Disinfection, sterilization, and sanitation are all terms that have been used quite heavily over the past two years given the pandemic. In laymen speak, these words seem to be used interchangeably. The idea is that any of these words communicates an ‘elimination’ of harmful microorganisms – and of recent, with most interest to viruses.
While discussion around viruses is of great interest, biocides and chemical disinfectants that can eliminate viruses may not be able to eliminate other harmful microorganisms. According to the CDC, there is a hierarchy of resistance to disinfection and sterilization for microorganisms. The resistance of bacterial spores, for instance, is higher than that of viruses. So, if a biocide is a Sterilant, or a Disinfectant, or a Sanitizer, what should consumers expect regarding eliminating microorganisms?
Sanitation, Disinfection, and Sterilization
The sanitization standard for contamination reduction surfaces is generally accepted as a 99.9% reduction or elimination of microorganisms (also known as a 3-log reduction).
Disinfection is defined as the process of many, or all pathogenic microorganisms being eliminated, except bacterial spores. Unlike sterilization, disinfection may sometimes, but does not always, kill bacterial spores.
Sterilization refers to a 99.9999% reduction or elimination of microorganisms (also known as a 6-log reduction). Sterilization is defined as the process of all microbial life being eliminated, which may be accomplished by chemical or physical means. A chemical sterilant must completely eliminate and inactivate spores.
Chlorine dioxide became registered with the EPA as a sterilant in the late 1980’s. PureLine this day offers services and products to eliminate harmful microbials within the Food and Beverage, Oil and Gas, Healthcare, and Water Treatment industries with superior chlorine dioxide. If you are curious to learn more about how chlorine dioxide can eliminate microorganisms for your business, fill out the contact form below and a PureLine chlorine dioxide expert will talk through your business’ needs!