Disinfection Technologies

Surface Disinfection / Decontamination

Cleaning is often confused with disinfection.

Disinfection is NOT a cleaning process, however cleaning is the MOST important step to successful disinfection.

Disinfection may be conducted by manual processes of wiping, mopping or spray as well as fogging either Wet or Dry.

Antimicrobial agents are substances or mixtures of substances used to destroy or suppress the growth of harmful microorganisms whether bacteria, viruses or fungi on inanimate objects such as walls, floors, ceilings and other surfaces.

Antimicrobial products may be categorised as follows;

  • Sterilisers (Sporicides): Used to destroy or eliminate all forms of microbial life including fungi, viruses, all forms of bacteria and their spores.
    • Type of sterilisers include:
      • Steam under pressure (autoclaving)
      • Low temperature gas (ethylene oxide)
      • High energy radiation (Gamma rays)
      • Liquid chemical sterilants (such as Minncare, Actril)
    • Disinfectants: Used on hard inanimate surfaces and objects to destroy or irreversibly inactive infectious fungi and bacteria but not necessarily their spores.
      • Types of Disinfectants include:
        • High level disinfectants:Kill all viruses and vegetative cells, but they may not kill endospores reliably.(E.g. Hydrogen Peroxide, Formaldehyde).
        • Intermediate level disinfectants: Destroy all vegetative cells including Mycobacteria, fungi, and most, but not all viruses. They cannot kill endospores. (E.g. Alcohols)
        • Low level disinfectants: Destroy vegetative bacteria, except Mycobacteria, fungi and non-enveloped viruses. (E.g. Quaternary ammonium compound)
      • Sanitisers: Used to reduce, but not necessarily eliminate, microorganisms from the inanimate environment to levels considered safe as determined by public health codes or regulations.
        • Type of Sanitisers:
          • Food contact products: Dishes and cooking utensils, equipment and utensils found in food processing plants.
          • Non-food contact products: Carpet sanitisers, air sanitisers, laundry additives, in-toilet bowl sanitisers.
        • Antiseptics and Germicides: Used to prevent infection and decay by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. Because these products are used in or on living humans, they are thus approved and regulated.