Welcome to Professional and Technical Services (PTS) – experts in chemical disinfection for infection prevention. Our goal is to educate and provide you the latest resources related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces, medical devices and hands. As specialists in disinfectant chemistries, microbiology, environmental cleaning and disinfection, facility assessments and policy and procedure creation we are dedicated to helping any person or facility who uses chemical disinfectants.

Our expertise is utilized by Infection Preventionists, Public Health Experts, First Responders, Dentists, Physicians, Nurses, Veterinarians, Aestheticians, Environmental Services professionals and janitorial product distributors to develop more sustainable cleaning and disinfection practices in North America.

Our commitment to providing chemical disinfectant education is more than business, it is a passion.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day!


I find, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, it is hit or miss in terms of how or if people celebrate.  My husband and I exchange cards and candy.  This year I got candy.  My husband only got a card.  I have a colleague who decided that since he never got anything for Valentine’s Day he was going to stop “celebrating”.   If truth is known, my favorite day of the year to celebrate is my birthday.  It’s MY day.  I get to pick what we have for dinner, dessert and what we do.  Those that know me may think that’s everyday and that may be slightly true, but on my birthday I milk it for all it’s worth!

This year, while we exchanged cards and candy it was pretty low key.  We’ve had influenza hit our house and my husband has had his first ever bout of pneumonia. Our infection control measures have obviously been lacking and yes, if you’re wondering neither of us had our flu shot… Since Valentine’s Day for many is a day of love, kisses and snuggles, sharing our germs is not really the ideal gift. Kissing is probably one of the most common signs of love and affection, but did you know that our mouths are home to thousands of different microorganisms?  While kissing can be a direct route of transmission for oral related diseases, in-direct transmission through contaminated hands and surfaces leaves us susceptible to catching someone else's "cooties".

While Valentine’s Day may be behind us, there are many who will have waited to celebrate this weekend.  For those who waited, I’m hoping these tips will help you stay healthy during and after you celebration!  So what's the best way to protect yourself this Valentine's Day? The easiest and most effective way to prevent "cooties" is to practice good hand hygiene (and of course don’t kiss sick people). To be on the safe side, here’s a reminder of when you should wash your hands:
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • After using the washroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching  pets and animals
  • After touching garbage
Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!  If, like me you love chocolate and decide to hit the stores to participate in post-Valentine’s Day Chocolate sales, I really love Cadbury’s Mini-Eggs!

Bugging Off!

Nicole

Friday, February 8, 2019

Don’t be daft…..


“Daft” may not be the most popular word, but it certainly can be the perfect choice in some situations!  “Nicole, don’t ask such daft (aka idiotic) questions.”  “Nicole, that’s a daft (aka stupid) idea.”  Today, after working with my team on a question I blurted out “don’t be daft” and thought, what a perfect title for a blog topic!

If you’ve ever worked in retail, the restaurant industry or any job that has an aspect of customer service, you’ve likely dealt with a daft question or two.  I’m not trying to be mean, I happen to know more than your average person about cleaning and disinfection.   Ask me a question about Geography or Excel formulations and well…I’m not so smart.  One of the more common questions we receive is why there are differences in contact times between concentrated and ready to use (RTU) surface disinfectants and how do we dilute a concentrate product to get the same concentration and claims as an RTU.

The short answer is, you can’t.  Explaining why can be a bit more difficult.

I like to equate formulating disinfectants to baking cookies.  There is a basic cookie dough that can be the start to a yummy treat.  Throw in some chocolate chips and voila, you have chocolate chip cookies.  Feel like raisin pecan cookies, mix in some raisins and pecans and start munching away once their cooked!  What you can’t do with the basic cookie dough is roll it out and make shapes like you would with sugar cookies or gingerbread dough.  Why?  The recipe is different.  The intended use is different.   You cannot substitute one for the other.  Trust me on this, I have tried to roll out the dough I use to make chocolate chip cookies.  The end result left me with ugly, abstract blobs.

Like cookies, disinfectants are formulated with a particular “flavour”.   That flavour may be a particular contact time or efficacy claim.  It may also be a particular application where the product may be run through a system that dilutes it automatically prior to use. The constant being, if the product was formulated to be diluted prior to use, it needs to be used at the dilution rates as listed on the product’s label.  If you happen to like the contact times found on the label of a RTU product, you cannot try to dilute the concentrate in a way that gets you “closer” to the concentration of the RTU.   It just does not work that way.  In fact, you could do more harm to yourself or those in the space you’re planning to disinfect.  Making a product more concentrated can have dire effects that can lead to respiratory irritancy, eye or skin irritation and compatibility issues.

When it comes to using disinfectants, read the label and use the product as the manufacturer intended it to be used.  The dilution rates and contact times are there for a reason.  Don’t be daft. 

Bugging Off!

Nicole

Friday, February 1, 2019

It’s So Fluffy!


If you’ve ever watched Despicable Me, you’ll remember the scene with Agnes and the stuffed white unicorn screaming about how fluffy it was. If you’re like me, you may have used the same description while petting a kitten, puppy, rabbit or any other cute little (or big) pet. Pet lovers can’t help it. We pet, we cuddle, and we kiss our beloved little creatures. Unfortunately, while our pets may seem healthy, they can and often do carry bugs that can make us sick.

Case in point, the CDC has warned owners not to kiss and snuggle your pet hedgehog as a result of a Salmonella outbreak  affecting eight states. So far 11 people have been infected with 1 person hospitalized. Thankfully, no deaths have been reported. The CDC is advising hedgehog owners to thoroughly wash their hands after handling and/or cleaning the hedgehog’s living quarters due to the fact that hedgehogs can carry Salmonella regardless of their healthy appearance.

The CDC is also warning people that children under 5 years old, the elderly, or people with weakened immune systems, are at a greater risk for serious illness. If infected with Salmonella you can experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria, and the illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. While most people recover without treatment, some illnesses can last longer and be very severe.

This isn’t the first outbreak associated with hedgehogs, the CDC had previously reported a 26 hedgehog-related outbreak, including one linked to a death in Washington State with 45% of the cases found to be in kids 10 or younger. Unfortunately, this is not likely to be the last outbreak associated with pets. Anyone who has ever owned a pet knows they have the capacity for the kind of unconditional love that is otherwise only seen between a human and its offspring. We love our pets and they love us. We can’t help ourselves, we love their licks, their nudges and cuddles. We just need to know that with this love also comes the chance that our pets may make us sick. 

I’m willing to take the chance. Are you?

Bugging Off!

Nicole