angles and heights to maximize exposure.  If only utilizing one light, it may be necessary to relocate it to multiple locations in order to maximize UV-C exposure of surfaces within the space.

HANDHELD UV-C WANDS
Some ultraviolet light companies sell handheld wands for swiping over surfaces to kill organisms. Such products are easy to find on sites like Amazon and eBay, and their product descriptions are definitely alluring. However, problems with the wands outweigh any potential disinfection benefits. Regardless of the product, UV-C should not be exposed to skin or eyes as it will inflict a severe “sunburn”. If wands are to be effective, they would need to put out enough UV-C intensity to be very hazardous to the operator. If the wand has a low enough output to be safe for operator presence, it would be too low to effectively kill organisms. Regardless of output, the operator needs to have very precise timing hovering over surfaces in order for a wand to be effective at all. For that reason, ClorDiSys does not sell or recommend the use of UV-C handheld wands.

THE IMPORTANCE OF QUARTZ GLASS
Most glass and plastics have limited to no permeability, blocking the UV-C from disinfecting the surfaces and items on the other side. Quartz glass is the best material for bulbs and any shelving within an ultraviolet light device as it will transmit UV light from 180 nm to 400 nm right through it.  This characteristic allows UV-C to shine optimally and disinfect surfaces sitting on quartz glass shelving, rather than prevent those surfaces from being treated. Some devices utilize metal grills which still provide kill, but not to where the items are sitting on the actual grill wires.

PURCHASE FROM AN EPA REGISTERED FACILITY
Ultraviolet lights that are sold or distributed with claims that the product can be used for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest (plant, animal, virus, bacteria or other microorganism) are federally regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Generally, without such claims, a UV-C light would not be subject to FIFRA. While UV-C devices do not need to be registered by the EPA and, in turn, are not subject to a premarket review by the EPA, if a manufacturer is making claims of preventing or disinfecting viruses, bacteria or other microorganisms, they could be unfounded. In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission went after two companies marketing UV-C disinfectant devices because of false claims about eliminating foot fungus, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli and Salmonella.  The most trusted UV-C products will be manufactured in a US EPA registered facility.

CONTINUOUS vs. PULSED UV-C 
Some companies claim that pulsed xenon is a more effective way to kill harmful pathogens.  Claiming similarities to a punch of a fist on a wall, more punches will weaken it better than one punch. However, light is not a fist.  Light is a form of energy, and continual energy is more effective than rapidly turning it on and off. The US Veterans Administration commissioned an infection prevention research team led by Curtis Donskey, M.D., to conduct an independent study of continuous ultraviolet disinfection versus xenon pulse UV-C disinfection. The results showed surprisingly low pathogen kill rates for the pulsed xenon device, about .5 log for both C.diff and VRE, even as close as 4 feet.  The continuous UV-C device demonstrated a much higher CFU reduction for the pathogens C. difficile, MRSA and VRE.  The study states, “PX-UV was less effective than continuous UV-C in reducing pathogen recovery on glass slides with a 10-minute exposure time in similar hospital rooms” and “the UV-C device achieved significantly greater log10 CFU reductions than the PX-UV device”.

SUMMARY
With a technology that’s been around for over a century, the efficacy of ultraviolet light against bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores is undeniable. However, in an unregulated market with new products and companies emerging often, consumer education is key. Intensity, bulb length, equipment quality, and price are the key factors to consider. Beware of subjective, attention-grabbing marketing techniques, and compare specific, quantifiable data. Read the product specifications, contact the seller with any questions you have, and if it is incredibly inexpensive, then it is probably too good to be true.


REFERENCES
United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2020, October). EPA Regulations About UV Lights that Claim to Kill or Be Effective Against Viruses and Bacteria. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-10/documents/uvlight-complianceadvisory.pdf

United States Food and Drug Administration. (2020, August). UV Lights and Lamps: Ultraviolet-C Radiation, Disinfection, and Coronavirus. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-covid-19-and-medicaldevices/uv-lights-and-lamps-ultraviolet-c-radiation-disinfection-and-coronavirus

Erdmann, J. (2020, August). UV Light Wands Are Supposed to Kill Viruses. But Do They Really Work? https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/uv-light-wands-are-supposed-to-kill-viruses-but-dothey-really-work

Infection Prevention Technologies, LLC. (2015, March). VA Funded Study Validates Continuous UV-C Technology For Pathogen Reduction. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/va-funded-studyvalidates-continuous-uv-c-technology-for-pathogen-reduction-300057832.html

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A Spotlight on Stethoscopes as a Transmitter of COVID-19 and Other Pathogens

 All eyes are on healthcare providers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in reported cases. More specifically, this added attention has highlighted the shortcomings of facilities’ infection control programs and the lack of education and enforcement for personnel. Some dangerous, but common employee habits include poor handwashing compliance, wearing scrubs out of the hospital, and not cleaning shared equipment. One of the dirtiest pieces of equipment is one that comes into contact with patients regularly, and that instrument is the stethoscope. 

Despite being  used for nearly every patient examination, the stethoscope is rarely, if ever, cleaned before being placed on a patient’s body (yes, yours included). A recent article published in Infection Control Today featured an interview with W. Frank Peacock, MD, FACEP, FACC, FESC that discussed the lack of stethoscope disinfection.  Dr. Peacock explained, “Only about 4% of healthcare providers clean stethoscopes according to guidelines set down by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the CDC’s guidelines don’t go nearly far enough, saying that stethoscopes should be cleaned once a week.” While four percent compliance is unacceptable, the CDC’s guideline of only disinfecting stethoscopes once a week is also unacceptable.  In one week’s time, hundreds of patients can come into contact with the device, easily cross-contaminating pathogens between the sick and the healthy.  As Dr. Peacock details, “To do it [disinfect a stethoscope] right, you are supposed to take an alcohol swab and rub it for a minute. And even when you do that, 20% to 30% of the stethoscope will still be dirty.” That low rate of success is not only true for stethoscopes, but other devices and common touchpoints as well.  One example being MIT’s study of smartphone disinfection methods which showed sprays or wipes are ineffective in comparison to ultraviolet light, which was capable of eliminating all organisms on the tested devices without the use of chemicals. 

Ultraviolet light, specifically UV-C, is able to kill bacteria, viruses, and spores quickly.  UV-C’s drawback is that it essentially needs direct contact with all surfaces in order to guarantee high-level disinfection on all sides of an item.  If the light is blocked or shadowed, disinfection of those surfaces is reduced or non-existent.   To overcome those challenges, ClorDiSys Solutions, Inc utilizes quartz glass shelving in the Flashbox and Flashbox-mini UV-C disinfection chambers for items to sit upon. Quartz glass is one of the few materials capable of allowing UV-C light to penetrate through completely, allowing for the full disinfection of the surfaces resting on the shelving.  High level disinfection of a stethoscope or similar item can be as short as 30 seconds depending on the UV-C system being used.  Since no chemicals are used with UV-C light, this allows for a wide variety of items to be disinfected including clipboards, cellphones, keyboards, remotes, badges, blood pressure cuffs, even N95 masks.  

Disinfecting shared devices and supplies like a stethoscope is simple, quick, and truly a necessity when reducing possible transmission of pathogens. As quoted in ACP Hospitalist, Michael B. Edmond, MD, FACP, MPH, MPA states, “Like anything that we're asking health care workers to do, you have to make it easy for them to actually do it, or your compliance rates will be low.” Just as washing hands was once seen as new and optional but now an obvious requirement, hopefully healthcare providers will disinfect stethoscopes just as regularly and thoroughly.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Case Studies: Biotech Facility's Beta-Lactam Inactivation

Recently, the ClorDiSys Decontamination Services team assisted a biotech company repurpose equipment which was previously used to manufacture a beta-lactam based product.  Repurposing equipment exposed to beta-lactams requires high-level inactivation due to the potentially life-threatening nature of beta-lactam allergies and their prevalence within society.  Having studied the inactivation of various beta-lactams using chlorine dioxide gas, our Decontamination Services team is well-equipped to handle such a task.  To read the article detailing our initial study, click here.

The laboratory in which the equipment was located had a drop ceiling.  As chlorine dioxide gas can penetrate cracks and crevices extremely well, it is able to go around and above the ceiling tiles and travel to other parts of the facility.  To mitigate the risk of leakage, the drop ceiling was covered in plastic to fully seal it off.  Inactivating the initial eight beta-lactams tested against required a dosage ten times what is required to provide a 6-log sporicidal reduction.  This meant that the use of biological indicators, our usual go-to verification method, was mostly irrelevant.  However, some biological indicators were still placed around the room in order to provide an additional data point.  In order to check for efficacy, plates were placed throughout the room with a measured inoculation of the target beta-lactam.  These plates were recovered upon completion of the chlorine dioxide gas treatment and sent to a third party laboratory for recovery testing.

The treatment itself went according to plan, with a dosage of over 7240 ppm-hrs being delivered to all surfaces within the space.  Testing came back with no recovered amounts of the target beta-lactam, showing a successful inactivation cycle had been performed.  This allowed the facility to safely repurpose the production equipment for its new use.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Published Study Reveals Places with Highest Risk of Spreading COVID-19

 A new study by Stanford University and Northwestern University suggests most COVID-19 cases in large cities across the United States stem from visits to just a few types of places. The researchers analyzed hourly cellphone data from 98 million Americans in 10 major cities, tracking their movements to certain non-residential locations or "points-of-interest" while looking at the coronavirus counts in their areas. Based on this information, the published article determined full-service restaurants, gyms, hotels and houses of worship are among the 10 percent of locations that would appear to account for 80 percent of the infections. This determination is not all too surprising as these locations tend to be smaller in size, more crowded, and people dwell there longer. Study co-author and Stanford University Professor Jure Leskovec says “Our work highlights that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing,” suggesting the reduction of these establishments’ capacity to 20 percent, as opposed to shutting them down entirely, could curb transmissions by 80 percent. Also, by capturing who is infected at which locations, the study’s model supports detailed analyses that can inform more effective and equitable policy decisions on how to reopen society safely. More research is needed to determine whether similar findings would emerge among other populations and places.

Jacqueline Howard’s CNN article was referenced for this post. The complete published study can be found in the journal, Nature. Contact ClorDiSys for highly-effective disinfection solutions to combat COVID-19 and other harmful pathogens.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Flash Tunnel: Customizable UV-C Disinfection Conveyor System

The Flash Tunnel is an ultraviolet light (UV-C) disinfection conveyor system designed for use in any setting, particularly catering to the needs of those in food production, pharmaceutical, laboratory, and research settings. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also had a number of office buildings, warehouses, and airports inquire about the Flash Tunnel for outgoing products and incoming supplies, protecting both the employees and customers. The conveyor design provides a way to effectively disinfect instruments and components from a typical environment into a barrier facility or clean environment on the opposite end without any risk of cross-contamination. 

The Flash Tunnel is a fully customized system to ensure your specific item(s) have the proper UV-C exposure according to your desired time, size, and dosage requirements. The Flash Tunnel can be of belt, roller, or chain style to accommodate the specific product and exposure level. The UV-C bulbs that last 13,000 hours are shielded by the metal enclosure blocking UV-C wavelengths from passing through, but has viewing ports to ensure proper functionality. Some common applications include the fast, chemical-free disinfection of equipment, animal feed bags, mail, masks, supplies, product packaging, and moisture sensitive electronics. 

View the brochure to learn more and contact us to start designing your own Flash Tunnel.



Thursday, October 8, 2020

Strategically Scheduled Downtime Provides Opportunity for a Verified Clean Break

For the past 18-months, our Pharmaceutical and Food Safety experts have been discussing the importance of establishing clean breaks within the production environment.  A clean break is a defined production break that involves a documented, verified, and validated cleaning and sanitation process of all food/product contact surfaces. Clean breaks are used to establish lots in order to trace their products and to limit the quantity or product recalled in case of a contamination. We recently worked with one of our food industry clients to amend their strategy and save time and money in establishing their clean break.

This dairy powder processing plant had been decontaminating their production environment annually for the past few years.  Over this time, the facility made improvements to its equipment and the building itself in order to mitigate some of the issues that were uncovered after resetting the plant’s microbiome.  In one instance, the facility was able to trace a new contamination to a minor water leak into their plant.  This year, it was determined that the environment was in much better control than in previous years as no pathogens were found in the environment.  With that information, our team entered discussions with the facility to amend the scope of the decontamination.  Instead of treating the entire production environment, the decontamination would focus on the tanks and piping system up through to the packaging equipment.  This strategy enabled the facility to save both time and money as the treatment volume was dramatically reduced, while still acting as a true clean break.  With a cost savings of over 60%, the facility is now considering this treatment plan twice a year to provide further provide peace of mind in case of a product contamination.

ClorDiSys’ decontamination method and approach to process control has enabled us to be trusted to keep critical environments safe, including most major pharmaceutical companies and 31 of the Top 100 food manufacturers. If you would like to learn more about clean breaks, how to establish the scope of a project, or our decontamination services in general, please contact us at sales@clordisys.com or complete this form.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Mold Remediation and Contamination Control in Historical Documents, Books, and Archives

Paper documents are prone to mold, one of the most serious sources of damage to library, archival, and museum collections. Of the microbes that may accumulate in documents and books, mold is one of the most damaging because it deteriorates paper, may spread to other documents, and poses a potential health threat to the people who care for them. Because of the great variety of species, mold’s patterns of growth and activity in a particular situation can be unpredictable. If a mold outbreak does occur, do not panic. There are strategies to regain control including the utilization of ultraviolet light.


As a company, ClorDiSys Solutions offers ultraviolet light (UV-C) products which can disinfect and prevent mold.  Working with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, we developed the BookLit, a tabletop UV-C chamber to help preserve their collection.  The BookLit provides a liquid-free, chemical-free method to kill mold and mold spores in just one minute. This fast cycle time is ideal as prolonged increases in the exposure of library materials to any light source are not recommended. With an interior of 50” W x 26” D x 6” H in usable space, multiple books, papers, and historical documents can be disinfected simultaneously. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has been successfully been using the BookLit for the past two years on some of their oldest and most valuable items.


 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Microbial Contamination and Mold Remediation in the Cannabis Industry

Molds, bacteria, and yeast are present everywhere, including in the air we breathe. Controlling mold and other pathogens is essential for any operation as it is a strong threat to cannabis, potentially wreaking havoc on crops. Microbiological contamination is more common than cultivators realize. They can get tracked in from anywhere at any time, and there is always some amount of mold spores in the air pretty much everywhere you go. According to California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control testing of 10,695 legal marijuana samples from July 1 through August 29, 2018, their findings produced 1,904 failed standards. This included 403 failures due to pesticides, 99 failures for residual solvents or processing chemicals, and 114 failures due to microbial impurities such as mold, E. coli, and salmonella. Decontamination is important to ensure a quality product reaches consumers.

Chlorine dioxide gas is the optimal solution for any decontamination scenario as it is a gas as room temperature, ensuring it will come in contact with every spore on every surface, even the tiniest of cracks and crevices. Ultraviolet light disinfection is a fast, simple to use, and chemical-free method, capable of providing a 99% reduction of spores within minutes. Depending on your operation, there are different challenges to preventing or eliminating contamination.

DECONTAMINATION OF EMPTY GROW ROOMS

Chlorine Dioxide Decontamination
Gaseous chlorine dioxide is an EPA registered sterilant that can be utilized prior to any plants entering the space to ensure any pre-existing mold spores be remediated. This significantly reduces the risk of cannabis crops “catching” any new mold spores. For a complete kill of all potential organisms in the entire facility, chlorine dioxide gas is the optimal way to fill an entire space evenly and completely, decontaminating every surface, crack, or crevice with no residues or additional cleanup.
Liquid chlorine dioxide can be sprayed, wiped, or mopped onto walls and floors, environmental surfaces, growing vessels, or chambers to eliminate any existing harmful organisms. Liquid chlorine dioxide can also be dosed into irrigation water or used in hydroponic systems to eliminate any contaminants. 

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection 
Ultraviolet light (UV-C) is an easy way to achieve high-level disinfection to any exposed surface in minutes. It also eliminates odors. This chemical-free and residue-free disinfection method will help reduce mold spores, therefore minimizing future risk of exposure to the cannabis plant. This is best utilized in a completely clear space to ensure maximum exposure to the UV-C light. If there are complex shapes to the space or objects in the space, the unit may need to be repositioned or multiple units may be needed to ensure as many surfaces as possible are exposed to the disinfecting light.

DECONTAMINATION OF SEEDS

Chlorine Dioxide Decontamination
A chlorine dioxide gas treatment of seeds can be completed in a chamber prior to use to deactivate any surface bacteria, mold, or other undesirable organisms. Because CD gas is a dry, residue-free sterilant, this will ensure that the seeds are in optimal condition and no longer pose risk to a plant developing mold during the growing phase. Utilizing a Tyvek pouch will allow the gas to penetrate through, keeping the seeds sterilized until ready for use.
Seeds can soak for mere minutes in a liquid chlorine dioxide solution to eliminate any surface contaminants that may be present. The removal of such contaminants will improve the future health of the plant by diminishing the risk of mold.

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection
UV-C can be applied to seeds utilizing a tabletop disinfection chamber. While the seeds are inside, they receive 360 degrees of UV-C exposure so long as they are spread out atop quartz glass shelving, limiting overlap and shadowed areas. A 99% kill on any surface mold will result without any undue harm to the seed, destroying any surface organisms that may cause mold issues in the future during the plants’ growth.

DECONTAMINATION OF PLANTS

Chlorine Dioxide Decontamination
If mold is present or forms while drying or being stored, chlorine dioxide gas can be utilized. ClorDiSys’ EPA-registered CD gas will inactivate all microbiological contaminants without leaving a residue. This treatment can be performed either in an enclosed chamber when only a select few plants are of issue or the decontamination of an entire room if there is a widespread outbreak. Prior to decontamination, users should confirm compliance with legislation.

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection
As a fast, high-level method of disinfection without the involvement of chemicals, ultraviolet light can be utilized in numerous ways throughout the growing process. This includes the elimination of odors. It can be used on a continuous, preventive basis to avoid the spread of any mold introduced or on an as-needed basis. Buds can be treated by UV-C light to eliminate mold that may grow on the surface during the drying and curing phases. UV-C light may be emitted via a wall unit or transportable device during the drying phase in order to destroy surface contaminants. At any point, including curing, the buds may be placed inside a UV-C disinfection chamber to receive direct 360-degree exposure quickly killing spores wherever the light shines.

At ClorDiSys Solutions, we take a broad look at your operation to determine the entry points for mold and other pathogens to provide expert advice and recommendations for environmental surfaces, tools, and the plants themselves. From creating stronger workflows to recommending new disinfection equipment and procedures, we aim to be a partner for your business. Drawing upon our experiences in contamination control within many different industry types, including pharmaceutical cleanrooms and food production, we deliver solutions that have been used successfully in some of the world’s most critical environments. From seed to store, ClorDiSys can help manage your risks and produce safer products for your business.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Chlorine Dioxide Gas Decontamination versus Manual Wipe Down: Which is More Efficacious and Cost Effective?

 A sterile facility becomes compromised during annual maintenance shutdowns since outside equipment, tools and people enter the clean areas. Bausch + Lomb Vision Care has a production facility in Greenville, South Carolina where all contact solutions are manufactured in sterile processing areas. These solutions must be sterile since the drops will clean lenses or be placed directly in the eye. Therefore, it is critical that containers be filled and sealed in an extremely high-quality environment. To maintain sterility of the product, the environment is cleaned and then disinfected prior to resuming normal production following their annual shutdown.

This cleaning procedure in the past required over seventy-five personnel with mops and buckets and a minimum 3 days’ worth of time followed by a disinfection process utilizing multiple applications of a high-level disinfectant solution. This process is a costly (time and materials) method that uses over $100,000 of consumable cost to fully decontaminate the entire sterile processing facility and still had inherent failures since it was a laborious manual process. To reduce the failures and potentially reduce the costs, chlorine dioxide gas decontamination was investigated.

The gross cleaning and fine cleaning are still done prior to any gassing. Afterwards, the ClorDiSys decontamination team of five people arrived on-site early afternoon to unload the crates of equipment, setup manual chlorine dioxide gas generators, and begin sealing. After setup was complete, gassing began the next day around 4:30pm. The decontamination cycle was fulfilled, and the team was cleaned up and heading out by 1:30am. Resulting ppm-hours achieved from the decontamination cycle were adequate to provide a 6-log sporicidal reduction on the biological indicators after 36 hours of incubation. It was also a success from an economic point of view.  The costs of gassing or fumigating were slightly less than the traditional spray and wipe approach  With this cost savings, shorter down time, and better coverage of the decontamination agent, chlorine dioxide gas was selected as the company’s decontamination agent.

Read more about this application and comparison in Jennifer Longstaff's Pharmaceutical Engineering article. To start planning your complete decontamination during annual shutdown, contact us here.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

High Level UV-C Disinfection in a Flash


Disinfect everyday items in a FLASH with the Flashbox-mini UV Disinfection Chamber. It is an easily transportable, lightweight tabletop chamber designed for use in a multitude of settings including facility entrances, change rooms, and other high-traffic, shared spaces. It provides a rapid and highly effective method to disinfect small items such as tablet computers, phones, N95 masks, safety glasses, shared office supplies, remote controls, badges, miscellaneous instruments, and components to reduce the transfer of dangerous organisms. It also offers a way to disinfect components without removing them from the room to help minimize the chance for cross-contamination. The disinfection chamber produces an efficient UVC output of 2000 µW/cm2 to get a greater than 99.99% reduction of bacteria and a 99.99% reduction of spores like C. difficile in the preset 30 second cycle time.
 
The Flashbox-mini simply plugs into any wall outlet. It contains 2 protected UV-C bulbs, one on the top and one on the bottom, to provide increased disinfection coverage of items placed on the quartz glass shelf. The glass door blocks UV-C wavelengths from passing through for safe visual confirmation that the unit is working properly. The door also contains a safety switch which turns the unit off if opened during an exposure.


SPECS
Usable space for items: 5" H x 6" D x 12" W
Overall Dimensions: 9" H x 8" L x 14" W 
Weight: 11 lbs.
Power: 115 VAC, 2 Amps
Bulb Lifespan: 9,000 Hours

Monday, June 15, 2020

Reopening Your Business after Coronavirus


As businesses are beginning to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic, there are questions that need to be answered:

  1. What risks do we have by reopening to employees/the public?
  2. How can we manage those risks?
  3. How do I provide comfort to our patrons that our environment is safe?
  4. How do I provide comfort to my employees that our environment is safe?
  5. What tools can help me keep my environment clean?

ClorDiSys has a long history of working in some of the most sterile environments in the world. We're looking to help businesses apply the most practical of these tools and techniques to their protocols for reopening and their enhanced contamination control plans. We work with many critical facilities from food and pharmaceutical manufacturing to healthcare environments, so we can draw upon best practices to help solve many of the challenges being faced. There is hardly a one size fits all solution, but coupled with other practices and products, there are a good number of ways to reduce the risks of bringing together so many people in one location every day and we would love to help. Every business has a different set of risks, so contact us to discuss your situation. We also have a free webinar scheduled for June 18th at two convenient times to discuss the reopening of business that will touch upon many of these ideas. If you are interested in attending, click here to register.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Planning for the Safe Return of Employees and Customers Post-Pandemic

Across the globe, countries are beginning to phase into what will be their new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States specifically, this includes allowing some "nonessential" businesses to reopen. Whether it is an office, a laboratory, a warehouse, a daycare, a gym, or a salon, extra precautions such as social distancing and symptom screenings can only do so much. Improving a facility's sanitation and contamination control is also key. ClorDiSys can help your company plan the safe return of employees and customers as your business reopens.

Ultraviolet light (UV-C) is an inexpensive, simple to use, chemical-free disinfection method effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores. Whether it is in preparation for the return of employees and customers or for ongoing disinfection between shifts, meetings, or classes, the Torch UV-C disinfection tower provides a rapid and highly effective method to disinfect surfaces, components, room surfaces and common touch points to reduce the transfer of dangerous organisms such as coronavirus. In fact, the University of Nebraska Medical Center recently published their procedure for N95 mask disinfection using our Torch.



The Torch simply plugs into any standard wall outlet and contains eight high-powered, Teflon-coated UVC lamps to provide quick disinfection times. Each Torch produces an efficient UVC output of 12 mJ/minute (200 μw/cm2) to get a calculated 99% reduction of bacteria in 1 minute and spores like C.diff in 5 minutes making it ideal for the decontamination of all your company’s shared spaces including lobbies, conference rooms, cafeterias, bathrooms, and locker rooms.

Contact ClorDiSys to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus and other dangerous pathogens by calling (908) 236-4100 or email info@clordisys.com.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Preparing for and Responding to Coronavirus in the Workplace

A new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The results provide key information about the stability of SARS-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), suggesting people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects. Does your facility have a plan if one of your employees test positive for COVID-19?
 
Some international destinations as well as parts of the United States now have ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19. Community spread means people have been infected, and it is not known how or where they became exposed. Prevent the spread of coronavirus within your workforce by utilizing ClorDiSys Solutions’ high-level disinfection services in your facility’s high traffic areas. Our company offers three reasonably-priced decontamination options for all of your company’s shared space concerns including lobbies, conference rooms, cafeterias, bathrooms, and locker rooms.
  1. Electrostatic spraying with chlorine dioxide, minncare, sodium hypochlorite, or other agent of your choice to eliminate organisms on surfaces for pinpoint disinfection
  2. Electrostatic spraying with BioBlock 90, a disinfecting agent that doubles as a protection layer from organisms for up to 90 days
  3. Quick, chemical free, UV-C facility disinfection: UV-C is the killing spectrum of ultraviolet light proven effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores including SARS-CoV
Protect your team and your business from viruses, bacteria, spores, and other harmful organisms.


SOURCES
https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016609340400179X

Friday, March 13, 2020

What Coronavirus Means for Mass Transit and other Public Spaces


On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the entire United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). On March 11, 2020, WHO publicly characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working closely with state health departments on disease surveillance, contact tracing, and providing interim guidance for clinicians on identifying and treating coronavirus infections. What does this mean for the millions of Americans who count on buses, subways and commuter trains to get to work, school, and other daily activities?


The very thought of being in close or confined quarters with other passengers is cause for hesitation and potential panic. Transit agencies around the country have responded to the public health emergency by announcing expanded cleaning schedules, dispensing hand sanitizer, and equipping drivers with antiseptic wipes. These expanded cleaning schedules usually just involve wiping down the areas people mostly touch with a disinfectant, because wiping all the surfaces would take a lot of time and labor. There is an effective alternative option to the commonly use spray and wipe method, and that is fogging with chlorine dioxide.

Whether the fogging is completed by the ClorDiSys Decontamination Service team or the supplies are purchased for an agency or company’s staff to complete themselves, liquid chlorine dioxide is applied to surfaces using handheld foggers at concentrations capable of eliminating viruses, bacteria, fungi and spores. This method offers a level of disinfection comparable to utilizing Vapor-Phase Hydrogen Peroxide (VPHP). Handheld foggers are used to reach more surfaces than a stationary fogger, while changing the angle of application in order to minimize shadow areas not being contacted. This option can be used for buses, rail cars, and any other high-traffic public space, not limited to mass transit. Even companies in food and pharmaceutical production are creating COVID-19 response plans that include fogging offices, warehouses, and more.

Contact ClorDiSys by phone at (908) 236-4100 or complete a decontamination service request to learn more.

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Newly Remodeled, More Powerful Flashbox-Mini

As of February 27, 2020, the novel coronavirus (abbreviated “COVID-19”) has an estimated global death toll of over 2,800, and it has invaded 47 countries, with California and Germany recording the first cases with no obvious source of transmission. The World Health Organization announced today, February 28, the coronavirus outbreak has reached the “highest level” of risk for the world. “This thing can go in any direction. We’re not undermining the risk, it’s there. That’s why today we said the global risk is very high. We increased it from high to very high,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said during a press briefing in Geneva Friday. Prevent the spread of novel coronavirus with the utilization of ultraviolet light disinfection for items of everyday use.

Ultraviolet light (UV-C) is a simple, chemical-free method of disinfection effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores. ClorDiSys Solutions recently upgraded their Flashbox-mini ultraviolet light disinfection chamber, and the completely redesigned model has a greater intensity providing a higher level of disinfection in faster cycle times. The Flashbox-mini is a small, easily transportable chamber designed for use in any healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, laboratory, or research setting. It contains one quartz glass shelf to support the items being disinfected, generally tablet computers, phones, remote controls, miscellaneous electronics, instruments, and components, while not creating shadow areas or inhibiting the light’s ability to shine. The quartz glass shelf allows for complete coverage due to its unique ability of allowing UV-C to penetrate, unlike most other materials often seen such as wire, plastic or traditional glass. The chamber produces an efficient UV-C output intensity of approximately 1100 µw/cm2 achieving a 99.99% kill of spores like C. diff and a greater than 99.99% kill of bacteria such as MRSA and Hepatitis in 30 seconds on all visible surfaces. Not only does it reduce the transfer of dangerous organisms, but it also offers a way to disinfect components without removing them from the room, minimizing the chance for cross-contamination.

ClorDiSys Solutions’ years of experience in contamination and infection control across many industry types allows us to offer a unique blend of knowledge, experience, and methods that work. Contact us to discuss the best suited approach to improve your facility’s microbial contamination control and prevention.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus with Ultraviolet Light

The CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (abbreviated “COVID-19”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and continues to expand. Chinese health officials have reported tens of thousands of cases of COVID-19 in China. Some person-to-person spread of this virus outside China has been detected, and the United States reported the first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread with this virus on January 30, 2020. Not long after, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concernexternal icon” (PHEIC).

The novel coronavirus is a kind of positive-sense single-stranded RNV virus, same as the SARS and MERS virus. While the complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood, both MERS and SARS have been known to cause severe illness in people. Research on SARS found that this kind of virus is sensitive to ultraviolet (UV-C) light and can be diminished with exposure to UV-C irradiation stronger than 90 μW/cm2. Thus, in theory, UV-C light would be able to destroy the novel coronavirus.

Ultraviolet light has been used widely in disinfection with a wide range of medical and non-medical products available in the market. UV-C light is germicidal because it inactivates microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA. Ultraviolet light not only kills the virus on surfaces but also those in the air. China is currently disinfecting some aircrafts as well as yuan bills with ultraviolet light as part of efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 1,500 people.

ClorDiSys Solutions has an ultraviolet light disinfection tower, the Torch, that is an inexpensive, easily transportable, powerful system that provides a rapid and highly effective method to disinfect surfaces, components, room surfaces and common touch points. Each Torch 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. In 2015, the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit (NBU) treated patients with Ebola virus disease evacuated from West Africa to the United States. Four Torch towers were used as the final disinfection step within those patients’ rooms and bathrooms. ClorDiSys also has a smaller version of this UV-C generator called the Lantern, designed for use within EMS vehicles and ambulances. Our line of ultraviolet light systems continues to grow and evolve to further support infection control efforts worldwide.


SOURCES
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/15/chinese-banks-disinfect-banknotes-to-stop-spread-of-coronavirus

Friday, February 14, 2020

4th Annual Food Safety and Microbiology Conference

In just over two weeks, ClorDiSys Solutions and Kornacki Microbiology Solutions, Inc will be hosting their Fourth Annual Food Safety andMicrobiology Conference in San Antonio, Texas. In response to the everyday challenges food safety professionals face, 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. The conference aims to deliver high-level problem-solving sessions in order to elevate companies’ food safety programs 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.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE
  • How are Consumers Handling Your Products? Hint: It's Not How You Think.
  • FDA’s Regulatory Updates and Their Industry Impact
  • Allergen Management through Hygienic Zoning and Sanitation
  • Evolution of a Food Safety Program after Contamination
  • Resident Strains: Identification, Elimination, and Prevention
  • USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Updates
  • Empowering Sanitation: Redefining a Dirty Word
  • How to Ramp Up Your Recall Readiness
  • Managing Food Safety and Sanitation in the Digital Age
THE EXTRACURRICULARS
In addition to meeting and learning from world class speakers with a variety of backgrounds, you’ll also have opportunities to relax and get to know your industry peers. On Sunday, March 1st from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, join us for traditional Mexican food, open bar, and a live mariachi band during our conference kick-off at Guadalajara Grill. The Guadalajara Grill neighbors the Hilton Palacio del Rio where the conference is being held, and our mixer will be in the private dining room on the second floor above the restaurant. After the close of Day 1’s sessions, there will be a happy hour reception sponsored by Food Safety Net Services to immediately follow. Then, on Wednesday, March 4th, attendees have the opportunity to experience the world-famous San Antonio River Walk in an unforgettable away, a one-hour narrated Go Rio River Cruise. Admission to all activities is included in the registration fee.

The 2020 Food Safety and Microbiology Conference may be fast approaching, but registration is still open. Click here to learn more, and sign up now before it is too late.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Free Workshops for All Industries Concerned with Contamination Control

Although ClorDiSys was founded in 2001 and chlorine dioxide has been recognized as a disinfectant since the early 1900s, chlorine dioxide gas is still viewed as a new decontamination method in most industries. For this reason, we offer free contamination control workshops across the United States and Canada that explore the various methods of disinfection and sterilization available, allowing companies, universities, and government agencies 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. View the list below to see if ClorDiSys will be in a city near you!

March 24 – Frederick, MD
March 31 – Harrisburg, PA
April 21 – St. Louis, MO
May 28 – Oklahoma City, OK
June 9 – Toronto, ON
June 23 – Denver, CO

To register for one of these workshops, click here. More dates and locations to come.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Preventing Contamination - Disinfect Your Incoming Air

Contaminants typically enter a facility through one of four ways: Air, Water, Supplies / Ingredients and People.  Over the next few months, we’ll highlight these vectors and discuss methods to help control them.  For our first post in this series, we’d like to talk about contaminants entering through the air.

Ambient air may be contaminated with or carry significant levels of a variety of potentially harmful microorganisms. There are three major sources of such microbes: a) those arising from microbial decomposition of various substrates associated with particular occupations (e.g., "moldy" hay leading to hypersensitivity pneumonitis), b) those associated with certain types of environments (e.g., Legionnaires' bacteria in water supplies), and c) those stemming from infective individuals harboring a particular pathogen (e.g., tuberculosis). As far as building ventilation design is concerned, the greatest impact of any ventilation design would be on the airborne route of contamination.   If there is no control system for incoming air to your facility, these contaminants can enter and distribute throughout your facility.  Two of the most common air quality control systems are ail filtration systems and ultraviolet light disinfection systems.

The most common types of air filters used for air quality control are Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) and Ultra Low Particulate Air (ULPA) filters.  MERV ratings range from 1-20, with higher numbers offering better filtration.  HEPA and ULPA filters roughly correspond with MERV ratings of 17-20.  HEPA filters are rated to capture at least 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns (µm) while ULPA filters are rated to remove at least 99.999% of particles 0.1 micron (µm) or larger.  These systems are used in many critical environments to prevent contaminants or particulates from entering, and are available from a number of companies.  Related: ClorDiSys has validated the use of our chlorine dioxide gas to decontaminate Camfil’s Mobile Media Tester.

Ultraviolet light is a specific part of the electromagnetic spectrum of light that offers germicidal effects. Ultraviolet light is divided into UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays. It is the wavelengths in the UV-C spectrum, specifically 265 nm, which offer the greatest germicidal potential. 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 such, rather than trap pathogens and microbes like a filter, ultraviolet light kills them.

Ultraviolet light is typically placed in one of two locations in order to control pathogens within incoming air.  One location is inline with the supply air ductwork, disinfecting the air as it travels past the UV-C lamp.  Another application is using UV-C light to control organisms on the air handling system’s cooling coils.  UV-C light has been shown to reduce biofilms and control biofilm growth on cooling coils.  Biofilm growth on cooling coils has been shown to increase static pressure within the HVAC system which causes the system to work less efficiently to overcome that higher pressure.  Controlling these biofilms, in addition to supplying cleaner air, maintains the system's efficiency which in turn allows it to run better and save the facility money.  These have been shown to provide a cost savings greater than the cost of the UV-C system itself.

ClorDiSys offers the AirGlow™ as an in-duct ultraviolet light disinfection system that can be installed in any HVAC system. The AirGlow can help reduce and/or eliminate the growth of bacteria, mold and spores on supply and return airflow. Designed for continuous and long-term use, the AirGlow is constructed out of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and uses UV-C lamps with a lifespan of 13,000 hours (approx. 18 months). 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. It provides continuous disinfection without special attention or risk of exposure to people in rooms being handled by the ductwork.

Read more about the AirGlow here or complete this form for a quote. Contact ClorDiSys Solutions for additional contamination prevention products and services.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Food Safety and Microbiology Conference Speaker Spotlight: Angela Anandappa, Ph. D.

Dr. Angela Anandappa is the Founding Director for the Alliance for Advanced Sanitation. The Alliance’s activities are focused on all manners of food safety hazards, including microbial pathogens, allergens, toxic chemicals and water conservation in sanitation operations. Dr. Anandappa is an experienced food safety industry professional having worked in Supplier Chain, Product Development, and Sanitation Areas of the food manufacturing industry. She has served as an assistant professor in the department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she has taught both graduate- and undergraduate-level courses. Prior to her current role, she was the Section Manager, Supply Chain Safety Assurance for the Kraft Heinz Company. She has expertise in Product Development, Supplier Gap Assessments and Technical Consultations, Risk-Based supplier evaluation and verification support and Manufacturing support and plant readiness evaluations. She currently serves as the Co-Chair for the Food Chemical Hazard and Food Allergy Professional Development Group at IAFP, serves on several boards such as the Board of Directors for the Animal Digestible Food Packaging Initiative and for Food Safety Tech. Dr. Anandappa has published many journal articles, with most recent work focusing on microbiome and hygienic conditions of facilities.

Dr. Anandappa will be presenting on the first day of the 2020 Food Safety and Microbiology Conference this March. Her presentation “Empowering Sanitation: Redefining a Dirty Word” will speak less on the technical challenges that sanitation faces, and more on the personnel and company culture. To see a complete list of the industry leaders and food safety experts that will be participating, view the conference program here.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Establishing a Clean Break in Production

A clean break is a defined production break that involves a documented, verified, and validated cleaning and sanitation process of all food/product contact surfaces. Clean breaks are used to establish lots to trace their products and limit the quantity or product recalled in case of a contamination. Similar to a firebreak in a forest, a clean break gives you that line of safety.  Some municipalities will clear out a section of the forest to act as a “clean break” so that in case of a fire, you have a line of containment already in place. Preventive measures are always hard to value, because like insurance, it is hoped to be a sunk cost that has no return on investment. However, if it is used, its value is tremendous.

Now the problem is, what happens if you cannot defend your clean break? If your clean break cannot be defended during a recall, then as far as an investigator is concerned, you didn’t have one.  When that happens, your recall will grow. In October 2018, McCain Foods recalled 63 different products back to a shipped date of January 1, 2016 because they didn’t have a more recent clean break. In order to defend your chosen sanitation method, you must understand decontamination and sterilization. The traditional sanitation methods do kill – you see the log reduction right on the label of the products – 99.9% antibacterial, and so on. However, these methods can have difficulty guaranteeing that all organisms have been contacted or contacted with the proper effective dosage. Even ozone, which is an effective method, doesn’t hold the concentration very long, which makes it difficult to do larger areas. Alternatively, chlorine dioxide gas is able to achieve a complete 6-log sporicidal decontamination of all surfaces within a space, including hard-to-reach areas such as cracks and crevices, because it is a true gas above -40 degrees and its molecule size is smaller than the smallest virus. Because ClorDiSys Solutions’ process is pure and dry, our chlorine dioxide gas doesn’t leave a residue. Once the gas has been removed, the area is safe and does not require additional cleanup. ClorDiSys’ approach to process control has enabled us to be trusted to keep critical environments safe, including 31 of the Top 100 food manufacturers.

To learn more about utilizing chlorine dioxide gas for a clean break in production, email us or call us at (908) 236-4100.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Learn Something New in the New Year!

Happy New Year! We are kicking off 2020 webinars with our January presentations starting next week. We reviewed all of our offerings at the end of 2019, reconfigured some designs, and reevaluated topics, so we are really looking forward to showing you the result.

JANUARY 14 – 1:00PM EST
CD Gas 101: An Intro to its Process and Applications
This webinar is for all industries looking to improve their sanitation and decontamination. We will discuss the chemical characteristics of chlorine dioxide gas and how they enable it to provide a highly effective decontamination. Applications for using CD gas as well as products and services will also be presented. This 30 minute webinar begins at 1pm Eastern.

JANUARY 14 – 2:00PM EST
Ultraviolet Light Disinfection 101
A webinar for those in all industries who are interested in learning about UV-C light disinfection for contamination control. We will discuss the properties, efficacy, safety, and use applications for ultraviolet light disinfection along with product information and specifications. This 30 minute webinar begins at 2pm Eastern.

JANUARY 16 – 1:00PM EST
Chlorine Dioxide Gas vs. Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor
This webinar is for life science and pharmaceutical professionals who are current hydrogen peroxide vapor users, or looking to choose between the two decontamination methods. We will discuss the chemical differences which affect their efficacy and safety for a variety of applications. Case studies, material compatibility data, and other referenced information will also be presented. This 30 minute webinar begins at 1pm Eastern.

JANUARY 16 – 2:00PM EST
Clean Break in Food and Pharmaceutical Production
This webinar is for food safety and pharmaceutical professionals who would learn about implimenting a clean break by using chlorine dioxide gas. This "certified clean" event will provide a sterility marker in case of a contamination in order to limit the size and severity of a recall. We will discuss why chlorine dioxide can be used to prove a clean break as well as case studies and documentation. This 30 minute webinar begins at 2pm Eastern.

JANUARY 22 – 1:00PM EST
Ask the Experts
Join us for an open Q&A session with experts from our various industry sectors on the line to answer any questions you may have about contamination control. Questions can be public or private allowing you to ask about sensitive situations if needed. Experts will be available to answer questions regarding:
  • Chlorine dioxide gas decontamination
  • UV-C disinfection
  • Comparisons to other disinfection/decontamination methods
  • Product sterilization
  • Facility decontamination
  • Inactivation of Pinworm Eggs
  • Inactivation of Beta Lactams

It is not too late to register for our free webinars this month. Additional information and registration can be viewed here. Be sure to keep checking back, because we have new presentations in the coming months including Recall Prevention and Response, Non-microbial Contaminants, Decontaminating Low-Moisture and Dry Environments, Architecture & Engineering: Lab Planning with Implementation of Chlorine Dioxide, and more.

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