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Infection Control

Tuesday's Ask the Experts: Disinfectant performance

October 11, 2011
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Tuesday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: Is there a sure way to find out if a floor and surface disinfectant cleaner is doing the job that it should do?

The answer:

Yes, there are ways to measure these performance aspects. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) measurement devices can detect residual soil in the form of living or once-living organisms. After cleaning, swabbing the surface and measuring for ATP will tell you how much organic matter – alive or dead – remains. However, this is really a way to measure cleaning efficacy rather than sanitizing/disinfecting performance re: inactivation of live microbes; still it does serve as a useful barometer of "clean" or hygienic (if there is less organic matter present, there will be less microbial growth). To determine whether you are leaving... — Allen P. Rathey, president of The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI)

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