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Alternative Surface Disinfection Explored in Latest Issue of AJIC

February 23, 2009
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Seattle WA - February 24th, 2009 - Groundbreaking research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control validates a new surface disinfection process that may one day replace chemical disinfectants in hospitals. The process incorporates a saturated steam vapor system with TANCS® technology, harnessing the power of steam to eradicate antibiotic-resistant bacteria, viruses, and fungi on surfaces in less than 5 seconds.

The study, “Reduction in Infection Risk Through Treatment of Microbially Contaminated Surfaces With a Novel, Portable, Saturated Steam Vapor Disinfection System,” was designed and overseen by Dr. Benjamin Tanner, president and scientific director of Antimicrobial Test Laboratories. The study set out to determine the capability of the TANCS-equipped steam vapor disinfection system to kill microorganisms, reduce surface-associated infection risks and serve as an alternative to chemical disinfectants.

"During rigorous testing, the TANCS system surprised us in several instances with its efficacy,” Dr. Tanner said. “It has been gratifying to see the research peer-reviewed for AJIC and to have our lab findings published in a medium easily accessible to the infection control community."

Dr. Tanner and staff treated a diverse assortment of pathogenic organisms, including vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and MS2 coliphage, with the TANCS system. Surface sanitation was observed within 2 seconds for most microorganisms, and all of the pathogens tested were completely inactivated within 5 seconds. Risks of infection from the contaminated surfaces clearly decreased with increasing periods of treatment.

The results confirm what Rick Hoverson, principal of Advanced Vapor Technologies (AVT), has seen in tests performed by other independent laboratories.

"The present level of HAIs, the ever-increasing number of multi-drug-resistant pathogens, along with concerns over use and exposure to chemicals, highlights the need for a simpler, safer, broader-spectrum and faster-acting surface disinfection protocol,” Hoverson said. “This published paper represents a valid scientific basis for such a protocol."

TANCS, or Thermal Accelerated Nano Crystal Sanitation, is a patent-pending process available from AVT. According to the company, the TANCS chemical-free pre-treatment causes nano crystals to form in common tap water. When the TANCS-treated water is transformed into super-heated low-moisture steam, the crystals are energized and disrupt microbial cell walls and membranes. This, coupled with the protein denaturing effect of the moist heat, rapidly and reliably kills a broad range of pathogens.

“We are excited that this paper will create confidence and awareness in the infection prevention and environmental services sector that effective, less toxic alternatives are readily available,” Hoverson said. “We believe that the more the infection control community learns about this efficacious alternative, the more the advantages will become apparent."

The American Journal of Infection Control covers key topics and issues in infection control and epidemiology. Infection control professionals, including physicians, nurses, and epidemiologists, rely on AJIC for peer-reviewed articles covering clinical topics as well as original research. As the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) and Epidemiology, Inc., AJIC is the foremost resource on infection control, epidemiology, infectious diseases, quality management, occupational health, and disease prevention.

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