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HUGE Advances in Infection Control - Part 1 - Engineered Water

While there remains no sure-fire “silver bullet” when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting, there have been many advances over the past 20 years that are showing great promise in the fight to create healthy environments. Below are a few of them:

Engineered Water: Originally, there was what was called activated water, which referred to “nonaugmented tap water—in which no salt or other minerals were added—that was altered by passing an electrical current through tap water,” says Allen Rathey, president of Healthy House Institute.  “The main problem was consistency-of-solution created by the inability to control tap water, which varies in its mineral content. Tap water with adequate mineral content can be properly electrolyzed, but tap water without sufficient dissolved minerals cannot.”

Today’s more recent technologies employ what has been termed “engineered water,” based on either activated ozone-infused or electrolyzed water systems.

Perhaps over-simplified, but ewateradvantage.com defines the two as “Aqueous ozone is the name given to water that has been infused with ozone gas and requires only air, water, and electricity to produce a highly effective cleaner-deodorizer-sanitizer in a single product; electrolyzed water uses salt, water and electricity to produce two products, one an alkaline cleaner excellent for degreasing and the second an acidic chlorine-based sanitizer.”

While these two types of engineered water rely on different technologies, they are similar enough that for our purposes we can discuss them together.

The first benefit of the use of these water technologies is that they release little to no chemicals or gases into the atmosphere other than those produced on site by the addition of salt or ozone. This means no fumes, no mixing of more toxic chemicals, and little if any negative impact on indoor air quality, all of which make it probably the most effective green cleaning strategy known to date.

These environmental and health benefits are not the only advantage to water-based systems, however. Among other benefits worth noting are:
  • Labor savings. Chemical residue left on a surface can attract soil to the surface, increasing the cleaning needs of the facility.
  • Increased safety. A large percentage of the injuries that happen when cleaning are due to accidents and exposure to chemicals.
  • Product cost savings. There are no cleaning chemicals to buy.
  • Enhanced sustainability. Chemicals must be packaged and delivered. When no chemicals are used, there is nothing to package or anything to deliver.
A few of these systems produce sanitizers and low level disinfectants. But none of them produce engineered water solutions that are intermediate level with fast contact times.  In my mind, the leading engineered water system produces a form of super-oxidized water that is odorless, pH neutral and is 80 to 100 times more effective than bleach. Its active ingredient of hypochlorous acid is highly effective against all Healthcare Associated Infection (HAIs) pathogens such as MRSA, VRE, Norovirus, and bloodborne pathogens; killing them in as short as 60 seconds (3 minutes for bacteria and fungi; 1 minute for viruses). It has an HMIS rating of 0-0-0.

A ready-to-use form of the hypochlorous acid will be available soon for a 3-minute kill claim for Clostridium difficile (C-diff). It will also have a safe HMIS rating. All the in-use products are stable for over a year.

Join us next week for Part 2 of this series - Antibacterial and Antiviral Surfaces. 

Guest Blog Post by Darrel Hicks: 

This post is part of an article Darrel wrote for ISSA Today. To read the full original article, Click Here

Pedagogy has partnered with the Green Clean Institute to bring professional development education for frontline staff that promotes proactive best practices within environmental health services operations.

Environmental Services Technician Certification program is an 12 month education program that once successfully completed offers your staff a certification.
Modules covered within the educational program are:
  • 600 - CITS Basic Cleaning 101
  • 601 - EVS Technician (Part 1)
  • 602 - EVS Technician (Part 2)
  • 603 - Patient/Resident Safety and Satisfaction
  • 604 - Cleaning and Disinfecting
  • 605 - Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
  • 606 - Bloodborne Pathogens (OSHA)
  • 607 - Infection Prevention
  • 608 - Health Impacts of Cleaning
  • 609 - Cleaning Patient/Resident Rooms
  • 610 - Chemicals & Disinfection Knowledge
  • 611 - Clean, Green and Healthy
  • 612 - Surface Cleaning in Healthcare Settings
To see the education on environmental services cleaning offered by Pedagogy and the Green Clean Institute, click here.
Posted: 4/18/2016 2:17:24 PM
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