Disinfection methods


Disinfection methods

Chemical disinfection There are many different chemicals that can be used for disinfection. Their effects on microorganisms vary. Thus, making the correct choice in specific circumstances is essential. A chemical disinfectant is a compound or mixture capable of destroying microorganisms. Most chemical disinfectants come in liquid form

Effective chemical disinfectants include:

• clear soluble phenolic compounds;

• quartenary ammonium compounds;

• chlorine releasing agents;

• iodophors;

• alcohols;

• gluteraldehyde 2%;

• demand-released chlorine dioxide;

• stabilized hydrogen peroxide 6%;

• peracitic acid; and

• hypochlorites.

It should be noted that some disinfectant products are designated for specific use, for example, skin disinfectants, environmental disinfectants, or instrument disinfectants. Use disinfectants only for the disinfection tasks for which they are intended. A careful assessment should be made to ensure that the appropriate disinfectant is used. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the solution and for instruments.

Moist heat disinfection and pasteurization These two methods kill most bacteria and viruses. A typical cycle in an appropriate disinfector is at 73° C for a period of not less than 10 minutes. Moist heat disinfection by boiling is also a common and effective method, which will kill susceptible microorganisms. A typical process is exposure to soft water boiling at 100° C for 5 minutes or more. Suitable items for this proces are metal instruments including specula and sigmoidoscopes. Washer/disinfectors are another method, which use wet heat at temperatures of around 80° C. Items disinfected by this method must be able to withstand powerful water jets and alkaline detergents, for example reusable anaesthetic tubing and masks. This process is also used on soiled objects before sterilization to make them safe for handling