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Author: The CleanSlate UV Team

Date: October 24, 2018

Efficacy vs. Outcome Claims: Evaluating Sanitizers

Protect Yourself from the “False Claims” Infection

Over the past two decades, hospitals have drastically increased the scope of infection prevention and control programs. This comes as we better understand the ways people can acquire – and spread – pathogens in the hospital.

As the focus on infection control has grown, so has the number of new companies and technologies looking to address these problems. In particular, this has led to a number of new disinfection, sanitization, and sterilization products coming to market.

The only problem is that sometimes the data put forth to substantiate the efficacy of these products isn’t the most relevant or reliable in the context of preventing the spread of specific superbugs (like MRSA or C. diff).

Real World vs. Lab Results

When looking at disinfection or sanitization products, there are two broad categories of validation: lab results and real-world.

“Real world” results demonstrate effectiveness in an actual hospital environment and take into account facility processes, human behaviour, and common external factors (such as how much environmental contamination is present). Real-world results can come in the form of white papers, case studies, and peer-reviewed studies or articles. The types and concentrations of pathogens often vary greatly.

Lab results, on the other hand, are derived from experiments conducted in controlled environments where products are tested against specific bacteria, spores, fungi, and/or viruses. These tests use pre-determined and controlled amounts of bacteria to measure product efficacy.

Compared to laboratory reports, real world studies provide a more holistic understanding of how staff and patients interact with new products. Real-world results can add significant value during product evaluation, but facilities should rely on controlled efficacy tests to evaluate kill-rates against pathogens. Here is why.

Lab tests for anti-microbial efficacy

When it comes to determining the kill rate of a disinfectant or sanitizer, the EPA has set clear testing guidelines for substantiating efficacy claims and in-use instructions. For example, CleanSlate UV’s testing follow the methods laid out in the ASTM E1153, E1053 and E3135 standards. ASTM standards for antimicrobial efficacy are recognized by agencies such as the United States Environmental protection Agency (EPA), and are designed designed to prove that a disinfectant or sanitizer can kill an organism even when a high concentration of that organism is present on a single surface. 

In the real world, most hospital equipment will have far fewer bacteria on them when compared to this ASTM testing. But it is possible to have this level of contamination on surfaces in cases of direct contact (i.e. someone sneezing, wiping their nose, etc), so that is the high-water mark for testing.

In Life, Nothing Is 100%

If a disinfectant or sanitizer claims 100% efficacy, make sure to look at their lab efficacy data to see how the product would perform in the event of a more concentrated contamination.

At CleanSlate UV we want to ensure your staff and patients have access to the best technology to stay safe and sanitary, at a time when they need it most. That’s why we focus on creating products that are seamlessly integrated into the hospital workflow while providing kill rates you can trust, as per the EPA standards. Make sure that when you’re evaluating a solution, the providers can demonstrate both real world efficacy results and ASTME E1153 test results from an EPA certified lab.

To learn more about CleanSlate UV’s mobile device sanitizing solutions, and what makes CleanSlate UV the most effective tabletop UVC sanitizer available, please visit our website at www.cleanslateuv.com.

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