Tag Archives: ionised

Breathe easy, Japanese fungus – candida auris – can be beaten

Yoga breathing
Relax, no fungus here – the air is germ-free and safe to breathe

That’s right, breathe.

Easy lungfuls, nice and deep.

That Japanese fungus can’t get you. Nor can any other viruses, bacteria or fungi.

Because there aren’t any.

They’ve all been oxidised by hydrogen peroxide mist. Ripped to shreds and annihilated. Not ever coming back.

Which is good news for all those hospitals having a problem with it.

No more new cases of candida auris, they can go back to normal.

Except of course for those patients already under treatment. A continuing problem with a fungus so persistently drug-resistant. Not so easy to fix once infection has taken hold.

But easy enough to PREVENT in the first place – just by pushing a button.

Deep cleans that don’t

Oh sure, there have been plenty deep cleans – they just seldom seem to be effective. Bleach, steam, ammonium quats – nothing wants to work.

That’s because 80% of affected areas haven’t been touched.

No, we’re not being critical, just addressing the reality.

All that rub and scrub – often with quite toxic chemicals. Phew the smell!

But that’s only applied to surfaces – floors, walls, furniture, drapery. The air itself is untouched – and that’s 80% of the room space. Waiting for someone to breathe.

And we’re talking fungus here, which means lots of spores.

AIRBORNE spores, floating around all over the place. Because that’s what spores do. It’s how fungi reproduce and spread – riding every little waft and draught, looking for new homes.

Like the skin of a hospital patient, or their bedclothes. Or getting breathed in, along with oxygen, dust  particles and other microbes. Or swallowed with food.

It’s what they do – small enough and light enough to dissipate everywhere. Yes, some of it settles and the deep clean gets it – but what about the stuff that doesn’t?

Down and dirty

And what about the fungus itself? Where it gathers and likes to breed?

Warmth and damp are what it likes – which immediately raises difficulties.

Cleaning down surfaces is easy enough, but what about those un-get-at-able places? Behind the drippy pipes and in the damp around sinks and basins? Or in the cracks between tiles, where even a good go with a toothbrush won’t reach?

Impossible to get to when your target is less than 2 microns across.

So that’s the air space – and all the cracks – that those totally thorough deep cleans have missed. No wonder so many hospitals are having a problem. And all of us at home too, a fungus isn’t picky.

Sayonara candida

OK, so press the button. Make the problem go away.

The one that says “Start” on the front panel of a Hypersteriliser machine.

After a delay to give yourself time to get clear, a super-fine mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide takes to the air, spreading in all directions.

Mist, right? So it fills the air, super-small particles of hydrogen peroxide lighter than any microbe. And ionised too. Made more potent by changing into a plasma – thousands of times more powerful with the release of other antimicrobials.

So it does two things.

Rush and grab

One, its electrostatically-charged particles actively seek to escape from each other, forcibly dispersing themselves away as far as they can get. Through the air and deep into cracks – less than 2 microns in width.

Two, that same electrostatic charge actively reaches out and grabs oppositely-charged microbes. Bacteria, viruses, fungi – they all get clamped in a death-grip and ripped apart by oxygen atoms.

Two seconds contact time is all it needs – but 40 minutes is the time usually set on the machine. More than enough to generate, disperse, locate and terminate everything in an average-sized room.

Safe, sterile and secure

Result, the place is sterile. Through the air, on every surface – under, behind and on top of every object.

No germs anywhere – INCLUDING candida auris.

Which is how come you can breathe easy.

No chance of any infection – not even coughs and sniffles.

That Japanese fungus is gone with our best ninja yell.

Hiya!

Picture Copyright: ammentorp / 123RF Stock Photo

How next generation hydrogen peroxide sterilising is better and safer than you think

Doctor thumbs up
Sterilising is way better than it was – a new generation of safe

Next generation is right – a long way from the days of steam.

Remember that?

Battling like crazy to get keep  the temperature high enough. Burned hands in spite of the gloves and paint flaking off everything that came near. And the impossible – maintaining enough contact time.  Plus of course, the dripping moisture everywhere afterwards.

Yes, so hydrogen peroxide was a big step forward back then. The old new generation. And the revolutionary idea of fogging the place up. Hydrogen peroxide vapour. Mind-blowing, but it worked. Even though it was a bit clunky.

First was the concentration level of hydrogen peroxide. Potent stuff, not to be played around with – like a 90% solution was used as rocket fuel. And the Royal Navy even used it to power  their “blonde” submarines back in the 1950s.

Back in the bad old days

OK, the 35% solution used for sterilising was a lot milder. But still strong enough to be a hazard to health. Handling it needed protective gear – and complete evacuation of the place being treated. Pretty disruptive in a busy hospital, shutting whole areas off for days at a time.

Impossible in business – sterilising offices, that sort of thing. A revolutionary thought, yes – but too hazardous, too bulky, and too lengthy a procedure.

Plus of course even at 35%, hydrogen peroxide was highly corrosive.

And still is today. Sensitive materials or equipment have to be removed first, or run the risk of damage. Surfaces bubble, melt or simply crumble away. Effective sterilising treatment, but truly a double-edged sword.

But the major problem as always, is the moisture.

At 35% concentration, any fogging solution can only become a vapour (HPV). Basically airborne water drops flavoured with peroxide. Even sprayed super-fine, it is heavier than air. Dispersal is limited to the pressure from the pump. And being basically water, it’s wet.

Fog a room up with that stuff and it will kill a lot of germs – very efficient with those it comes in contact with.

Wet, wet, wet

But very quickly, the place is laden with moisture. Like a Turkish bath, or a shower cubicle in a room with all the windows shut.

Water is everywhere – in the air, on all surfaces. Sometimes gathering in pools as the moisture-laden droplets sink to the floor after spraying. Not good for electrical connections or IT equipment. Or expensive diagnostic equipment, thinking of hospitals.

But that’s the price with HPV. Either live with the moisture, or add another machine to dry the place out. And hope like crazy nothing gets too damp before it does so.

Which is why more advanced hydrogen peroxide sterilising systems are truly next generation.

There is no moisture – or at least very little. And what there is evaporates before it can settle. Effectively a dry mist.

Concentration levels are next generation too. Only 6% versus 35%.

That makes it no more hazardous than the stuff at the chemist – also 6%. Still something to be handled with care, but not so potent. Enough to cause coughing or eyes to smart – not good for an asthma condition. But safe enough to be handled by untrained or casual personnel.

What about fire-power? Isn’t it too mild? Can it really kill germs? Doesn’t 6% pull its teeth?

Surprisingly, no. Which is what makes it new generation.

Goodbye hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV). Hello IONISED hydrogen peroxide(iHP)

The ionising game-changer

Ionising is the game-changer.

First, it electrostatically charges the hydrogen peroxide particles, forcing them to repel each other. Not just sprayed out, but driven by power dispersal. The exiting mist spreads rapidly in all directions, trying to escape itself. Which shoves it through the air and hard up against all surfaces – pushing behind, under and through – forcing itself into every crack and crevice.

Second, that charge is opposite to the natural charge of pathogens. So the particles actively grab at bacteria, viruses and fungi – attracted like magnets. Clamped in a death grip, they are attacked by oxygen atoms and ripped to pieces.

Third, its not just hydrogen peroxide doing the job. Although only a 6% solution, ionising it changes its state – like ice becomes water, and water becomes steam. Except in this case the mist becomes a plasma – the fourth state of matter. This releases other antimicrobials – hydroxyl radicals, reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet.   It might be only 6%, but it’s turbo-charged more like 600%.

Fourth, because it’s a milder solution, the mist it makes is finer, lighter – and held easily aloft by its electrostatic charge. So fine, it’s almost not wet at all. So that when it dissipates to become oxygen and water after germs are killed, the water evaporates immediately. No moisture, no damp, no dripping threats to power cables or sensitive connections. And no drying necessary either.

Contact time? Two minutes at room temperature is all it needs to takeout most pathogens, like this lot here.   Stack that up against steam, which needs to maintain 120⁰C for 30 minutes. Or VHP, which needs around 10 minutes to be effective.

On top of which the whole job can be done by a roll-in and press-button mobile unit that does it all automatically. To a 6-Log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% germ-free.

Like we said, next generation.

And definitely better and safer.

Picture Copyright: luismolinero / 123RF Stock Photo

Make norovirus gone – and stay gone!

GO AWAY lady
All those nasty bugs? They’ll have to GO now, you’ve got their number!

Actually, make ALL of them gone. All the tummy bugs – gastric flu, salmonella, campylobacter, e.coli, c.difficile. Whatever their fancy names are – make them totally gone.

All the other bugs as well – the colds, the twenty million types of flu, that foul rubbish MRSA and those full-of-themselves heavyweight jobs like TB, typhoid, cholera, ebola and zika.

Go away, gone, and don’t come back. Let us get on with living our lives. Just keep those germs away and staying away – we’ve all had enough.

It’s the “wash hands” thing, right?

Yeah, yeah, sure. We KNOW we’ve got to hike up our hygiene levels to do it – just don’t keep bugging us.

And get real too.

Yes, we know it’s important, but we’re not going wash our hands every five minutes. Like, get a life, where do you find soap and water, walking down the High Street? Ever tried to scrub your nails in the Underground?

Yes, we take chances and know we shouldn’t.

What, we’re going to stay home and hide under the bed instead?

So most of the time, we’re OK. Our hands don’t LOOK dirty. We live in a clean community with clean streets, fresh running water and proper sewage, we SHOULD be OK. And we’re most of us healthy, our immune systems kick in if there are any issues.

So what if we slip up now and then, and a bug gets through? Fix it!

OK, thanks for the antibacterial wipes and hand gel – should have thought of those. Easy to keep with us all the time, even down the High Street.

But what’s with this norovirus lark? The boomerang bug, or what? Keeps coming back, and back, and back. The clean-up squads go in there and do their stuff, three days later the gut-wrenching cramps, upchucks and runs are back again!

Same old, same old doesn’t work

Kinda says we should change the drill, doesn’t it? If gallons of bleach that pong like hell can’t fix it – or blokes in bunny suits squirting steam everywhere – what’s the point?

Pretty obviously that treatment isn’t getting to all the places it should. Bits get missed – and the darned virus is back again.

Not surprising with the gruesome way it works. Like “projectile vomiting”, what’s that about?

Only that bits of sick and puke wind up everywhere – not just where somebody hurls. Cleaning up the barf patch is all very nice, but how about everywhere else like these gaudy details in the National Geographic describe.

“Fine droplets released from sick people can float through the air and settle on food, on countertops, in swimming pools. They can survive freezing and heating and cleaning with many chemical disinfectants.”

Yeah? And how about those dark corners and underneath stuff? We need a new technique, and we need it NOW.

Fortunately there is one. And it works.

Gets rid of all the germs down to nothing, so there’s zip, nada, zilch to infect us. Zero germs, zero infection, what’s the problem?

The thing is called a Hypersteriliser, a nifty automatic machine about the size of a wheelie-bin. It’s made by the Halosil company in America.

And the hydrogen peroxide solution it uses is registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA Registration No. 84526-6), approved to kill norovirus and rhinovirus, influenza, HIV and a whole stack of others.

Uh huh.

So what it does is mist up the place with an ultrafine spray of hydrogen peroxide. IONISED hydrogen peroxide.

Super performance. super protection

That means it’s electrostatically charged, so every microscopic particle is shoving like crazy to get away from itself. Spreading everywhere, jamming itself into tight spaces, reaching into places you never knew existed.

Total dispersal, right? Any germs hiding anywhere, this stuff is going to find them.

Plus, surprise- surprise, that electrostatic charge is opposite to the charge that viruses and bacteria have. Which means these particles grab hold and clamp on like superglue, never letting go.

Next, they ram oxygen atoms at them, ripping apart their cell structure and oxidising them to oblivion. Oh, and because they’re ionised, they create a whole slew of other germ-killers to aid and abet. Hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species, nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet. Boosted killing power.

Take that, varmints! Let’s see you come back from that!

You get the picture though. The place is germ-zero. Sterile nothing. You can’t catch no bugs because there aren’t any.

Which of course changes as soon as one of us waltzes in with our usual germ cloud in tow – yup, believe it or not, each of us has one. Plus of course whatever nasties we might have on our (did I wash my hands or didn’t I?) itching-to-get-to-work fingers.

Thing is though, that we won’t catch anything NEW. Our usual bugs are our usual bugs and we’ve been safe enough with them throughout the day until now. Step into a sterile room and we’re still safe. No nasty unseen surprises, we’re good to go.

Meanwhile all those other misery-guts germs are gone. ALL of them. And they ain’t coming back because there’s none of them lurking in dark corners to start a reinfection. Gone means gone. Sterile and secure until one of us brings in a NEW bug from outside.

But that’s another story.

Picture Copyright: darkbird / 123RF Stock Photo

Antibiotic resistance: take better care of ourselves, or we’re dead

Girl in shower
Without antibiotics, keeping clean becomes our new lifesaver

Dead, as in destroyed by ourselves. Like suicide out of ignorance.

Because if we contract a bug that resists antibiotics, dying is a high probability.

We take the medicine, hoping it’s going to work – and it does nothing at all. We get sicker and sicker – and either our bodies are strong enough to fight it off by themselves, or we get unlucky.

Better not to take that risk.

Which means a whole attitude change to everything we do. And a level of watchfulness we’re not even close to right now.

Rediscover hygiene

Take personal hygiene. Keeping ourselves clean as much as possible, so germs don’t get a chance. Hands especially, the easiest way for germs to enter our mouths, or our eyes. Kinda basic, but just suppose your life depended on it – because it does.

If antibiotics don’t work – and ask any Doc, we’re getting close to that – any germ you catch is free to run riot inside your body. Unstoppable, unless you avoid it in the first place.

Duh, soap and water is not rocket science.

Same principle applies to anything you eat. Is it fresh, is it clean, is it germ-free? Don’t eat it if it’s not – because again, if you get sick, antibiotics won’t save you.

Rediscover awareness

Same thing, even if you’re just walking down the street. Be careful, avoid accidents.

If a bus hits you and you need surgery, antibiotics won’t stop infection. The bugs are resistant and you’re a goner – unless your Doc has a brilliant Plan B.

So be super-observant, all the time. Watch what you’re doing. Avoid accidents. So you don’t get cuts, you don’t get bruised, you don’t break a leg – and you don’t needlessly breathe in someone else’s germs.

Takes all the fun out of life, huh? Or kinda demonstrates how careless we normally are.

Because pretty well every ailment or accident that happens to us is preventable – if we see it coming in the first place and avoid it.

Rediscover survival

Exactly what we must learn to do, if we are to survive without antibiotics.

And yes, we’re going to have to.

Because bacteria keep evolving all the time – have done so successfully for billions of years. So even if medical science comes up with the most amazing antibiotic yet, give it five years and bacteria will always find a way to become immune to it.

Which applies to all our drugs now, and any new ones we might develop in the future – fighting off bacteria is a never-ending battle against a constantly moving target.

Ah, but antibiotics are not the only way to kill bacteria.

They might be the most effective INSIDE your body, but OUTSIDE there are options.

The super germ-killer

And OUTSIDE is where we can get to them before they get to us.

About the most effective way is to oxidise them. Shove oxygen atoms at them that rip their cell structure apart and destroy their DNA.

Which is what hydrogen peroxide does – particularly airborne IONISED hydrogen peroxide.

Composed only of oxygen and water, hydrogen peroxide is the same all-natural germ fighter the body makes for itself. And the concentration we’re talking about is a low, non-toxic and non-corrosive 6%, the same as you can buy in the chemist for bleaching your hair – though the way we use it makes it way more potent.

It’s therefore a good idea to vacate any room being treated – though it’s environmentally friendy, the stuff can cause irritation to the eyes and throat.

Why ionise? Because that enables a very mild solution, AND changes a mild and harmless solution into a super-performing giant.

Plasma performance

Remember the three states of matter: solid, liquid, gas?

Well, ionising a dry mist of hydrogen peroxide metamorphoses it to a fourth state – from a gas to a plasma. This charges it electrostatically, so that all the particles physically repel each other – they spread actively in all directions, forcing themselves to fill the airspace, hard up against every surface, and deep into every crack and crevice. Complete and penetrating dispersal everywhere.

The change to a plasma also releases MORE antimicrobials – hydroxyl radicals, reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, ozone (a more voracious oxidiser than hydrogen peroxide), and ultraviolet.

The negatively charged hydrogen particles reach out and grab positively charged viruses and bacteria like a magnet grabs iron filings. Locked together, contact time needs only to be a few seconds and the deed is done. ALL viruses and bacteria are destroyed to a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6.

Uh huh. You’ve taken precautions to protect yourself, the hydrogen peroxide protects your surroundings – the room you’re in is now completely sterile. All with just one button push on a Hypersteriliser machine.

Essential?

Rescued, safe, healthy

Hang on to your hat, because it’s going to be. Already the medical heavies reckon we could be only months away from total antibiotics failure.

Except we’re ahead of the game, right? Forewarned is fore-armed.

So no, we’re not dead yet. We’re going to get clean away with it.

Picture Copyright: choreograph / 123RF Stock Photo

Yes, total room sterilising can always be safe

Positive doctors
No germs, no smells, no headaches, no problem!

Yes, be safe.

Because this is one of those “not any more” stories.

Not any more the nasties, not any more the miseries.

Because not so long ago, getting rid of germs was more like getting rid of you.

No more schlep

It took hard scrubbing to get the place clean. With stuff so strong it took the top of your head off. Your eyes ran. You coughed and sneezed. Plus your back ached, your fingers were rubbed raw, exactly as if the germs had got you.

Yeah, well that’s what slaving away with bleach will do. And the place always smells terrible afterwards. Headaches, itchy skin – we’ve all been there.

OK, so the wise guys decided to fog the place up. You still had to scrub, but the germ-killer was spread through the air, hopefully reaching everywhere – especially all those hidey-holes no-one could reach.

Trouble was, that stuff was potent too. Toxic de luxe.

Doing your head in

Have you ever smelt aerosolised formaldehyde? Or those quaternary ammonium compounds? Which is why the CDC recommend not to use them.

Not just yuck. You’d die too, if you were a germ.

Except they don’t, do they? Germs, that is. Not in serious enough numbers at least. The place just stinks and there’s still the risk of infection. But that was back then.

Next thing they tried was ethylene oxide – EtO to the initiated. It killed germs better but was way too potent. A bit too toxic too. Still made you think your head was going to burst.

Hi, hydrogen peroxide

Then somebody had a brainwave and chose hydrogen peroxide – high powered, a known oxidiser, decomposed to just oxygen and water afterwards – what was not to like?

Too watery was the first part. It needed special dryers to get rid of the damp. Which made it dodgy with electrical stuff and computers. Short circuits and things. Risky.

Still too strong was the second part. Sure you can buy hydrogen peroxide at the chemist in a 3% solution. Safe to use at home. But way too weak to spray into the air and clobber nasties like clostridium difficile or MRSA. To do that, you had to rack it way up – 32% and even higher.

Back to the watering eyes and sore throat. And a bit more than that.

Did we mention strong oxidising properties? Because at 32% it’s a bit iffy – strong enough to eat plastic and chew certain metals, a bit too enthusiastic on all kinds of surfaces – especially with repeat treatments.

Ah, but that’s vaporised hydrogen peroxide. Mixed with water and sprayed as thin as possible. That’s why the 32%. Spread out into little tiny droplets it needs all that oomph to be sure of clobbering the germs. And it certainly does that – all viruses and bacteria are oxidised to nothing.

Except 32% is way too hazardous for general use. It needs specially trained staff, work areas have to be evacuated, and everybody needs to wear protective clothing.

Hello, ionised alternative

The revolution is ionised hydrogen peroxide. A safe process that makes it way more effective. And allows it to be milder – only a 6% solution instead of 32%, same as you can buy in Boots for doing your hair. Remember peroxide blondes?

There’s two ways to ionise the stuff – heat or electricity.

Heat is preferred because it is cheaper. All them hydrogen peroxide atoms get hot under the collar until they develop a charge, usually negative – which makes them reach out and grab at pathogens, usually positively charged, like iron filings to a magnet.

Electricity is the clever alternative – and it also means low temperature operation, no risk of melting anything the stuff come in contact with.

At the sprayer nozzle a great fat electric arc charges the parting atoms, forcing them to spread apart from each other because like charges repel. This means the hydrogen peroxide actively spreads itself out and away, reaching deep into cracks and crevices trying to escape from itself. Positively forced dispersal unlike of the vaporised stuff, which just billows like steam.

This spreadability means the droplets can be smaller, finer and ride the air better – especially with the lighter load of the 6% solution. Drier too. No moisture to mess up keyboards or cabling. And of course, too mild to attack surfaces, even sensitive ones.

No compromise on performance though. Ionising physically changes the state of the hydrogen peroxide from a gaseous vapour to a plasma – a charged gas. The effect is like hitting the turbo button. Even more antimicrobials are suddenly produced – hydroxyl radicals, reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, super-oxidising ozone and ultraviolet – all of them potent germ-busters. 6% running on steroids.

Souped up performance

A word of caution though. Yes, it’s safe. But this IS hydrogen peroxide and it IS potent, unless you’re wearing protection, stay away. Hoicked up with radicals and stuff, its oxidising strength is way more than the 32% version.

OK, so ionised hydrogen peroxide spreads better, uses a weaker solution, kills germs more effectively, is drier and gentler to surfaces, and still becomes harmless after action, reverting back to just oxygen and water – so little water that it evaporates before it touches anything.

Easy, huh?

And push button simple with a Hypersteriliser. Just wheel the thing in, connect to power, press the button, and get out of Dodge. Allow forty odd minutes for the average-sized room  and the place is totally sterile – Log 6 kill to be precise, 99.9999% of germs utterly gone.

So now you’re safe. From germs, from nasty smells, from carry-over effects.

Totally sterile, yeah!

Picture Copyright: justmeyo / 123RF Stock Photo

Ooh! Fatness is catching? How can we ever escape?

Beautiful girl running
ANYTHING can be catching – if you’re not specially careful

Oops. For the first time, researchers suspicion that fatness can hit you, just like catching a bug.

Until now, getting fat happened only to individuals, one at a time.

Obesity beckons

Something upsets the balance of our gut bacteria – and our hunger control goes wild. Without even being aware of it, we start gorging ourselves compulsively. We’re on the slippery slope.

Villain of the piece is usually antibiotics. The Doc prescribes them when we’re ill and they go to work, killing the bacteria that causes it.

Trouble is, they kill a lot of good bacteria too – like the ones that keep us fit and trim. With nothing to stop us getting fat, we bulk up incredibly fast – Size 16 in weeks.

Farmers use exactly this method to fatten up animals and make them grow faster. Which is why antibiotics are used on the farm in massive amounts worldwide – anywhere between 65,000 – 240,000 tonnes a year and rocketing.

Which means there’s antibiotics in the food we eat too, explaining why so many of us are tending to fat. Two thirds of us are already overweight or obese – an epidemic that is slowly killing us, nudging us steadily towards diabetes, heart disease and cancer – all consequences of being fat.

Come clean, stay slim

But overnight, these latest findings bring a new urgency to cleanliness and personal hygiene.

Because they show that one third of the bacteria in our gut can produce spores, kind of like dormant seeds. The bacteria can’t exist outside our bodies, oxygen will kill them. But the spores can.

And being able to survive, these spores are free to disperse and float around all over the place. Released in our poo, coughed up or breathed out – for any other one of us to pick up by touch, swallowing or breathing in – just like any regular germs, which is of course exactly what they are.

Zap, and it happens.

Unless we all keep ourselves scrupulously clean and wash our hands every opportunity we get, these spores can relocate easily. From healthy person to healthy person – or from fat person to thin – transferring the same hunger control defects to our own good bacteria. With the same results.

Our bodies no longer know when we’ve had enough – inevitably, we get fat.

OK, so we can’t go around not breathing or eating anything for fear we’ll take spores in. The world is too big, plus there’s other stuff out there– airborne exhaust fumes, smoke, dust, germs and the very oxygen we breathe.

Obesity protection

Ah, but we can protect ourselves INDOORS – which, because of the cold and our chosen lifestyles, is where we spend 90% of our time.

All we need is to keep our hands clean – and treat the air around us with hydrogen peroxide mist so that all germs are oxidised to nothing.

Not ordinary hydrogen peroxide mind, but ionised.

Charged through with electrical energy that changes the mist to a plasma, releasing additional antimicrobials like hydroxyl radicals, reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet. More than a match for any microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses, and spores.

Yes, it can be done – and yes, the technology exists now.

So there’s no reason why your home or workplace, or any other enclosed surroundings, cannot be kept sterile – safe from fatness or any other kind of microbial threat, from day-to-day contamination or transferred from anyone you might share your space with.

It’s up to you though to eat sensibly and exercise.

Look after your bacteria and they will look after you.

Picture Copyright: aleshyn / 123RF Stock Photo

How we’ll survive now antibiotics don’t work

Doctor washing
No more pills – from now on, everything gets done the hard way

Scary stuff this.

No safety net. Like driving on bald tyres.

Any accident, any surgery, any infection, any fever – we’re on our own. Either our immune systems will handle it, or they won’t. Game over.

End of the line

Because now there’s no more failsafe. No last second backup. Real Friday 13th.

No more silly buggers, the Doc can’t save you if your misadventure goes pear-shaped. The cupboard is empty.

Don’t believe it?

Already we’ve got MRSA – methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus – the scourge of every hospital and big bogey of AMR – antimicrobial resistance. This superbug lives naturally in your nose, for goodness sake.

Wipe your face, then touch a cut – and you’re up a gum tree.

Because methicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin, oxacillin – take any of them and the bug might get even stronger.

And MRSA is just one of our regular 9-to-5 infections. Other AMR stars appearing daily include salmonella, streptococcus, c.difficile, TB, gonorrhoea and e.coli. All of them can kill if we’re not careful – and that doesn’t include the heavy brigade like botulism or cholera.

Over-use and abuse

How did these bacteria get so smart?

Well, we’ve been chucking antibiotics at them on an industrial scale for more than 50 years – plenty of time to learn.

Sure thing, a lot of that is in medicine – we’re a growing cult of pill-poppers. These days the average teenager might be on a course of antibiotics say, five times a year.

Hypochondriac grown-ups are worse – or should that be “cyberchondriacs?” The Internet breeds self-diagnosing adults who demand antibiotics so strongly, there’s doctors and chemists who fear for life and limb.

But agriculture is the real villain. 65,000 tons a year and more to bulk up animals for market – beef, pork, mutton, poultry – right across the board. It’s in plants too –from “natural” recycled animal waste. Over-use big time.

Which also means like it or not – carnivore or vegetarian – we’re all on antibiotics already, absorbed through the food chain. And have been ALL OUR LIVES.

Always read the label, remember? Do not take continuously for more than ten days without consulting a physician.

What the heck, we’ve OD’d all our lives!

Living mutations

No wonder our metabolisms are so different from our grandparents’ – weaker, less resilient, more prone to allergies and minor ailments, ballooning to obesity. Our internal bacteria have mutated so much, we’re hardly the same kind of human beings.

Because if it takes only twenty minutes for a bacterium to adapt and evolve to a new generation, that’s around 438,000 mutations learning how to survive antibiotics since they were first used – they should have got it right by now.

So yeah, antibiotics don’t work any more. And since we’re surrounded by billions and billions of bacteria every second – even colonised inside by over 100 trillion – washing our hands is a start.

Wash ’em off so we don’t infect cuts or swallow anything nasty. Wash, wash, wash.

The sloppy hygiene factor

But there’s a problem, and it’s us.

We touch everything everywhere without thinking of these bacteria. From one second to the next, we never think we’re contaminated. Our hands LOOK clean, so we don’t bother.

Sure, we used to get away with it – the Doc back-stopping us with a load of wonder-drugs. But not any more.

So we’re already in big trouble. From our own sloppy hygiene.

It’s not just hands either. Bacteria are everywhere. On everything, under and behind everything, even inside us. And of course, floating through the air – lighter than smoke or specks of dust – swirling, trailing, riding the smallest breeze, all the way up to 30,000 – higher than Everest.

So as soon as our clean hands touch something, they’re contaminated again.

Repeat and repeat

Which means we’ve got to clean the things we touch. And KEEP CLEANING THEM – because the bacteria keep coming back. Wash, wipe, scrub, it’s a never-ending mission.

Even then, it’s not even half the job. Around 80% of any room we live in is air space to move around in – and there’s no wash, wipe, scrubbing answer for that.

We’re at hazard from each other’s bacteria too – because we’re not all the same. Most of us have weaknesses of some kind or other. So our personal biome – the trailing cloud of bacteria unique to each of us – is trapped and mingles in the air of our work space with everybody else’s.

Just by being together we can infect each other.

Unless of course, the whole place is misted up with a Hypersteriliser, oxidising all germs to nothing with hydrogen peroxide.

Not vaporised hydrogen peroxide either – too strong for safety and making everything wet.

Press the button when everybody’s gone for the night, and the mild 6% solution of hydrogen peroxide is IONISED from a microscopic spray into an electrically-charged gas plasma – a super-performing change of state that  releases even more antimicrobials – hydroxyl radicals, reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, ozone, and ultraviolet – every particle alive with energy to disperse everywhere and grab pathogens as they fly.

Forty minutes and the place is sterile. No viruses, no bacteria. Zero germs. Every surface safe. The air totally bio-neutral.

Safe till next time

Of course it starts all over again next morning.

As we all breeze in for the day, each trailing our bio-cloud with us – hands alive with bacteria from the steering wheel, the door handle, the ticket machine, the lift button and the loo seat. Er yes, but soap and water fixes most of that.

Wash, wash, wash – it’s our latest antibiotic – which in case you were wondering means “inhibits the growth of, or destroys, microorganisms.”

Phew! We made it.

Never mind that those antibio-whatsits don’t work any more. We know how to be safe.

Enjoy your day.

Suddenly smitten by co-worker haloes?

Business angel
Temperatures rise, pulses quicken – somebody call a doctor

No, it’s not love in the air – however hard you might wish for it.

Reality is even weirder – an invisible halo round each of us.

Researchers have found that it’s billions and billions and billions of tiny microbes, way too small to see. Our own personal aura of bacteria that surrounds each of us day and night.

Not very heavenly

Ew, bacteria!

Floating all round us?

Gross!

Er, actually they’re supposed to be there. Like bacteria are everywhere. On every surface, round every living thing, even inside us.

Remember your dentist? Lecturing you about cleaning your teeth?

Totally outnumbered

Well according to Sigmund Socransky, associate clinical professor of periodontology (study of teeth structures and diseases) at Harvard University: “In one mouth, the number of bacteria can easily exceed the number of people who live on Earth (more than 6 billion).”

OK, and like everywhere, there’s good guys and bad guys. Cleaning your teeth takes away the food traces the bad guys feed on. Bye bye, bad guys – let the good guys stay to protect your teeth.

There’s even more bacteria in your gut – over 100 trillion. Seems we can’t live without them. They outnumber us more than 10 to 1. Helping us digest stuff, producing proteins to power our systems, leaving us to take a back seat. All perfectly natural.

Feel easier now?

And since we’re colonised so heavily within and without, having a personal halo following us around everywhere doesn’t seem so freakish after all – millions of bacteria, particles of skin cells and little pieces of fungi that break out of our hair – our own unique signature.

Our unique biological ID

This halo of bacteria literally makes itself at home wherever we are. Within minutes, any space we’re in is occupied by our aura. When we leave, traces of it are still there. And so are everybody else’s.

Good guys and bad guys, right?

Our good guys get on with other people’s haloes fine. They give the bad guys a tough time of it too, crowding them out so there’s no place to go – even eating them if they’re bolshy enough.

Trouble is though, we’re not all as perfect as we’d like to be.

A surprising number of us have underlying conditions that weaken us in some way – a previous injury or illness, asthma, TB, any number of digestive disorders. Our good guys have their hands full. Which means if the bad guys get to us, we’re in trouble.

Not the same as coughs and sneezes through the air conditioning is it? Though that happens too.

Without us being aware of it, we could be smitten by a co-workers halo. Picking up a disease or infection just because it was there among the bacteria of somebody else’s halo – staphylococcus or streptococcus possibly, both common in the nose or mouth.

Send in the troops

What defence do we have?

Not a lot in the average workplace. Vacuumed out at the end of the day, waste bins emptied, a quick wipedown with a cleaning cloth – mostly to clear off dust.

When the lights go out, the bacteria stay – waiting to catch us with another dose tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Good bad guy bacteria can survive for weeks if necessary. But they don’t have to if one of us has low resistance. Their new home.

Unless of course, we take the bad guys out.

That means all bacteria of course, good guys too – there’s no way to separate them. Making the whole place sterile so there’s nothing there. Exactly like in hospital. No bacteria, no viruses, no fungi. Completely germ-free and safe.

All it takes is to mist the place up with hydrogen peroxide – an antimicrobial that destroys germs by oxidising them, ripping apart their cell structure with oxygen atoms.

First off, we have to get out of there. Don’t want any harm to our personal bacteria – we NEED them to keep living.

Then a Hypersteriliser generates the mist, ionising it so it spreads everywhere, giving it a charge that snatches at microorganisms on the fly, grabbing hold like a magnet. (Appropriately, they call this machine a Halo in the US).

The stuff penetrates everywhere too, driven by the same charge – round the back of the computers, behind the filing cabinets, under the photocopier.

Safe at last

On every surface as well. Desks, cupboards, walls, ceilings – keyboards, phones, desk organisers – everywhere. Leaving a thin antimicrobial barrier on everything that lasts up to a week – no germs from buttered scone fingers on the keyboard that didn’t get wiped. Forty minutes, job done.

What’s that? You’re still smitten?

Not by bugs, you’re not.

But you know what they say about romance in the office. Better be careful, people will talk.

SURVEY: Spray-mist Anti-infection Systems

Judging Panel
If they save lives, all machines are winners

The hard-slog wipe-down with bleach.

It might be the Twenty-First Century, but good old labour-intensive scrubbing by hand is still the way most of us think of disinfecting anything.

The old way, the hard way

It’s slow, it’s tedious – but because it’s combined with actual cleaning, it sits in people’s minds as a visible dirt removal process, not a focused decontamination in its own right.

It’s also woefully inadequate. Germs escape round it, easy-peasy.

Even “deep clean” applies only to work surfaces and floors, seldom anything else. Not walls, ceilings, or cupboard doors and sides. Not under things, behind, or on top of them.

And certainly not to the air space, which is around 80% of any room.

Which means airborne germs are invisible and untouched – free to continue infecting – with even professionals none the wiser.

Hygiene technology

All that changes with misting systems.

Yes, the schlep of rub and scrub is still necessary to remove physical dirt. But any viruses or bacteria are taken down by an airborne germicide – once ethylene oxide, but now almost universally by hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is a known germ-killer since the Nineteenth Century. The body produces it naturally as part of its own internal defence.

In a spray-mist decontaminator it is mixed with distilled water and pumped into the air to spread and dissipate, killing germs as it goes. The hydrogen peroxide does this by oxidising them – shoving oxygen atoms at them, which destroys their cell structure and DNA.

Different machines use different strengths of hydrogen peroxide solution, depending on achievable “spreadability” – sometimes with a booster, either ammonia, acetic acid or colloidal silver.

Silver itself is also famed as a germ killer. The ancient Greeks used it. So did doctors in the Middle Ages. It’s one of the reasons why we eat with silverware today. In World War One it was THE germ-fighter to use before antibiotics were discovered. And it’s still a first choice on antiseptic dressings.

Steris Corporation – VHP Victory – From £150,000 and upwards

Steris VHP VictoryThe VHP Victory is an industrial-level heavyweight best suited to large-scale government applications and the military – a heavy-duty unit that weighs in at 140 lbs (64 kg) and uses high cost Vaprox Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilant. It generates a mist of vaporised hydrogen peroxide in a strong 35% solution that takes 2 – 8 hours to work effectively. An add-on catalysation unit and additional sensor are available to shorten the operating cycle and ensure even distribution. The 35% concentration is necessary as the mist vapour is heavier than air, which cuts airborne germicidal performance time before it sinks to the floor. The heavy strength makes it severely hazardous to humans and is corrosive to metals and plastics. The VHP Victory easily handles rooms up to 20,000 cu. ft – and can be ganged with additional machines linked by Ethernet to accommodate even larger areas. The heavy concentration and long exposure time achieves 6 Log decontamination. This machine appears to replace its smaller brother, the VHP 1000ARD.

 Bioquell UK Ltd – Bioquell BQ-50 – around £35,000

Bioquell BQ-50 suiteExpensive but compact, this latest suite of units continues Bioquell’s long-standing dual-machine decontamination method – a necessity with vaporised hydrogen peroxide which requires a high concentration level to perform in the air. It also generates high moisture levels, which why there are two machines – one to disperse, the other dry out afterwards. Like a siamese twin version of R2D2, the droid in Star Wars, the 45 lb (20 kg) master unit rolls easily like a pull-along suitcase. It plugs into one, two, or three stand-alone 22 lb (10 kg) aeration units as necessary – and to the pedestal controller, which is operated remotely from outside the treatment area. Mist is via pre-bottled proprietary 35% hydrogen peroxide solution, vaporised in the core unit to treat an average-sized room in around one hour. All caution is needed in operation, as the strong solution is harmful to nose and throat and attacks various materials. The BQ-50 suite achieves 6 Log decontamination, but in a lot less time than the previous two wheelie-bin sized Q-10 machines, which could take up to two days.

Hygiene Solutions Ltd – Deprox and IC4 – from £18,000

Hygiene Solutions DeproxBoth these machines are well-tested in hospital environments and easy to use. The essential difference is the high frequency ultrasonics to “aerosolise” the hydrogen peroxide, allowing a milder and safer concentration – and ensuring better vapour spread. Cycle time for the average room is about two hours, from pre-bottled proprietary solution. The machines are programmed by external computer connection, with automatic calculation of dosage volume and exposure. Log 6 decontamination is claimed for both.

ASP Johnson & Johnson – Glosair 400 – about £18,000

ASP Glosair 400From one the world big manufacturers, the Glosair 400 is a spin-off from the company’s highly successful range of Sterrad medical instrument sterilisers. With the same low temperature hydrogen peroxide gas plasma technology, the Glosair 400 deploys a mild 5% solution laced with silver cations from a special cartridge dispenser at the rate of 30 ml per minute, treating an average room in around 40 minutes. Decontamination ability is Log 4. The unit is a fairly hefty 120 lbs (55 kg) to lug around, made easier by the large wheels.

Oxy’Pharm – Nocospray – around £2,500

OxyPharm NocosprayAt just 12 lbs (5½ kg) this is easily the lightest of all the popular options – simple too, basically a cartridge container releasing directly into a turbine venturi, not unlike a vacuum cleaner. The 6% hydrogen peroxide is both heated and ionised in the venturi, achieving good spread and dispersal for a Log 4 decontamination. Three models offer different software to accommodate varying room sizes.

Biorite Ltd – Aerosept Compact 250 – from £7,500

Biorite Aerosept 250Another unit light enough to lug around by hand, the Aerosept Compact 250 claims a decontamination capability of Log 6 – remarkable for such a small machine, achieved by the release of acetic acid into the mild 6% pre-bottled hydrogen peroxide solution as it is heated for dispersal. This heating does take time, as does the machine’s priming of itself to begin. A dispensing trolley with space for replacement bottles of the Aspetanios Ad disinfectant solution is also available.

Amity International – Airdecon 200 – price not available

Amity International Airdecon 200With the dual option of dispersing 7.5% hydrogen peroxide straight, or boosted with ozone from an on-board ozone generator, the Airdecon 200 claims an astounding Log 7 capability. The unit is mobile and self-contained, loading Amity HP 75 solution directly in bottles. A built-in control panel inputs room size and other data to calculate dosage and exposure time.

Hyper Hygiene Ltd – Sentinel Hypersteriliser – about £10,000

HypersteriliserPerhaps the simplest and easiest of all the machines, the Hypersteriliser is fully mobile and completely automatic, using a safe 6% hydrogen peroxide solution boosted with colloidal silver from an internal reservoir. The spray is ionised in the nozzle by high-voltage electricity, creating a charged gas plasma that releases hydroxyl radicals, reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet. Exposure time for a typical room is 40 minutes and decontamination efficiency is a well-documented Log 6.

 

Spotless workplace, but always down with bugs?

Tensed woman
It’s what you CAN’T see that’s the problem

Posh new prem, all spiffy glass and chrome.

So it can’t be sick building syndrome. Or can it?

Incredibly, up to half of new and renovated buildings can have this problem – an unwanted and unexpected side effect in creating a green, airtight thermo-efficient environment.

Mould inside the walls – from moisture trapped there, in sealed air gaps. Or weak air circulation, underpowered lighting, external vibration – from tube lines under the basement.

Invisible threats

Can’t be – the place is brand spanking new, built by a top designer, no expense spared. How come?

Somehow germs have got in and they’re not going away – staff are down with flu and tummy bugs, over and over again.

The cleaning team are on the case and keep the place immaculate – floors always vacuumed, waste carefully removed, surfaces wiped with antiseptic solution.

So why isn’t that good enough? How do those rotten bugs keep coming?

Two things.

Just because the place LOOKS clean doesn’t mean it is. And most of the time, even a deep clean does only 20% of the job. (Tweet this)

Too many bad guys

You can’t see germs, but they’re all over the place, everywhere. Our own bodies are host to more than 100 trillion of them – and we drag them around in a bio-cloud wherever we go – viruses and bacteria, good guys and bad guys – mostly good.

The key word is “everywhere” – on us, inside us, around us, underneath us, behind us.

Now pause just a second, and remember how things operate.

Last week, right? A whole mob of you in the conference room, big planning session with the guys in the Paris and New York offices, online in the same meeting. Mammoth session, all day non-stop and into the smally wee hours. Big wow factor, kept alive by pizza and coffee.

Uh huh, and the cleaning team made it look like the place had never been used. Amazing.

Imperfect perfectionists

Except, did they clean UNDER the conference table? The actual underside? And did they do under the chairs – everybody fiddled with the swivel and backrest knobs, when were they last ever looked at?

How about the video projector, slung from the ceiling – 20 people in the room for 18 hours, wouldn’t there be gunge up there?

Come to that, how about the air itself? 20 people for 18 hours – each with a germ cloud of minimum 3 billion microbes – around two thousand billion viruses and bacteria that weren’t there before, all able to survive up to 7 days and more.

Floating on the air, lurking, waiting – in 80% of the room space. Untouched by the very efficient surface wipe-clean and vacuum. Still there days later, circulating round in the HVAC system – set to warm for the great British summer, perfect for germ reproduction.

Cough, sneeze, run for the loo.

And not surprising. The place looks clean, but isn’t.

Start with you

Same as your hands. Polished nails, beautifully manicured, not a mark on them.

But when did you last wash them?

Out of sight, out of mind, huh? Except germs are so small, they’re out of sight IN PLAIN VIEW – untouched and thriving right in front of our noses.

OK, hands you can fix, with soap and water – always after the loo and always before eating.

And the workplace you can fix too, with a Hypersteriliser.

After the wipe-down from the cleaning squad, it hits the germs with an ionised spray of hydrogen peroxide. While all of you lot are home watching telly – or partying like mad because the conference job beat all records.

The stuff spreads everywhere because its microscopic particles are charged – actively pushing to escape from each other through the air, rushing up and out into every crack and crevice. The same charge snatches at viruses and bacteria on the fly – all of them – oxidising them to oblivion.

40 minutes later – depending on room-size – zero germ threshold, totally bio-neutral.

Totally safe too.

No residual chemicals, no residual germs. Your immaculate workplace ready for all of you, with no carry-over from yesterday.

Same thing in a sick building, though it can’t fix the lighting or the Underground.

No more sniffles? That’s more like it!

Time to get back to ruling the world.