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.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Spring Cleaning - Fridges, Freezers and Cryostats


There are some who really fancy a good spring clean. Whether it’s purging your closets with clothes you no longer wear, cleaning out the fridge of expired food or your freezers ancient relics of freezer burned food, you will find that there is something cathartic about cleaning and purging. 

I suspect that many have not considered how to clean and disinfect cold surfaces like the inside of a fridge, a freezer or even a cryostat for example. Disinfection is all about contact time - the length of time the surface MUST stay wet to achieve the disinfection claims as noted on the product label. For some surfaces this can be problematic. If the surface is hot, the disinfectant is going to evaporate well before the contact time can be achieved. Can you imagine how quick a hot surface will flash off the product if an alcohol based product is used?

Cold or freezing surfaces pose an entirely different issue. How do you keep a water-based product like a disinfectant from freezing when it comes in contact with a surface that is below freezing? The truth is it’s hard, hence the topic of this week’s blog.

Disinfectants can come in a number of different formats such as Ready-To-Use (RTU) Liquids, Pre-Moistened Wipes and Concentrates that require dilution prior to use. When dealing with cold temperatures, part of the decision you need to make is how to avoid your liquid disinfectant from freezing so that you can apply it to the surface you need to clean and disinfect. In this case, your only option is the use of a concentrate.  

Why you ask? Well, as the name implies RTU Liquids or Pre-moistened wipes are products that are intended to be used as they are manufactured and packaged. They have been tested and approved for use by the EPA, Health Canada or any other regulatory body to be used at the concentration stated on the bottle. Doing anything to an RTU or Wipe product, such as the addition of another chemical will dilute the product and render it ineffective. At the very least, you’ve changed the concentration so that the disinfectant manufacturer will not be able to provide any proof indicating the product will still be effective or what the contact time would be.

Concentrates on the other hand need to be diluted prior to use. This then allows you to add propylene glycol (PG) while diluting (usually up to 10%). Similar to how we have a Summer Windshield Washer Fluid and a Winter Windshield Fluid, propylene glycol is added to stop the freezing. The importance of this however, is that you need to work with your disinfectant manufacture to verify if they have conducted testing to ensure if you add PG that the product will not be neutralized. You also do not necessarily want to use winter windshield washer fluid as we found it can impact the pH and efficacy of products!
If you’re looking at spring cleaning a few of your hard to clean devices or machines, I hope you’ll contemplate how you used your disinfectant so that you achieve the level of kill you need!

Bugging Off!

Nicole

PS – if you’re interested check out some of our past blogs that talk about contact time such as:

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Best Before, Not Bad After


I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen an expiry date on a product and wondered if it’s still good. Without a doubt, I have thrown caution to the wind and eaten something that had expired. I’m here to tell the tale of it, so obviously I have been lucky so far. Food is probably the most common source of the “best before, not bad after” scenario. In fact if you google it, you can find several sources willing to tell you how long you can continue to consume something past the labels expiry date.


The same goes for drugs and disinfectants. When registering products, a regulatory agency requires a manufacturer to conduct testing and provide data to prove that the drug or disinfectant being registered will remain effective for the products shelf life. I’ll be truthful, in most cases the drug or disinfectant is still effective after the expiry date. The question is for how long after? That question is harder to answer. The shelf life a manufacturer provides is intended to ensure there is a reasonable amount of time from when a product is manufactured to when it is used. A fail safe may be built in, as let’s be honest, we know people are going to use the product beyond the expiry date found on the label, and of course, we do not want a product to become less efficacious as it approaches its expiry date. The last thing we want is for a drug to not treat the infection, or cease the migraine, and of course, when it comes to disinfectants, we do not want to run the risk that the disinfectant to be the cause of an outbreak, not killing what the facility needs it to kill.


This is why it is SO important to ensure you know the shelf life and expiry date of the disinfectants you are using. The truth is, I have worked with hospitals that upon investigation, we realized the reason an outbreak was not brought under control was because the disinfectant they were using had expired and had no “killing juice” left. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the picture that is the inspiration for this week’s blog. It was sent to me by an acquaintance. This was a disinfectant wipe product that was in an exam room at a hospital and was being used to disinfect the shared patient care equipment. Would you want that equipment used on you? I’m comfortable with a 6 month window to use drugs and disinfectants past their expiry date, but four (4) years?! Well, I would be refusing to allow any of that equipment to be used on me until after it was cleaned with a product that had not yet expired, and I would seriously be questioning the infection prevention and control program of the facility.  


HAIs kill almost 100,000 people per year. Please don’t let the reason for catching an HAI be the result of an expired disinfectant.


Bugging Off!


Nicole


PS – Yes, this is one of the products my company manufacturers. I’m not happy the product is 4 years old, but this is a teaching moment I cannot in good conscious pass by.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Dead Bunnies Don’t Bode Well for Easter!


Have you noticed how as we get closer to Easter more commercials on TV have bunnies? I’ll admit, bunnies are cute. They’re soft, they can be social and as I was lucky enough to experience as a child they can be snugglers. If you enjoy gardening you may have a different opinion of rabbits. They can be destructive and as my husband can attest to, rather than eating an entire pepper they take bites out of every single one so that we get none!

Rabbits, like any other animal are prone to diseases and there are some that can be very deadly. Case in point, for the second year in a row, residents of Vancouver Island are being warned to keep an eye on their pet rabbits as officials have confirmed the presence of rabbit hemorrhagic disease, with the virus showing up in four dead feral rabbits. While deadly for rabbits, the disease is not zoonotic, so rabbit owners do not have to be concerned for their health. There is also no concern for any other pets you have (cats or dogs) in getting infected. In 2018, outbreaks for RHD also occurred in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD), also known as rabbit calicivirus disease or viral hemorrhagic disease, is a highly infectious and often fatal disease that affects wild and domestic rabbits. It has not been known to affect any North American native rabbits or hares, such as cottontails, snowshoe hares and jackrabbits. RHD, is often a very swift and sudden killer where rabbits often die without showing any symptoms at all, while others may show some bleeding from the nose, mouth and rectum.

There are a number of ways RHD can spread, including a rabbit coming in contact with contaminated inanimate objects (i.e. via fomites) such as clothing, shoes, as well as car and truck tires. RHD can also be spread via direct contact of a rabbit with an infected rabbit or the feces of an infected rabbit. Humans can also spread the virus to their rabbits if they have been in contact with infected rabbits or in contact with objects contaminated by the virus, including feces from an infected rabbit. Maintaining a clean environment is critical because contact transmission is a key driver for infection transmission. Therefore, ensuring you are using an effective disinfectant that is safe for use around animals is important.

If you’re thinking of getting or giving a pet rabbit for Easter, please keep these things in mind! You never know what you may be dragging in the door on the soles of your shoes. Be sure they’re left at the door and if you’ve been somewhere playing with someone else’s bunnies, think about changing your clothes before playing with your cute little ball of fluff!

Bugging Off!

Nicole

PS – the bunny in the picture is Flossie. She’s up for adoption in Burnaby, BC Canada, if anyone falls in love with her!

PPS – Fingers crossed the Easter Bunny is of North American Native Rabbit decent. I would be sad to wake up on Easter with no egg hunt!