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, November 20, 2020

Disinfectant Fake News


















Spreading of misinformation and disinformation has become a bigger issue in recent years, especially with the widespread use of social media platforms and the ability to develop communities of like-minded people around the world.  One topic that has been contentious for years is around animal testing.

When it comes to disinfectants, the regulatory body responsible for approving and allowing the sale of such products determine the requirements for testing to support registration. All disinfectants being registered undergo a detailed review of the chemistry, efficacy, and toxicology aspects of the formulation before approval for market. To comply, all companies registering a disinfectant must perform safety testing, meet labeling guidelines of regulatory agencies, and adhere to applicable regulations for all ingredients and ingredient formulations. The EPA clearly outlines the Data Requirements for Pesticide Registration on their website with further information in the EPA Pesticide Registration Manual.  

The fake news aspect of disinfectant marketing is the loophole that some companies use to speak to the fact that they have not conducted or commissioned animal testing on their disinfectant products. To do so, they obtain a license to use a product developed and registered by a separate company.  This is a common practice within the disinfectant space.  In fact, whenever you see an EPA number that has 3 sets of numbers (e.g, XXXX-XX-XXXX) that tells you that the product has been sub-registered.  The first 2 numbers indicate who owns and registered the formulation.  The 3rd number provides you the information for what company has sub-registered or licensed it.

Many companies expand their product portfolio with products developed and registered by companies who focus on developing and commercializing new disinfectant technologies that are designed to improve the lives of humans and animals while not impacting the environment.  By licensing or sub-registering a product that has already undergone the testing needed to register the product with the EPA, it allows companies to maintain a stance of not conducting testing and not commissioning testing as they did not work with the company who developed and completed the initial registration that included the animal testing needed to support the toxicity data.

As an industry, we are working toward a future where animal testing has no role in product development. We should be able to use existing data and alternatives, so animals are not involved in product safety testing and we are actively engaging regulators to join with us to identify and implement innovative solutions that eliminate the existing requirements to conduct animal testing, without compromising product safety.

Please do not fall prey to fake news that a disinfectant has not been tested. It has.

Bugging Off!

Nicole

Friday, November 13, 2020

Spike Sports Salmonella


It’s said that cuddling with a beloved pet literally kills depression, relieves anxiety and strengthens the immune system. With COVID-19 numbers hitting all time highs in many countries and the impact on mental health from isolation, stress and anxiety being able to snuggle with your best friend has never been needed more. 

That is unless your beloved pet is a bearded dragon.  According to the CDC, at least 13 people across eight states (Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington) have been sickened by an outbreak of Salmonella muenster.  At least seven people have been hospitalized, and five of those infected are younger than 5 years old.

Salmonella is a bacterium that we generally associated with foodborne illness after eating or drinking contaminated water or food. However, reptiles like turtles and bearded dragons can carry Salmonella in their poop regardless of how clean and healthy they look. They can then easily spread the bacteria to their bodies, habitats, and anything we place in their terrariums to make them feel at home.  If you’re not careful when cleaning their habitat or playing with them, you can get sick from touching your mouth or face and ingesting the bacteria.

While I have never had a reptile as a pet, I have had fish, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs, cats, cows, pigs, and horses as pets.  I generally go for animals that are a bit softer or fluffier to touch.  The key regardless of what pet you have is diligent hand hygiene after petting, feeding or cleaning up after them.

If we have learned one thing this year, we know how to clean our hands and clean and disinfect our homes. While there are so many benefits to having pets and we have seen the number of households with at least one pet rise to 67%, don’t drop your guard when you or your family are cuddling Cujo.

Bugging Off!

Nicole

Friday, November 6, 2020

Mutated Mink Coronavirus Threat to Humans


While the US election may be giving many of us a break from COVID-19 updates, the pandemic has not stopped marching along.  In fact, the US reported its single largest day of confirmed cases November 5th, with 120,000 people infected while the death toll continues to grow at 235,000.  To put some perspective as to the number of deaths, 3000 people died on 9/11.  A memorial has been built and we continue to observe the day by holding memorial services (including this year). The pandemic, in essence, is the equivalent of 78 9/11 attacks happening since March.

As many of us are hitting the point of exhaustion and sick of hearing about the pandemic, Denmark has announced they are culling 15 million mink after a mutated coronavirus has spread to humans. According to Denmark’s Health Minister, “The mutated virus was found in a dozen people who got infected by minks with half of the 783 human Covid-19 cases in northern Denmark related to mink."

Coronavirus infections in mink is not a new phenomenon.  Mink, like their relative the ferret, are known to be susceptible to coronaviruses, showing a wide range of symptoms, from no signs of illness to severe illness such as pneumonia.  In Europe, cases of coronavirus in farmed mink have been detected in the Netherlands and Spain since the pandemic began.  Often, mink become infected through catching the virus from humans, but in the case of the Netherlands and Denmark, the virus has been shown to pass from mink to humans.

Why are scientists concerned with this finding amid the pandemic? Well, any mutation to the coronavirus such as the ability to move between mink and humans could potentially be enough to stop human vaccines from working, which would significantly impact our ability to stop the impact of the coronavirus and our ability to get back to whatever our new normal will be.

While it may seem heartless, the ability to cull animals to stop the spread of disease is in many cases the only way to stave off larger issues.  The truth is mink are not the only animals that have been culled during the pandemic.  Hundreds of thousands of pigs were killed and disposed without processing them into food because of outbreaks in packaging plants when COVID-19 hit North America. 

Thank you to the leaders of Denmark for caring about the health of the rest of the world.

Bugging Off!

Nicole