Dr Tim Sandle, discusses why the most up-to-date standards, known as European Norms (EN), should always be considered when selecting cleaning and disinfection products for use in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Dr Tim Sandle, a Chartered Biologist with a first-class honours degree in Applied Biology, and a Masters degree in education, who is an honorary tutor with the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Manchester, discusses why the most up-to-date standards, known as European Norms (EN), should always be considered when selecting cleaning and disinfection products for use in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Effective disinfection of surfaces, instruments, and hands, is critical to minimise infection risks (bacterial, fungal and viral) in hospitals, especially during the current global pandemic. This requires the selection of the most appropriate disinfectants, their correct application, and an assessment of their capability to inactivate or kill microorganisms. There is a wide choice of disinfectant formulations available, and it is essential to ensure that the most appropriate disinfectants are selected and used correctly. This article examines European Norms (EN) in relation to disinfectants, considers the importance of updates to these standards, and offers some practical advice on ensuring that accurate comparisons between different disinfectants can be readily made
The main function of a disinfectant lies in its ability to kill or inactivate microorganisms. Therefore, a key step in the selection process is ensuring that the disinfectant has the required level of biocidal activity. Disinfection manufacturers provide efficacy data relating to the two key criteria of contact time and required concentration. This data should be based on product testing which is both rigorous and repeatable. In Europe, this means being tested to the European Norms (EN), which remain the ‘gold standard’ tests when selecting disinfectants for use in the UK.
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