top of page
  • Writer's pictureHelene Paxton

Making the case for Hands Free Disinfection

Making the Case for a Hands Free, Fogging Disinfectant

The choice of a disinfectant system is a tough one. The facility for which a choice is

being made is likely to be diverse in its requirements. So the selection has to be

adaptable to various configurations of patient care settings, has to be compatible with other disinfectants already in place, easy to use and non- toxic to the environment and to the staff. Recently, a variety of hands free systems became available on the market

place. These devices include ultraviolet systems known as UV-C, highly

concentrated peroxide fogging units, and peroxide mixed with peracetic acid or silver ions.

Other systems take liquid wipe disinfectants and disperse them through the use of

foggers and sprayers. Creating difficulty for the end-user is determining the EPA status of the disinfectant system and their status as a cleared hospital disinfectant as well as

their sporicidal status. Disinfectants cleared as liquid wipe agents are not EPA cleared

to be dispersed through foggers or sprayers. UV-C systems as a group are not cleared by the EPA. Spray and wipe systems if used properly can be effective but do not

assure complete removal of offending MDRO organisms in an Operating Room or patient room, since crevices and corners are often left untouched. UV-C systems are dependent on positioning of unit, whether the wave length is correct, pulsing or direct, and whether distance and line of sight are appropriately maintained. The UV-C units are quite varied and most are quite costly in the $ 80-120,000 plus range. Since the units are not cleared by the EPA, efficacy studies are largely left to manufacturers or to the end-user. Few studies reflect controlled trials. The high level peroxide systems are effective but take up to two hours per room for disinfection and require extensive room preparation. The chemicals are toxic and must be carefully monitored. They also cause oxidation of metals. Their costs are similar to UV-C units. Lower concentration peroxide units are often mixed with other agents for increasing efficacy. These units leave a smell or leave silver ions in the environment. The rooms also need to be sealed before use. Costs are about one third of high concentration peroxide robots and UV-C systems.

TOMI Environmental Services, Inc. (Frederick, MD) offers a unique approach for a hands free system with the SteraMistTM system. A solution of 7.8% peroxide is converted to active OH radicals using a cold plasma arc. This process is known as Binary Ionization Technology (BIT)TM. These radicals kill on contact and take 7 minutes with the hand held Surface unit and 20 minutes with the Environmental unit to kill and disperse. EPA cleared as a hospital grade disinfectant, the process is microbicidal for all major pathogens such as MRSA/SA, Pseudomonas, H1N1, Norovirus, Salmonella, and C. difficile. There is minimum need for protective PPE; the solution leaves no residue and leaves a clean smell. It also kills many species of mold. All equipment and other items can be left in the rooms while disinfecting and does not damage sensitive electronic equipment, plastics or fabrics. The system kills on contact and lowers the endemic load of pathogens where ever used reducing the chance of MDRO transmission and resulting HAI’s.

23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Where are we..My two cents

WHERE ARE WE? My two cents…. Dealing with COVID-19 Pandemic has taught us all that we were not prepared for this occurrence. We were somewhat prepared for EBOLA, but in reality most did not believe


The Ongoing Crisis of COV-19:  An Exhausting Proposition for All


              This has been an exhausting week both physically and mentally due to pressures from all sides and most of all from the media.  Those of us that teach are having to reinvent our courses and reinvent ourselves to meet the needs of our students.  The students are a very diversified group with many different capabilities and very different access to technology.  Although it sounds great to have a plan to put all our courses on-line…it’s not so simple.  I have the privilege of tutoring students from many different countries and states and the common denominator is confusion!  Most want to do what’s right but don’t know how to or are getting conflicting messages from their instructors.  Most are worried about their grades and completing their assignments.  Many are still working which adds to the burden. 

              I find it interesting that people want this to be over and yet are fearful that if they go back to work, they will be at risk.  The Ford Company wants to go back to work, but employees are afraid.  Has the media made us so fearful that rational thinking is not possible?  Does the whole country have to be on lock-down just because parts of the country have a high number of cases or are considered an epi-center?  We understand the fear associated with this unknown entity, yet are we applying our best resources to this issue?  Have we tapped into the experts that understand the ecology of the viruses? David Quammen in his recent book called “Spillover”:…..Discusses the possibilities of such a Pandemic and reviews  SARS-1 and HIV, Nipah and others.  Were we not already forewarned many times of this pandemic possibility?

  What modeling has been done to predict where the virus may go?  Are all States and counties there in, in the same predicament?  Can we not narrow down our recommendations to allow parts of the country to go back to work? For Once I agree with our President, we need to get this country back at work.  We need to maintain safe distancing, lower risks where possible, maintain cleanliness and good eating habits, but lets go back to work where the virus is not.


Dr. Helene Paxton

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

bottom of page