Sanitization is the New Normal
The recent pandemic has brought cleanliness, disinfection, sanitization and sterilization to the forefront of everyone’s mind. We recognize that seniors and those with chronic conditions are more vulnerable to the negative affects of a virus. The most susceptible people must become the most protected in our society.
At Medipense, we take germs, bacteria and viruses very serious. We ensure our people are protected and our products are always sanitized before shipping. We are happy to provide the following suggestions for our customers, and the public, to maintain a clean and germ-free environment.
Keeping yourself clean can be a challenge. Frequently washing your hands, for 20 seconds, is the number one best way to reduce germs, reduce your chance of getting infected and helping to prevent transmission to others. Wearing a mask prevents yourself from transmitting any germs to others. The use of an alcohol-based sanitizing lotion, containing more than 60% alcohol, is the next best way to clean your hands.
A mask also provides some protection from others, but its primary purpose is to prevent you from transmitting to others. A face-shield and mask can provide better protection from others, as the shield provides a barrier to entry for germs via your eyes. If you do not have a mask, cough or sneeze in your elbow to prevent the germs from reaching your hands and others.
Finally, maintaining a safe distance from others, such as the recommended 2 meters, adds another layer of safety. If a virus can’t reach you, it can’t infect you.
Sanitization is the process by which the numbers of microorganisms are substantially reduced, usually by 99.99%.
Frequent hand washing with lukewarm water and soap or with a 60% hydroalcoholic solution for at least 20 seconds limits the risks of transmission in the work environment, especially:
- before touching the face (eyes, nose, mouth);
- after coughing, sneezing or wiping the nose;
- before and after eating;
- after handling something that is frequently touched.
Respecting respiratory etiquette consists of:
- covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and using tissues or the crook of your elbow;
- using single-use tissues;
- immediately discarding used tissues in the trash can;
- frequent hand washing;
- not touching your mouth or eyes with your gloved or bare hands;
- wearing a mask.
Maintaining physical distance from others, reduces the risk of transmission.
- Whenever possible, a minimum of 2 metres of distancing between people must be maintained;
- Handshakes and hugs must be avoided.
- Take advantage of videoconferencing and telemedicine;
- Use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, protective glasses, gloves & visors.
Hygiene measures for tools, equipment and frequently touched surfaces
A virus can survive on surfaces for varied amounts of time:
- Clean and disinfect ventilation systems;
- Clean sanitary facilities at least every shift and disinfect them daily;
- Clean meal areas before each meal and disinfect them daily;
- Clean frequently touched surfaces frequently;
- Clean tools and equipment after use or when they must be shared;
New Sanitization Method with UV Light
UV-C radiation for virus control
Scientists are now also exploring what is called far UVC — a short, high energy wavelength of 222 nm — that appears to be even safer and which could be bathed throughout a room continuously, disinfecting surfaces in addition to destroying pathogens in the air.
A short-wave spectrum called UV-C is dangerous to all genetic material. It’s a germicide, which means it can kill up to 99.99 per cent of bacteria and viruses and breaks up the genetic material of the pathogens floating in air or water and sticking to surfaces so that they cannot function or reproduce. The UV-C emitted by the sun is stopped by the ozone layer, so we aren’t directly exposed to it. That’s a good thing because our fragile skin and eyes couldn’t handle it.
In China, UV-C has been used to disinfect money, buses and elevators, in addition to widespread uses in hospitals.
THE FUTURE OF UV-C
A study published in the journal Nature in 2018 raises the potential for even more effective UV-C disinfection to prevent or reduce airborne viral infections that doesn’t risk human health. Though research needs to be done in real-world conditions, the scientists at the Columbia University Medical Center say the so-called far-UV-C spectrum could potentially lead to widespread decontamination efforts in public spaces, such as hospitals, doctors offices, schools, airports and airplanes.
“Continuous very low dose-rate far-UVC light in indoor public locations is a promising, safe and inexpensive tool to reduce the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases.”
- Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail, cnesst.gouv.qc.ca/coronavirus.
- Welch, D., Buonanno, M., Grilj, V. et al. Far-UVC light: A new tool to control the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases. Sci Rep 8, 2752 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-21058-w