Chemical Disinfection & UVC Disinfection Defined

Chemical Disinfection & UVC Disinfection Defined

What is Chemical Disinfection?

Chemical disinfection is when chemicals such as alcohol, chlorine/bleach, formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, or peracetic acid are applied to surfaces and equipment to kill harmful pathogens that cause infections. 1 2 Chemical disinfectants reduce the load of microorganisms including pathogens, thereby reducing chances of infection and microorganism transition. 3

What is UVC Disinfection?

Ultraviolet-C (UVC) disinfection is one type of no-touch technology shown to be a successful adjunct to manual cleaning. According to the FDA, UVC radiation is a known disinfectant for air and nonporous surfaces. UVC technology deploys UV light to penetrate the cell walls of spores, bacteria and viruses and renders these harmful pathogens unable to reproduce and spread after treatment with UVC energy. UVC radiation has effectively been used for decades to reduce the spread of bacteria and harmful pathogens. When bundled with manual cleaning and disinfection protocols, the technology significantly reduces patient exposure to HAIs.

UVC Disinfection in Addition to Manual Cleaning

Disinfection in addition to traditional cleaning methods is the best way to help ensure a cleaner, safer environment. While manual cleaning is the predominant method, research published in the American Journal of Infection Control shows that as many as 50% of surfaces remain contaminated with pathogens, including MRSA, despite regular manual cleaning efforts. 4

How to Choose the Best UVC System

In today’s healthcare environment – including hyper awareness of virus transmission risk – hospitals need to choose technologies that can be measured and are able to provide the data needed to show proof of UVC dosing and compliance. UVC devices should be easily accessible to high-touch surface areas. Those surfaces need the most direct light to effectively and efficiently rid them of harmful, HAI-causing pathogens.

UVC radiation is most effective at inactivating a virus if the virus is directly exposed to the radiation. If a surface is under a shadow, it won’t be disinfected. Some UVC systems don’t administer the proper dose and miss areas that may contain dangerous pathogens. The right UVC system should measure the delivered UVC dose and have a “pause and reposition” feature that helps operators ensure targeted areas of the room have received optimal dosage to kill harmful pathogens. This technology helps staff quickly disinfect crucial areas and return rooms to service.

Additionally, measuring the delivered UVC dose, tracking treatment data, monitoring effectiveness, and sharing with necessary stakeholders is an important function of UVC light technology. Using patented remote UVC sensors and pausing and repositioning the UVC system, helps address variables such as room shape and other obstacles that might prevent areas from being disinfected. The best UVC solutions work to reach all targeted areas within a treated room, including those in shadowed or hard-to-reach places.

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 1 Disinfection Methods | Disinfection & Sterilization Guidelines | Guidelines Library | Infection Control | CDC

 2 Chemical Disinfection 

Chemical disinfection in healthcare settings: critical aspects for the development of global strategies – PMC 

4 A model for choosing an automated ultraviolet-C disinfection system and building a case for the C-suite: Two case reports – ScienceDirect