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Chemical Disinfectants and TANCS®

Chemical Disinfectants and TANCS®

Podcast on 23 February 2015 Dr. Charles P. Gerba, University of Arizona Dr. Charles P. Gerba

Transcript of the Podcast

Health Intentional Cleaning
Today’s guest on the Health Intentional Cleaning podcast is Dr. Charles Gerba. He actively conducts research on the development of new disinfectants and is a well-known crusader on behalf of good hygiene practices. Welcome Dr. Gerba. Thank you for joining us.

Dr. Charles Gerba

Thank you.

Health Intentional Cleaning

Today we’re going to be tapping your experience with the TANCS Dry Steam Vapor System and its efficacy as a disinfectant. Dr. Gerba, what are the limitations of chemical disinfectants and how does TANCS Steam Vapor provide solutions?

Dr. Charles Gerba

One of the issues with chemical disinfectants, there’s a wide range of them, and so you have to be careful in choosing the type of disinfectant you need for its particular application, particularly if you want to target certain organisms or surfaces. You have to take that in consideration. Another consideration is how fast the disinfection acts. There’s a lot of variability in different disinfectant formulations on the speed at which they kill organisms. It can be up to ten minutes before they’re effective. Another consideration is the range of organisms that the disinfectant is effective against, so you have to be careful in reading your label. Then there’s the issue of storage and availability. You have to have them available, they have a shelf life, you’d have to store them appropriately.

Health Intentional Cleaning

In your hospital research, what is the difference in dwell time needed for chemicals versus the TANCS?

Dr. Charles Gerba

What’s important is that different disinfectant products, chemical disinfectants, have different dwell times. It can be variable from a matter of a minute or two to up to ten minutes before they’re effective in reducing the numbers of microorganisms on a particular surface.

Health Intentional Cleaning

How would your experience with the TANCS Steam Vapor in the healthcare research translate to other markets?

Dr. Charles Gerba

I think the advantage of them is that they’re effective on a wide range of surfaces and they can kill microorganisms at a very fairly rapid rate. I think it’s very appropriate they can be used in a wide range of environments, particularly with heavy microbial load.

Health Intentional Cleaning

Do you see any advantage of having such fine steam droplets that the TANCS Steam Vapor can penetrate surface areas that perhaps are too fine for chemicals to penetrate?

Dr. Charles Gerba

Yeah. I think one of the issues coming up is particularly with porous surfaces. They’re more difficult to disinfect, and in addition, soft surfaces I think there’s a big advantage. Those are difficult to disinfect with a lot of chemical agents. I think that’s important. We’re finding more interest in the potentials of fabrics and disease transmission, so you have an advantage with this type of system.

Health Intentional Cleaning

What has your impression been of the efficacy on, for example, something like a patient privacy curtain or other type of textile?

Dr. Charles Gerba

Well, this is where steam vapors are effective. It’s difficult for chemicals, disinfectants to penetrate these surfaces. They also have the potential for damaging these type of surfaces. And then, their ability to get to the organism is more difficult because they tend to get absorbed by the cloth material. That’s the advantage of using something like steam, where heat is a primary method of killing the organism.

Health Intentional Cleaning

In your scientific analysis – and you’ve reviewed some of the third party testing of the TANCS system – certainly we were seeing five to seven log reductions of pathogens in two to five seconds versus chemicals taking up to ten minutes. Can you characterize what your findings were and what that might mean for us?

Dr. Charles Gerba

Yeah. The inactivation’s very rapid and you’re getting large numbers of organisms that activate in a very short period of time, I think is the big advantage that you’re having here. In practice, it’s been shown that the steam vapor also works in actual healthcare situations and that. So you have the spectrum to demonstrate both in the laboratory and in actual application.

Health Intentional Cleaning

How about the fact that the TANCS Dry Steam Vapor leaves no residues to promote asthmatic, respiratory, dermatitis or other sensitivity issues?

Dr. Charles Gerba

Some people develop sensitivities to certain types of disinfectant so you can get around that issue with the steam vapor too, and it doesn’t leave a residual effect or concern.

Health Intentional Cleaning

Do you see an advantage of the steam vapor with the TANCS with regard to the fact that the TANCS Steam Vapor cleaning protocol for effective results and safety in cleaning is extremely short compared to the protocol for chemical cleaning?

Dr. Charles Gerba

Yes. Time is always a factor when you’re disinfecting and cleaning all the time, so the speed is really important here. And particularly when you’re cleaning facilities and you’ve got time management of the cleaning personnel, internal [inaudible] facilities can be an issue too, in certain situations. So those are all advantages.

Health Intentional Cleaning

Excellent. Dr. Gerba, thanks so much for sharing your expertise with us and we’ll look forward to speaking with you again in the future.