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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Strength is NOT always found in numbers

We live in a society of excess where we have come to believe that more is always better. I will agree that more is better when it comes to my bank account, the horsepower of my car engine and the size of the fish I just landed. Who doesn’t want to have the biggest fish of the week, weekend or day – especially if there is a friendly competition going on! I do not want to see larger numbers on the scale, my age and my utilities bills and I absolutely draw the line at getting into a “numbers” competition over who has the most claims on a disinfectant label.

Contrary to some companies belief, advertising that a product kills X bugs while the closest competition only kills Y is not relevant and frankly in some cases can be downright dangerous. As Lee and I have been trying to expound with our blogs, there is more than just what the product kills that needs to be taken into account when choosing a disinfectant. You’ll note as illustrated below, there is a hierarchy in the microbial world with respect to the susceptibility of microbes and a disinfectant’s efficacy.

Herein lays the crux of the danger if people are lead to believe that the larger the number of organisms listed on the label the better. An unscrupulous manufacturer can “stack” their label with enveloped viruses and vegetative bacteria – the two easiest to kill classes of microorganisms. They can also “stack” their label with irrelevant organisms, meaning bugs that sound scary, but are in no way spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or medical equipment (i.e. the surfaces that a disinfectant is used on). If we choose a product simply based on the number of organisms it claims to kill without investigating further what those claims are we could be heading down a path to disaster. As end users and decision makers we need to look at the claims and make sure not only that the specific organisms listed are relevant to us but also to ensure that the classes of organisms we are concerned with on a day to day basis at our facilities have been proven effective by the product we choose.

And that my dear friends, is why the number of kill claims on a label is irrelevant. I hope you won’t get caught up in the numbers game the next time you check out a disinfectant!

Next week we launch the first of what will become a monthly Guest Blogger series. The guest bloggers will be respected experts in the field of their respective blog topic and of course the topics will be relevant to the use of chemical disinfectants. We are thrilled that Dr. Syed Sattar has agreed to be our inaugural guest blogger. Dr. Sattar has over 45 years of research experience with a focus of understanding the influence of environmental factors on the survival and dissemination of microbial pathogens. He has published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings as well as several book chapters and we are excited to say that next week’s blog titled “Stop the Smoke and Mirrors” will be the first blog he has written!
Bugging Off!

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