Disinfect, detect and eliminate

Ecolab’s Klercide UV validation torchWith its extensive track record in providing products and services for the control of microbial contamination in cleanroom environments, Ecolab Contamination Control is a leader in its field.

Not only does this international company have extensive knowledge of this sector and the associated rigorous regulatory standards, it also provides unrivalled insight into what is required to ensure total contamination control compliance.

In critical high grade areas, effective disinfection which leaves minimal residues is paramount for organisations committed to the delivery of a successful regime. Ecolab has developed its own unique system called DDE, which, when implemented correctly, will effectively disinfect, detect and eliminate – using a low residue solution, a sophisticated UV validation torch and high grade impregnated wipes.

A major contributing factor to DDE is detection, for which there are already a number of ways of ensuring that a cleanroom is clean and that standard operating procedures are effective. This includes visual inspection, particulate and microbiological monitoring and residue measurement.

Instant visual results

Ecolab has gone above and beyond the norm to develop a UV validation torch, the Klercide UV validation torch, which provides a highly sensitive instant visual result.

The torch emits UV light, which excites the electrons in the atoms or molecules of the particles in question. The atoms or molecules can only temporarily harness the energy from the torch and quickly release this additional energy as light.

It is the released light energy from the atoms or molecules that makes the particles visible to the naked eye.

In stringent tests carried out before its launch, the Klercide UV validation torch was found to allow users to observe surface contamination that might have otherwise been overlooked, with the opportunity to make instant process corrections.

Detection is key

James Tucker, Ecolab marketing director, comments: ‘Detection is an essential element of contamination control in a cleanroom environment. The ability to highlight areas that have been overlooked during the cleaning and disinfection process enables organisations to solve problems before they become costly.’

Ecolab’s UV torch has other benefits too. It can be used for process improvements – to highlight changes that need to be made to transfer disinfection procedures. It can be a valuable technician training aid for demonstrating correct surface and disinfection techniques.

Tucker adds, ‘Ideally, detection can be carried out throughout the entire cleaning and disinfection process in order to identify high risk areas as well as to confirm the removal of contamination. Additionally, it can be used to ensure that hard to reach areas are thoroughly cleaned. It is also a crucial aid when cleaning up spills, allowing the operator to verify that all contamination has been removed.’

Of course, detection is only one element within the DDE system, which must start with initial disinfection and conclude with the final elimination of any particles and residues detected by the UV validation torch.

‘What makes the DDE system so effective is it reduces the likelihood of a contamination-related product recall. It also provides the effective removal of residue helping to avoid sub-optimal concentrations of biocide and interference with biocidal action,’ adds Tucker. ‘Customers who have implemented the system have reported an estimated 15 per cent saving in wastage.’

However, with the development of disinfection and cleaning regimes evolving all the time, it is imperative that cleanroom operators keep abreast of all current compliance procedures.

‘A look at your entire regulatory compliance procedures saves time and internal management resources, as well as helping to prevent costly regulatory issues in the future,’ he concludes.

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