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, July 31, 2020

What is your Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfection IQ?

This week I had the pleasure of filming a couple of clips that will be used for a local news channel. While you, like I may be getting a titch weary of chatting about COVID-19, the truth is for the general public the pandemic has forever opened people’s eyes to the impact infection pathogens have on our lives. If we think back to February and March, we had the toilet paper hoarding incident, followed closely by the stock piling of disinfectants and hand sanitizers.

When it comes to cleaning and disinfection, if we learned from our parents we were probably led astray (sorry mom, if it helps you were taught wrong too!). As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the number of calls to poison control increased by 150% in Ontario between March 2019 and March 2020. It highlights the importance of going back to the basics - aka definitions - because once we are all talking the same language, we gain the confidence and comfort that we are doing what we need to for our family.

First, cleaning simply removes visible debris, dirt, and dust. It’s the first step in ensuring disinfection can occur as most disinfectants cannot kill in the presence of dirt (bleach included). For cleaning to be effective detergents are needed to help lift and remove soils from the surface. Think of it this way, if you were only to use mouth wash as your morning oral hygiene routine, you’d have fresh breath, but it does not remove the plaque and stuff we’ve collected during the day or overnight. That’s why we use a toothbrush.

Sanitizing is another term we frequently hear. Sanitizing renders the surface safe or makes the surface sanitary. Sanitizing is meant to reduce the numbers of bacteria, viruses, and fungi on surfaces and does kill some bacteria found on the surfaces. It is generally, what we need for day to day to keep our loved ones healthy at home and is what is required by public health for surfaces in restaurants, daycares, and schools.

Unlike cleaning and sanitizing, disinfecting “kills” germs like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Testing is completed and approved by Health Canada in order to make claims against specific pathogens and the product labels will clearly identify what germs they kill and how long it takes to kill them. While TV commercials may make it seem like disinfectants kill on contact, the truth is they do not. You need to read the label to determine how long the surface must stay wet to disinfect! The wet dwell time or contact time needed ranges from 1 minute up to 10 minutes. If your product says 10 minutes, then you need to keep that surface wet for 10 minutes.

When it comes to disinfecting at home, focus on the areas that are most frequently touched. Remember that hands spread germs to surprising places. Focus on high touch surfaces as these surfaces are often highly contaminated with pathogens, and we may not wash our hands after touching (TV remotes, light switches, cell phones etc). To give you an idea where some of the most contaminated surfaces are, in our kitchen and bathrooms, in order from most germy to least germy surfaces are bathroom sink, kitchen counter, bathroom faucet, common area doorknobs and kitchen drawer knob.

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought! If you already know this, have a conversation with your friends and family. We need to spread the word and help make sure we can all do our part in stopping the pandemic and not hurting ourselves by improper use of disinfectants in the process!

Bugging Off!


Friday, July 24, 2020

Young Adults and Teens Play Spin the Bottle with COVID-19

The problem with getting older is that you forget you were once young and prone to doing stupid things. Let’s face it, most of us learn by doing, and making mistakes is one of the best ways of learning. When you’re young you think you are invincible and generally lack the cognitive ability for critical thinking.

My brother and I actually had a conversation about this a month or so ago. We were reminiscing over the stupid stuff we got up to, and let me tell you - when you live on a farm, you have access to a lot of different materials, equipment and even animals. Our issue was that we were smart.  If we came up with an idea, we could execute upon it. We developed our critical thinking younger than some.  We learned quickly how to weigh the risks of successfully executing vs getting caught or maiming ourselves. We are both thankful we did not grow up in the era of cell phones and easy access to snapping pictures and taking videos.

We have hit a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic where people are tired.  They are tired of hearing the statistics on the news, tired of being at home with the same people or small group of friends in their 10 person bubble, and sick of putting their lives on hold.  In you are a high school student entering college or university, this was supposed to be your summer to do the rounds of going-away parties. Those that have been working only for a short time may have made plans for one of their first adult trips, or maybe you hit the age of buying a house or having your first child.  Summer is a time to socialize, not socially distance.

While many are risking their lives working in hospitals and caring for COVID-19 patients, working in long-term care homes trying to keep the virus out or tasked with cleaning all of these places as well as the businesses that have opened, we are seeing the impact of undeveloped brains and inability to think critically.  Case in point is the fact that a town in Quebec just south of Montreal is being forced to shut down again after two house parties held by teenagers. One teenager had tested positive, but still attended and now at least 50 people have been confirmed positive and the ability to serve customers in stores around town is being impacted because of the spiderweb of contact tracing. The conclusion of one of the party hosts was “It was stupid.”

I agree, a house party is stupid, but what is beyond dumb is young adults in the US throwing “Coronavirus Parties” to see who gets sick first. Not only are they trying to get sick, the first person who gets sick wins the pot of money collected from ticket sales. In the US, where many do not have access to healthcare and several states are struggling to provide enough ICU beds, I wonder if that pot is large enough to cover medical expenses if the “winner” passes the virus on to some unsuspecting  poor soul.

We are in this together. We all want to get back to a relatively normal life and to that we need to listen to our infection prevention experts. We need to wear masks when in public or cannot keep a physical distance of 6 feet. We need to wash our hands frequently. We need to stay home when sick and we need to clean and disinfect. These are the tenets basic infection prevention.

When it comes to cleaning and disinfection, focus on what is important, high touch or commonly touched surfaces.  Remember that germs can live on surfaces for extended periods of time.  Thankfully viruses like COVID-19, once on a surface, cannot replicate.  Bacteria are altogether different and can reproduce and replicate at alarming speeds. During the pandemic, disinfection of these surfaces is not a once a day or once a week thing.  We need to be disinfecting public surfaces multiple times a day.

Please play your part in stopping COVID-19. I’m going to steal a line from my son’s favourite book The Big Meow when he was small enough to sit on my lap and read. “I’m just a little cat who wants to play. That’s the only thing I wanted to do today.”  I may be older, and I may have decent critical thinking skills, but even I just want to play with my friends and family!

Bugging Off!


Friday, July 10, 2020

Invest in Your Reputation: Disinfection in the Post-Pandemic World

Last week I took a much needed family vacation.  The time away from work was good for the soul!

This week I am going to try something a bit different.  Rather than writing a blog, I am going to share an article I wrote that was recently published in the National Post and shared online as part of a bigger education campaign for Business Resilience.  I’m curious to hear what you or your company is doing to support back to work programs to minimize the risk of COVID-19 entering your facility.  

If you have been working as an essential worker throughout the pandemic, thank you.  Healthcare workers and first responders are important, but we cannot forget to thank everyone else who continued to clean facilities, produce the food we eat or drink, PPE or the disinfectants being used to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

If you do not feel like reading the article, we’ve also created a video that summarizes the article!  I’ve been toying around with vlogging so you may see more of these in the near future!

Have a wonderful week and keep safe!

Bugging Off!