Shine the Light!

As more and more businesses and homes are working to clean their establishments, it is taking more and more time. In fact, if you want to ‘really clean’, it is pretty much a full-time job. From top to bottom, hour after hour, every surface and every particulate. There just isn’t a way that it can be done. Or can it? Enter a handy way to disinfect—ultraviolet light. There are three types of UV light, according
to the World Health Organisation: UV-A, which is long-wavelength; UV-B, medium-wavelength; and UV- C, short-wavelength. Specifically, UV-C light, is the only type of ultraviolet light powerful enough to be germicidal.

The short wavelength ultraviolet C (UV-C) light will kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying the nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA leaving them unable to ‘perform’. UV-C light is weak at the Earth’s surface because the ozone layer blocks it. Once UV-C light is circulating through the air or water, via a sanitising unit, those atmospheres become inhospitable to microorganisms such as bacteria, mold, viruses and other pathogens.

A study published in American Journal of Infection Control found patients admitted to rooms that previously held a patient infected with a multidrug-resistant organism were significantly more likely to contract that infection. This risk could be 1.5 to 3.5-times higher, which supports the fact that the environment can play a role in the spread of infection. Incomplete or insufficient cleaning of surfaces most commonly in contact with patients can contribute to infection rates.

The discovery of sterilizing bacteria when exposed to UV-C was first published back in 1878. For over 100 years, UV-C light has been known as a mutagen at the cellular level. In 1903, the Nobel Prize was awarded for the use of UV-C against a certain type of skin disease. And even dating back to 1910, the use of UV-C light for disinfecting drinking water has been in practice, eventually leading to wide scale use of UV-C water treatment programs in North America and Europe. This same disinfectant methodology has been an applied and accepted since the mid-20 th century for medical sanitation and sterile work facilities, helping hospitals cut transmission of super bugs like MRSA that linger in patient rooms and cause new infections.

Why it works? According to the National Health Commission and the CDC, viruses are sensitive to light and heat. A combination of a traditional cleaning material and a UV-C sanitizer offers the maximum amount of coverage and peace at mind. In many systems, redundancy in exposing microorganisms to UV-C is achieved by circulating the air or water repeatedly. This ensures multiple passes so that the UV=C is effective against the highest number of microorganisms and will irradiate resistant microorganisms more than once to break them down.

How it works? A portable machine is used to disinfect rooms where patients with the target bacteria had been staying. The machine emits UV-C light into the empty room for about 30 minutes. The light bounces and reflects into hard-to-reach areas such as open drawers, and between cabinets and fixtures. The light waves kill bacteria by disrupting their DNA.

Whole-room UV disinfection systems have gained in popularity because they sanitise practically all of the surfaces in a room at once, with minimal labor and without hazardous chemicals. Even companies with roots in chemical disinfection have entered the whole-room UV disinfection market. And today, UV-C light is becoming available to other industries and even home usage.

Here are five reasons to add UV-C disinfection processes to help sanitising efforts.

  1. Manual cleaning is inconsistent. Manual disinfection can certainly be effective, but the problem is this: no two rooms will ever be cleaned to exactly the same specifications, regardless of how explicit or detailed the standard procedure may be. Human error will always be part of manual disinfection.
  2. Manual disinfection isn’t 100 percent efficacious. Numerous studies show standard manual cleaning or disinfection of surfaces can reduce, but often does not eliminate, important pathogens.
  3. Antibiotic resistant organisms can survive on surfaces for weeks to months.  There are numerous studies supporting the efficacy of UV-C in reducing the viability of a broad range of problematic pathogens, particularly antibiotic resistant strains.
  4. UV-C helps cover surfaces that wipes and chemicals may miss. UV-C machines work to fill the gaps that wipes and chemicals miss when cleaning a room, which can help achieve the best possible cleaning practices. UV-C machines, serve as a ‘no touch’ method of room decontamination and can reduce key pathogens on surfaces in rooms.
  5. UV-C can help meet expectations for cleanliness. A visible commitment to infection prevention is a modern, high tech way of showing your community you are interested in reducing infections as best you can.

In summary, UV-C disinfections programs eliminate microorganisms that manual processes may miss. Thorough cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces are essential elements of effective infection prevention programs. However, traditional manual cleaning and disinfection practices are often suboptimal. Inconsistent manual cleaning processes, time pressure and lack of an auditing process can affect the efficacy of manual disinfection.

HBC (Bio360+) now offers full room UV-C light cleaning by placing multiple sanitizing units in designated rooms to completely disinfect hard to reach areas that are not caught my traditional cleaning methods, thus bringing hospital standards to any business or home.

Visit our website today for more information or call to schedule your appointment.