Environmental cleaning & disinfection is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of infection.
Various studies have shown that contaminated surfaces are an established route of transmission for high-risk pathogens, including those with pandemic potential, such as coronaviruses.1
The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced why it is so important to practice good hygiene and ensure surfaces, particularly those that are classed as ‘high-risk’, are cleaned and disinfected frequently. High-risk areas are those more likely to become contaminated with bodily fluids (for example commodes) and other frequently-handled re-usable equipment, which subsequently provide a higher risk of transmission. This is especially important in areas such as bathrooms and other toileting settings.
There is emerging evidence that contaminated surfaces play a role in the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19. Pathogens such as this are able to survive when aerosolised and remain viable on some surfaces for up to 9 days.2
When you consider that alongside studies which find that on average there are over 93 contact episodes per hour between patients, staff and visitors, the challenge of reducing the risk of cross-infection is amplified.3 Environmental surfaces like bedside rails, workstations and door handles are of particular importance, due to the frequency with which they’re touched.
Whilst not being an easy task, we believe in keeping it simple. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that up to 30% of Health Care Associated Infections (HCAIs) could be avoided with good infection control practices and careful hygiene.4
Keeping people safe
People with underlying health conditions and those who may have a weakened immune system are more susceptible to infection. It is therefore crucial that risks are minimised through simple interventions such as avoiding the use of reusable cloths, which can act as a vehicle to transmit microorganisms and avoiding manual mixing of chemicals, which increases the risk of human error and incorrect dilution. This may have health and safety implications as well as impacting the effectiveness of the formulation to kill microorganisms.
Environmental cleaning and disinfection best practice
1. Observe and select the correct PPE and product for your specific requirement.
2. If using a wipe remove the wipe from the packaging and ensure the pack is resealed to avoid the wipes drying out.
3. If using a spray, apply directly to the surface and wipe with a clean cloth.
4. Wipe over the surface working from clean to dirty. Do not go over the same area twice with the same wipe.
5. Ensure surface remains wet for the target contact time.
6. Once used, discard appropriately. Only clearly labelled wipes can be disposed of in a macerator or flushed down the toilet.
Education. Education. Education.
Various studies have found that implementing educational training and interventions can dramatically improve both the quality and frequency of environmental cleaning & disinfection.5,6 It is vitally important to take advantage of the resources available and our experienced team are on hand to provide advice and training for you and your teams to help ensure effective surface cleaning and disinfection practices, helping to minimise the risk of cross-infection.
The Azo™ Range
As a brand established within the healthcare sector for over 35 years, Azo™ encompasses a full product portfolio including detergent wipes, disinfectant wipes and 2-in-1 cleaning and disinfectant wipes, which can be tailored for general purpose to specialist cleaning and disinfecting; including medical areas.
The Azo™ range is extensively used in hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, laboratories, dental and GP surgeries to help reduce contamination and the risk of infection.Download our latest AZO Product Brochure here
- Otter, J.A. et al (2016) Transmission of SARS and MERS coronaviruses and influenza virus in healthcare settings: the possible role of dry surface contamination. Journal of Hospital Infection. 92 235e250
- Kampf, G. (2020) Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. Journal of Hospital Infection. Volume 104, Issue 3, 246-251
- Cheng, V. et al. (2017) Hand-touch contact assessment of high-touch and mutual-touch surfaces among healthcare workers, patients, and visitors. Journal of Hospital Infection. Volume 90, Issue 3, 220–225
- WHO (2007) Annual epidemiological report on communicable diseases in Europe. Report on the status of communicable diseases in the EU and EEA/AFTA
- Reese, S. et al. (2019) Implementation of Cleaning and Evaluation Process for Mobile Patient Equipment Using Adenosine Triphosphate. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 40(7):798-800.
- Zimmerman, P. et al. (2018) Instilling a culture of cleaning: Effectiveness of decontamination practices on non-disposable sphygmomanometer cuffs. Journal of Infection Prevention. 19(6):294-299.