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Infection Control

Scientists explore plasma as disinfectant

February 15, 2010
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NEW YORK — Several laboratories are developing prototype devices that use plasma to inactivate bacteria, viruses and fungi in seconds, according to the New York Times.
According to the story, the devices are designed to be used by hospital workers in lieu of washing hands or using hand sanitizer, and can even reach areas — like underneath fingernails — that may be missed during traditional hand washing.

The use of plasma, a substance also found in neon tubes and television displays, to disinfect medical equipment has grown in popularity over the last decade, but this is the first time they are being tested for use on human tissue, the story stated.

Researchers say that the units are inexpensive to build, costing less than $100, the story noted.

Scientists also stress that they are still in the early stages of testing and will need to further investigate any health effects, the story added.

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