QUAT Cleaners: A Critical Analysis of their Use

by Erica Mitchell | February 16 2024

Achieving and maintaining sanitized surfaces in hospitals requires an arsenal cleaning and disinfecting products, with quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs or QUATs) being a popular choice. However, as with all cleaners and disinfectants, there are both benefits and risks to their use. In today's post, we'll explore the use of quaternary ammonium compounds and some growing concerns about their impact.

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Bacterial Armor: The Germs that Become Tanks and How to Eradicate Them

by Erica Mitchell | July 10 2023

Eradicating pathogens from environmental surfaces in hospitals is a daily fight. Keeping bacteria from reproducing on surfaces, finding reservoirs in hard-to-clean areas, and forming biofilms requires daily disinfection, and ideally, some form of continuous mitigation. In today's post, we will look at the threats posed by bacteria that are even more adept at surviving on surfaces: Spore-forming bacteria, and how hospitals are trying to keep these persistent pathogens from threatening their patients.

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Canada's PMRA and the United States' EPA Registrations: A Comparison

by Erica Mitchell | June 19 2023

Almost every country has a government agency responsible for the health and safety of its citizens and its environment. Where those two departments overlap is often where pesticides and germicides are regulated. At this intersection are those chemicals that, if released into the environment, could cause damage, but which, within healthcare facilities, are required in order to kill dangerous pathogens. In today's post, we'll explore two such departments in neighboring nations, the United States and Canada.

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Hygienic Home for the Holidays

by Erica Mitchell | December 19 2022

Did everyone notice the uptick in respiratory illnesses (including COVID) that started about a week and a half after Thanksgiving? Many of us might have heard about the flu or a cold or even COVID making its way through a classroom, an office, or an apartment complex. This uptick is predictable, as holidays bring people, and their infections, together. How can we minimize the spread of infection in our homes this upcoming holiday season and go into the new year without sniffles, sneezes, and sore throats? In today's post, we will help you host your friends and family in a hygienic home for the holidays.

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Silver vs Copper: Which is the better biocide? (Part 5)

by Erica Mitchell | February 17 2021

After considering a biocide's efficacy, toxicity, kill mechanisms, and bacterial resistance, one must also consider its cost. As with all criteria, it is an issue of balance. If it is an exceptionally effective, broad-spectrum biocide, then a higher cost is tolerable. Add in other benefits and a higher cost becomes even more reasonable. When it comes to silver and copper, the issue of cost in terms of raw materials is obvious. But to do our due diligence, we must look beyond just the raw materials and also look at cost vs. efficacy(and resulting return on investment from additional impact) to see the winner in a clearer light.

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Silver vs Copper: Which is the better biocide? (Part 4)

by Erica Mitchell | February 10 2021

Resistance - antibiotic or otherwise - is a game of survival of the fittest. Bacteria strains can be killed by an antibiotic that targets a specific cell mechanism, until a particular bacteria mutates into a strain that is able to survive. Such is the case with MRSA, a strain of Staphylococcus aureus that cannot be killed by methicillin-class antibiotics. But how about resistance to silver and copper as biocides? It turns out that every cell's need for copper makes this metal far, far less likely to cause resistance.

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Silver vs Copper: Which is the better biocide? (Part 3)

by Erica Mitchell | February 3 2021

Our bodies are incredible feats of balance, or in biological terms, homeostasis. Completely independent of our conscious minds, our cells are taking in nutrients, reproducing, building proteins, assembling enzymes, all to regulate our organs and systems. Most of the work our bodies perform just needs caloric intake. All the building blocks are there, our systems just need energy. But some of those processes require additional elements that we must ingest specifically for that purpose. These non-organic micronutrients are a variety of metals, since metals' ability to oxidize helps catalyze important biological reactions. But our bodies are not built to tolerate all metals. Some metals can even be toxic. Today we'll explore the relative safety of copper and silver in terms of toxicity to humans.

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Silver vs Copper: Which is the better biocide? (Part 2)

by Erica Mitchell | January 27 2021

Today's post covers a vital comparison between copper and silver: Their ability to kill harmful bacteria. Biocidal activity - the active destruction of microorganisms at the cellular level - is the fundamental criteria when considering the two metals as possible infection interventions. We will explore under what conditions these metals kill bacteria in both laboratory and real-life settings. 

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Silver vs Copper: Which is the better biocide? (Part 1)

by Erica Mitchell | January 20 2021

Since mankind began using metals, both silver and copper have been used to keep mildew, mold, fungi, and other spoilage at bay. Both metals were even known by the ancients to have anti-infection benefits. We know today that both silver and copper have biocidal properties, and as a result, numerous products have appeared on the marketplace touting these properties as effective in the fight against hospital-acquired infections.  Which is the better choice for use in healthcare facilities? To answer this question, we will compare the two metals across 6 criteria over the coming weeks.  

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Preventive Biocidal Surfaces: A Definition in 4 Parts

by Erica Mitchell | December 29 2020

What makes a surface a Preventive | Biocidal SurfaceTM? Four critical characteristics: It is registered by the EPA for public health claims. It actively kills harmful bacteria*. It continues cleaning even after recontamination. Finally, it requires no additional human processes - it performs its sanitizing simply by being installed. 

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