Coronavirus & Surfaces

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trader32176
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Re: Coronavirus & Surfaces

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Developing antimicrobial products with resistance to coronavirus

12/9/20

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20201 ... virus.aspx

(This article is for informational purposes only)


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to stop the spread of the virus. What provoked your research into helping stop the spread of coronavirus?

Every crisis triggers innovation and this pandemic has seen an abundance of that from businesses and individuals all over the world.

Scientific data revealed that this virus in particular was highly contagious on touch. These high-touch areas like doors, handles, rails, screens, and buttons acted like a super spreader.

This drove us to conduct our own R&D. We set the team a challenge that answered 4 briefs. It must be safe in technology, visible in the design, affordable to roll out, and scalable to deliver on mass.

In our everyday lives, we touch many contact points that other people may have touched including door handles and shopping baskets. Why is it important to ensure the safety of frequently touched surfaces?

We know from scientific data that touchpoints spread viruses and bacteria but yet they are an unavoidable part of our daily lives. This pandemic alongside facts released on how many germs were on shopping trolly handles, door handles and screens has created a wave of cautiousness and anxiety.

Even with everyone's best efforts to clean regularly, it is not feasible or viable for that to be regular enough (which needs to be after every use). Our products exist to support regular cleaning helping deliver better hygiene standards moving forward.

Do you believe that since research has shown that coronavirus can survive on surfaces for a number of days, people have become more aware of the number of surfaces they touch and come into contact with?

This pandemic has changed societal behavior. I believe that we have all learned to become far more hygiene conscious and aware and I do not think this is going to change.

Consumer's and employee's expectations have changed too as they demand businesses and governments go above and beyond the standard measures and offer additional protection. The feedback we have had is that people would feel more confident, at ease, and have more peace of mind if they opened a door with a protective cover installed.

Can you describe the products you have designed to stop the spread of viruses including coronavirus? How do these products work?

We have designed a range of antimicrobial self-adhesive products for frequently touched surfaces. How they work is quite simple, they stop the reproduction of bacteria on surfaces. The technology inhibits microbial growth to reduce the spread of bacteria, fungi, and certain viruses. It works by breaking down their biological makeup to stop the reproduction of dangerous pathogens.

Our products have undergone BS ISO testing in accordance with BS ISO 21702 2019 & 22196 killing up to 99.9% of common bacteria and also tested against a strain of Coronavirus.

All of your products contain silver antimicrobial technologies. How does this technology work to kill germs on touch?


Silver antimicrobial technology punch holes in bacterial membranes, breaking down their structure and rendering them redundant. It is worth noting that antimicrobial technology is not new and exists in surgical environments to protect critical touchpoints.

However, one outcome of this pandemic is that all public touchpoints are now critical touchpoints. This highly effective technology now has a much broader role in society which Veraco is leading.

What are the benefits of your product range?


A critical and key benefit of our product is that they work continuously. For example, a self-service touch screen could not feasibly be cleaned after each use, so our Safe Screen cover provides security in between cleaning.

Other practical benefits are that these products are affordable, long-lasting, and customizable. We have a range of standard sizes but we can also create completely bespoke designs to protect almost any touchpoint.

Do you believe that if we could kill viruses that are living on frequently touched surfaces, we could limit the spread of COVID-19?


As we know this virus in particular is spread by touch so any product that minimizes the risk of cross-contamination will have a positive impact.

Why is having a standardized hygiene measure for frequently touched surfaces so important? If we had a standardized procedure, would the chances of another virus outbreak be potentially lower?

We see products like ours, alongside good hand hygiene and regular cleaning, becoming the new standard. In a post covid world we are going to be far more hygiene conscious.

The insight we have taken from this is that people not only want extra protection but will expect this and will choose brands that do this over those that do not.

What are the next steps for Veraco?

We are continuing our expansion plans across Europe, the US, and the GCC. Our product innovation team has a 12-month development plan to fulfill. We have got some exciting new products on the horizon which will be announced in due course.

A new product we have only just released is our Safe Screen range of antimicrobial optically clear touch screen covers - available now to order. We see this as the perfect product for inflight entertainment systems, kiosks, ATM’s, Supermarket self-checkout tills, as well as protecting staff behind the tills that are all touch screen nowadays.
trader32176
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Re: Coronavirus & Surfaces

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Israel installs LED Lights, Which Can Kill COVID in Less Than 30 Seconds, in Water, Air-Conditioning and Vacuum Systems

Dec 14, 2020


https://www.israel365news.com/162038/is ... m-systems/


It hasn’t proven easy to destroy COVID-19 in patients. But it is possible to destroy the new Coronavirus in the environment using ultraviolet LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which disinfect it in less than 30 seconds and can be installed in water, air-conditioning and vacuum systems and will soon be available for private and commercial use, according to say Tel Aviv University (TAU) researchers.

Using UV-LED irradiation at different wavelengths

Their study, just published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology under the title “UV-LED disinfection of Coronavirus: Wavelength effect,” was the first in the world on the disinfection efficiency of a virus from the family of coronaviruses using UV-LED irradiation at different wavelengths or frequencies.

It was headed by Prof. Hadas Mamane, head of TAU’s environmental engineering program at the School of Mechnical Engineering of the Fleischman Faculty of Engineering and conducted in collaboration with Prof. Yoram Gerchman of Oranim College, Dr. Michal Mandelboim (the director of the National Center for Influenza and Respiratory Viruses at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Has homer; and Nehemya Friedman at Sheba.

A length of 285 nanometers


SARS-CoV-2, the causal agent of COVID-19, is not only contagious through respiratory droplets, but can also spread through nasal, oral and eye mucus-contaminated surfaces, the team wrote “Moreover, it has recently been suggested that SARS-CoV-2 could be airborne, although clear evidence for such transmission has not yet been presented. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2’s ability to survive in aerosols for at least 3 hours and up to 72 hours on plastic surfaces was recently demonstrated, suggesting long-term infection risks.”

In the study, the researchers tested the optimal wavelength for killing the coronavirus and found that a length of 285 nanometers was almost as efficient in disinfecting the virus as a wavelength of 265 nanometers, requiring less than half a minute to destroy more than 99.9% of the coronaviruses.

Effective solutions to disinfect the coronavirus


This result is significant because the price of 285 nm LED bulbs is much cheaper than that of 265 nm bulbs, and the former are also more readily available. Eventually, as the technology progresses, the industry will be able to make the necessary adjustments and install the bulbs in robotic systems or air conditioning, vacuum, and water systems and thus be able to disinfect large surfaces and spaces efficiently. Mamane believes that the technology will be available for use in the near future.

“The entire world is currently looking for effective solutions to disinfect the coronavirus,” said Mamane. “The problem is that to disinfect a bus, train, sports hall or plane by chemical spraying, you need physical manpower and for the spraying to be effective, you have to give the chemical time to act on the surface. We know, for example, that medical staff do not have time to manually disinfect computer keyboards and other surfaces in hospitals, for example – and the result is infection and quarantine. The disinfection systems based on LED bulbs, however, can be installed in the ventilation system and air conditioner and sterilize the air sucked in and then emitted into the room.”

Patenting a combination of different UV frequencies


She continued that it was quite simple to kill the coronavirus using LED bulbs that radiate ultraviolet light. “But no less important, we killed the viruses using cheaper and more readily available LED bulbs, which consume little energy and do not contain mercury as do regular bulbs. Our research has commercial and societal implications, given the possibility of using such LED bulbs in all areas of our lives safely and quickly. Of course, as always when it comes to ultraviolet radiation, it is important to make it clear to people that it is dangerous to try to use this method to disinfect surfaces inside homes. You need to know how to design these systems and how to work with them so that you are not directly exposed to the light.”

Ultraviolet radiation is a common method of killing bacteria and viruses, and most of us are familiar with such disinfecting bulbs from their use in water purifiers, such as Tami4. UV radiation damages nucleic acids. Last year, a team of researchers led by Mamane and Gerchman patented a combination of different UV frequencies that cause dual-system damage to the genetic load and proteins of bacteria and viruses, from which they cannot recover-which is a key factor that is ignored.

“In the future,” concluded Mamane, “we will want to test our unique combination of integrated damage mechanisms and more ideas we recently developed on combined efficient direct and indirect damage to bacteria and viruses on different surfaces, air and water.”
trader32176
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Re: Coronavirus & Surfaces

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Researchers produce lightweight grab-poles with anti-microbial property for public transport

1/13/21


https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... sport.aspx


Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic many people have been, or may feel, hesitant about taking public transport, due to the perceived risk of picking up germs from areas such as the grab-poles on trains, buses and trams, which are the principal point of contact.

However, a team including researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick, product designers Transport Design International (TDI), anti-microbial additive developers BioCote and Promethean Particles and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), led by Derby-based manufacturers Composites Braiding Ltd (CBL), will produce lightweight composite grab-poles with an embedded anti-microbial property in their project AMICABLE, thanks to a £480,000 award from the Innovate UK Smart Grant scheme.

The anti-microbial grab poles will be for use in a wide range of public transport applications, such as bus, tram, rail and underground. This should lead to a step-change in hygiene in public transportation and a reduction in transmission of infections of various origins.

Although researchers are currently focusing on public transport applications, there could be the potential for the materials to be used on cruise ships, medical furniture or wherever there are public-facing surfaces.

The teams, from WMG, CBL and TDI have previously worked together on making the materials for the Coventry Very-Light Rail system, and using their expertise from previous projects and concepts already developed for anti-microbial efficacy in sectors such as food packaging and healthcare, they hope to make the new grab-poles within the next 12 months. At the project completion there is an opportunity to demonstrate, for the first time, the new grab-poles directly within new prototype vehicles such as Revolution VLR and the Coventry Light Rail system.

The poles themselves will be retro-fittable, so not only can they be fitted into new vehicles, they can replace current steel poles in existing ones such as buses and the Underground. The project aims to make a range of poles at costs competitive to the current steel ones, however, due to their light-weight material they will be around a third of the weight and will also help with meeting decarbonization goals by aiding fuel efficiency and manufacturing via lower carbon methods.

" As we work in developing future public transport solutions such as the Coventry Very-Light Rail system, the Covid-19 pandemic opened our eyes to the importance of also making transport as clean an environment as possible for passengers. It is clear that a key point of contact for passengers is the grab-poles and other similar structures. Therefore, incorporating anti-microbial grab poles into vehicles could encourage more people to opt for public transport which is generally an environmentally efficient mode of transport."

- Dr Darren Hughes, WMG, University of Warwick

James Taylor, from TDI comments:

"TDI specializes in the design of very light weight vehicles and products so the introduction on this new anti-microbial technology in thermoplastic composites for compliant new vehicle interior products is an extremely exciting opportunity"

Steve Barbour, of Derby-based specialists in thermoplastic braiding CBL adds:

"Using in-mold coating impregnation and fiber commingling techniques, anti-microbial particles will be incorporated into the composite rails during the molding process. Importantly, as the anti-microbial material will be applied during manufacture, it becomes a permanent part of the structure and therefore is expected to be less susceptible to wear. However, when it does reach the end of its life the thermoplastic matrix material will be inherently recyclable, making the grab-poles environmentally friendly."

Source:

University of Warwick
trader32176
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Re: Coronavirus & Surfaces

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COVID-19 rarely spreads through surfaces. So why are we still deep cleaning?

The coronavirus behind the pandemic can linger on doorknobs and other surfaces, but these aren’t a major source of infection.

1/29/21


https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00251-4


When Emanuel Goldman went to his local New Jersey supermarket last March, he didn’t take any chances. Reports of COVID-19 cases were popping up across the United States, so he donned gloves to avoid contaminated surfaces and wore a mask to prevent him inhaling tiny virus-laden droplets from fellow shoppers. Neither gloves nor masks were recommended at the time.

Then, at the end of March, a laboratory study showed that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can persist on plastic and stainless steel for days1. That triggered startling headlines and a slew of advice on how to decontaminate everything from doorknobs to groceries. It also seemed to confirm guidance issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread through contaminated surfaces, known as fomites.

By May, the WHO and health agencies around the world were recommending that people in ordinary community settings — houses, buses, churches, schools and shops — should clean and disinfect surfaces, especially those that are frequently touched. Disinfectant factories worked around the clock to keep up with heavy demand.

But Goldman, a microbiologist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, decided to take a closer look at the evidence around fomites. What he found was that there was little to support the idea that SARS-CoV-2 passes from one person to another through contaminated surfaces. He wrote a pointed commentary for The Lancet Infectious Diseases in July, arguing that surfaces presented relatively little risk of transmitting the virus2. His conviction has only strengthened since then, and Goldman has long since abandoned the gloves.

Many others reached similar conclusions. In fact, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clarified its guidance about surface transmission in May, stating that this route is “not thought to be the main way the virus spreads”. It now states that transmission through surfaces is “not thought to be a common way that COVID-19 spreads”.

As evidence has accumulated over the course of the pandemic, scientific understanding about the virus has changed. Studies and investigations of outbreaks all point to the majority of transmissions occurring as a result of infected people spewing out large droplets and small particles called aerosols when they cough, talk or breathe. These can be directly inhaled by people close by. Surface transmission, although possible, is not thought to be a significant risk.

But it’s easier to clean surfaces than improve ventilation — especially in the winter — and consumers have come to expect disinfection protocols. That means that governments, companies and individuals continue to invest vast amounts of time and money in deep-cleaning efforts. By the end of 2020, global sales of surface disinfectant totalled US$4.5 billion, a jump of more than 30% over the previous year. The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), which oversees subways and buses and lost billions of dollars in passenger revenue in 2020, spent $484 million last year in its response to COVID-19, including enhanced cleaning and sanitization, according to a spokesperson.

Part of the problem is that specialists can’t rule out the possibility of fomite transmission, and the guidance from many health agencies about how to deal with surfaces has been unclear as the science has changed. In November, Chinese authorities introduced guidelines requiring disinfection of imported frozen-food packages. And the CDC directs people to a comprehensive list of agents that kill SARS-C0V-2 and says: “Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important.”

Experts say that it makes sense to recommend hand washing, but some researchers are pushing back against the focus on surfaces. In December, engineer Linsey Marr at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg co-wrote an opinion article for The Washington Post imploring people to ease up on cleaning efforts. “It’s become clear that transmission by inhalation of aerosols — the microscopic droplets — is an important if not dominant mode of transmission,” says Marr, who studies airborne disease transmission. Excessive attention on making surfaces pristine takes up limited time and resources that would be better spent on ventilation or the decontamination of the air that people breathe, she says.



Workers spray disinfectant on a street in Shijiazhuang, China, in January 2020. Credit: Zhai Yujia/China News Service via Getty
PDF version

When Emanuel Goldman went to his local New Jersey supermarket last March, he didn’t take any chances. Reports of COVID-19 cases were popping up across the United States, so he donned gloves to avoid contaminated surfaces and wore a mask to prevent him inhaling tiny virus-laden droplets from fellow shoppers. Neither gloves nor masks were recommended at the time.

Then, at the end of March, a laboratory study showed that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can persist on plastic and stainless steel for days1. That triggered startling headlines and a slew of advice on how to decontaminate everything from doorknobs to groceries. It also seemed to confirm guidance issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread through contaminated surfaces, known as fomites.

By May, the WHO and health agencies around the world were recommending that people in ordinary community settings — houses, buses, churches, schools and shops — should clean and disinfect surfaces, especially those that are frequently touched. Disinfectant factories worked around the clock to keep up with heavy demand.

But Goldman, a microbiologist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, decided to take a closer look at the evidence around fomites. What he found was that there was little to support the idea that SARS-CoV-2 passes from one person to another through contaminated surfaces. He wrote a pointed commentary for The Lancet Infectious Diseases in July, arguing that surfaces presented relatively little risk of transmitting the virus2. His conviction has only strengthened since then, and Goldman has long since abandoned the gloves.

Many others reached similar conclusions. In fact, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clarified its guidance about surface transmission in May, stating that this route is “not thought to be the main way the virus spreads”. It now states that transmission through surfaces is “not thought to be a common way that COVID-19 spreads”.

As evidence has accumulated over the course of the pandemic, scientific understanding about the virus has changed. Studies and investigations of outbreaks all point to the majority of transmissions occurring as a result of infected people spewing out large droplets and small particles called aerosols when they cough, talk or breathe. These can be directly inhaled by people close by. Surface transmission, although possible, is not thought to be a significant risk.

Rogue antibodies could be driving severe COVID-19

But it’s easier to clean surfaces than improve ventilation — especially in the winter — and consumers have come to expect disinfection protocols. That means that governments, companies and individuals continue to invest vast amounts of time and money in deep-cleaning efforts. By the end of 2020, global sales of surface disinfectant totalled US$4.5 billion, a jump of more than 30% over the previous year. The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), which oversees subways and buses and lost billions of dollars in passenger revenue in 2020, spent $484 million last year in its response to COVID-19, including enhanced cleaning and sanitization, according to a spokesperson.

Part of the problem is that specialists can’t rule out the possibility of fomite transmission, and the guidance from many health agencies about how to deal with surfaces has been unclear as the science has changed. In November, Chinese authorities introduced guidelines requiring disinfection of imported frozen-food packages. And the CDC directs people to a comprehensive list of agents that kill SARS-C0V-2 and says: “Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important.”

Experts say that it makes sense to recommend hand washing, but some researchers are pushing back against the focus on surfaces. In December, engineer Linsey Marr at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg co-wrote an opinion article for The Washington Post imploring people to ease up on cleaning efforts. “It’s become clear that transmission by inhalation of aerosols — the microscopic droplets — is an important if not dominant mode of transmission,” says Marr, who studies airborne disease transmission. Excessive attention on making surfaces pristine takes up limited time and resources that would be better spent on ventilation or the decontamination of the air that people breathe, she says.

Virus RNA can mislead

The focus on fomites — rather than aerosols — emerged at the very beginning of the coronavirus outbreak because of what people knew about other infectious diseases. In hospitals, pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, respiratory syncytial virus and norovirus can cling to bed rails or hitch a ride from one person to the next on a doctor’s stethoscope. So as soon as people started falling ill from the coronavirus, researchers began swabbing hospital rooms and quarantine facilities for places the virus could be lurking. And it seemed to be everywhere.

In medical facilities, personal items such as reading glasses and water bottles tested positive for traces of viral RNA — the main way that researchers identify viral contamination. So, too, did bed rails and air vents. In quarantined households, wash basins and showers harboured the RNA, and in restaurants, wooden chopsticks were found to be contaminated. And early studies suggested that contamination could linger for weeks. Seventeen days after the Diamond Princess cruise ship was vacated, scientists found3 viral RNA on surfaces in cabins of the 712 passengers and crew members who tested positive for COVID-19.

But contamination with viral RNA is not necessarily cause for alarm, says Goldman. “The viral RNA is the equivalent of the corpse of the virus,” he says. “It’s not infectious.”

To address that part of the equation, researchers began testing whether coronavirus samples left for days on various surfaces could infect lab-grown cells. One study in April found that the virus remained infectious on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for 6 days; on bank notes, it lasted for 3 days; and on surgical masks, at least 7 days4. A later study announced that viable virus was present on skin for up to 4 days, but on clothes it survived for less than 8 hours5. And others found infectious virus on library books bound in natural and synthetic leather after 8 days6.

Unrealistic conditions

Although these types of experiment demonstrate that the coronavirus can survive on surfaces, this doesn’t mean that people are catching it from surfaces such as doorknobs. Goldman and others caution against reading too much into virus-survival studies, because most don’t test conditions that exist outside the lab. “They were experiments that started out with humongous amounts of virus, nothing that you would encounter in the real world,” he says. Other tests have used mock saliva and controlled conditions such as humidity and temperature, all of which widen the gulf between experimental and real-world conditions, says Goldman.

Only a handful of studies have looked for viable virus outside the lab. Tal Brosh-Nissimov, who heads the infectious-diseases unit at the Assuta Ashdod University Hospital in Israel, and his colleagues swabbed personal items and furniture in hospital isolation units and rooms at a quarantine hotel. Half of the samples from two hospitals and more than one-third of samples from the quarantine hotel were positive for viral RNA. But none of the viral material was actually able to infect cells, the researchers reported7.

Indeed, researchers have struggled to isolate viable virus from any environmental samples, not just fomites. In the only study8 that has succeeded, researchers grew virus particles from hospital air samples collected at least 2 metres from a person with COVID-19.

Nevertheless, scientists warn against drawing absolute conclusions. “Just because viability can’t be shown, it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t contagious virus there at some point,” says epidemiologist Ben Cowling at the University of Hong Kong.

Human exposure studies of other pathogens provide additional clues about fomite transmission of respiratory viruses. In 1987, researchers at the University of Wisconsin— Madison put healthy volunteers in a room to play cards with people infected with a common-cold rhinovirus9. When the healthy volunteers had their arms restrained to stop them touching their faces and prevent them transferring the virus from contaminated surfaces, half became infected. A similar number of volunteers who were unrestrained also became infected. In a separate experiment, cards and poker chips that had been handled and coughed on by sick volunteers were taken to a separate room, where healthy volunteers were instructed to play poker while rubbing their eyes and noses. The only possible mode of transmission was through the contaminated cards and chips; none became infected. The combination of experiments provided strong evidence that rhinoviruses spread through the air. But such studies are considered unethical for SARS-CoV-2, because it can kill.

Although it’s probably rare, says Cowling, transmission through surfaces can’t be ruled out. “It just doesn’t seem to happen that much, as far as we can tell.”

Estimates of transmission based on levels of viral RNA persisting in the environment seem to bear this out. From April to June, environmental engineer Amy Pickering then at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and her colleagues took weekly swabs of indoor and outdoor surfaces around a town in Massachusetts. On the basis of the levels of RNA contamination and how often people touched surfaces such as doorknobs and buttons at pedestrian crossings, the team estimated10 that the risk of infection from touching a contaminated surface is less than 5 in 10,000 — lower than estimates for SARS-CoV-2 infection through aerosols, and lower than surface-transmission risk for influenza or norovirus.

“Fomite transmission is possible, but it just seems to be rare,” says Pickering, who is now at the University of California, Berkeley. “A lot of things have to fall into place for that transmission to happen.”

That might explain why a global comparison of government interventions to control the pandemic in its early months found that cleaning and disinfection of shared surfaces ranked one of the least effective at reducing transmission11. Social distancing and travel restrictions, including lockdowns, worked the best.

Messy data

That leaves researchers sorting through messy epidemiological data about how the virus spreads. Hundreds of studies of COVID-19 transmission have been published since the pandemic began, yet there is thought to be only one that reports transmission through a contaminated surface, by what it termed the snot–oral route. According to the report, a person with COVID-19 in China blew his nose with his hand and then pressed a button in his apartment building elevator. A second resident in the building then touched the same button and flossed with a toothpick immediately after, thereby transferring the virus from button to mouth12. But without genome sequences of the viruses infecting each person, transmission through another unknown person couldn’t be ruled out.

In one other case, eight people in China are thought to have been infected after stepping in sewage containing the virus on the street and then walking the contamination into their homes13.

Despite the rarity of published examples of fomite transmission, Chinese authorities require that imported frozen food be disinfected. The change in guidelines followed a report, which has not been released in detail, that a worker at a frozen-food business in the northern port city of Tianjin became infected after handling contaminated packaging of frozen pork imported from Germany. But the WHO and other experts have disputed claims that people can be infected through the food chain in this manner.

Cowling says that more detailed investigations are needed, carefully tracking who infects whom, and what surfaces and spaces they shared around the time of infection. “What we really, really value is epidemiological investigations of transmission patterns, whether it’s in households or workplaces or elsewhere,” he says. “I don’t think we’ve been doing enough of that.”

The greatest threat

Armed with a year’s worth of data about coronavirus cases, researchers say one fact is clear. It’s people, not surfaces, that should be the main cause for concern. Evidence from superspreading events, where numerous people are infected at once, usually in a crowded indoor space, clearly point to airborne transmission, says Marr. “You have to make up some really convoluted scenarios in order to explain superspreading events with contaminated surfaces,” she says.

Hand washing is crucial, says Marr, because surface transmission can’t be ruled out. But it’s more important to improve ventilation systems or to install air purifiers than to sterilize surfaces, she says. “If we’ve already paid attention to the air and we have some extra time and resources, then yes, wiping down those high-touch surfaces could be helpful,” she says.

Households can also ease up, says Pickering. Quarantining groceries or disinfecting every surface is going too far. “That’s a lot of work and it also is probably not reducing your exposure that much,” she says. Instead, reasonable hand hygiene, as well as wearing a mask and social distancing to reduce exposure from close contacts is a better place to focus efforts.

The WHO updated its guidance on 20 October, saying that the virus can spread “after infected people sneeze, cough on, or touch surfaces, or objects, such as tables, doorknobs and handrails”. A WHO spokesperson told Nature that “there is limited evidence of transmission through fomites. Nonetheless, fomite transmission is considered a possible mode of transmission, given consistent finding of environmental contamination, with positive identification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the vicinity of people infected with SARS-CoV-2.” The WHO adds that “disinfection practices are important to reduce the potential for COVID-19 virus contamination”.

The CDC did not respond to Nature’s queries about inconsistencies in its statements about the risks posed by fomites.

The conundrum facing health authorities, says Marr, is that definitively ruling out surface transmission is hard. Authorities can be reluctant to tell people not to be cautious. “You never want to say, ‘Oh, don’t do that,’ because it can happen. And you know, we should follow the precautionary principle,” she says.

Despite the evolving evidence, the public might have grown to expect extra levels of sanitization after the early months of the pandemic. When the New York MTA surveyed passengers in late September and early October, three-quarters said that cleaning and disinfecting made them feel safe when using transport.

Goldman continues to wear a cloth mask when he leaves home, but when it comes to the possibility of catching the coronavirus from a contaminated surface, he doesn’t take any special precautions. “One of the ways we protect ourselves is by washing our hands,” he says, “and that applies pandemic or no pandemic.”
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Re: Coronavirus & Surfaces

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Novel plastic film can deactivate 99.99% of the new coronavirus in 15 minutes

2/8/21


https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... nutes.aspx


A consortium comprised by companies Braskem, AplFilm and Nanox and the UFSCar (Brazil) and Jaume I of Castellón (Spain) universities have released a plastic film capable of deactivating 99.99% of the new coronavirus in 15 minutes.

The new product called AlpFilm Protect PVC is already available on the market. The scientific collaboration initiated 15 years ago between the UFSCar and UJI with company Nanox had already developed in 2014 a product with antifungal and bactericidal properties: a transparent PVC film with silver microparticles which has now given way to the technology patented by Nanox wih the support of the Vinyl Application Engineering team of Braskem and AlpFilm.

Silica is a semiconductor that becomes active with metallic silver to generate highly oxidative molecules capable of deactivating 79.9% of the new coronavirus in three minutes and 99.99% in just 15 minutes. The product is already available on the market and is commonly used to pack food items such as meat, fruit, vegetables and cold meats, and could now also be used to protect surfaces.

The tests to verify the power of the new plastic packages to suppress SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, were conducted at the level 3 biosecurity laboratory of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the University of São Paulo (ICB-USP) in compliance with ISO 21702:2019, the technical standard to measure the antiviral activity in plastics and other non-porous surfaces. Companies Braskem and AlpFilm improved the film's formula, maximizing the protection potential against fungi and bacteria, achieving the virucidal effect.

The technology developed by Nanox, managed by doctor Gustavo Simões, had the support of the Innovative Research Programme for Small Companies (PIPE) of the FAPESP, and the scientific guidance of professor Elson Longo from the Centre for the Development of Functional Materials (CDMF), the Federal University of São Carlos and professor Juan Andrés Bort, head of the Laboratory of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry of the Jaume I University of Castellón.

For Braskem, the efficiency of the material strengthens the relevance of plastic in initiatives aimed at the health and safety of society. "Plastic has been a great ally against the coronavirus pandemic. PVC solutions enable the production of a series of essential products ranging from medical and hospital products to packages, which ensure food safety, hygiene and cleanliness, among other factors, bolstering the fight against COVID-19," explains Almir Cotias, Vinyls director at Braskem Business, department responsible for the production of the raw material for PVC film AlpFilm Protecto.

" The product existed since 2014 with antifungal and bactericidal properties thanks to the presence of silver microparticles, but with the pandemic, we subjected it to a series of studies to adapt its composition in order to ensure its antiviral efficiency. Faced with the challenges imposed by COVID-19, we decided to focus our attention on researching and developing this product evolution to deactivate the new coronavirus by contact."

- Alessandra Zambaldi, Director of Foreign Trade and Marketing, AlpFilm

AlpFilm is one of the main manufacturers of PVC plastic films in Brazil, with a monthly production of 450 tonnes of material. Since 2014, the company sells plastic films with silver microparticles for the packaging of foods in supermarkets and for home use, in order to provide protection against fungi and bacteria. It is a Brazilian family company, created in 1998 under the name Alpes Indústria e Comércio de Plásticos Ltds, which in 2002 took on the name it gives to its products: AlpFilm.

For over 30 years the collaboration between the UJI and the CDMF has made it possible to obtain new materials and technologies, publishing over 80 articles on semiconductors in the most prestigious journals on chemistry, physics, materials science and nanotechnology. Nanox was a spin-off and then a start-up of the CDMF, and is currently a technology-based company that commercializes its products around the world. Its founders (Gustavo Simoes and Guilherme Tremiliosi) were doctoral students of professor Elson Longo, director of the CDMF, and Juan Andrés, director of the QTC laboratory of the UJI.

Source:

Asociación RUVID
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Re: Coronavirus & Surfaces

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Researchers assess SARS-CoV-2 surface contamination risks in hospital setting

3/1/21


https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... tting.aspx


The high infectivity and rapid transmissibility of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has called for various tests. Early in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 infection, scientists tested everywhere for live virus contamination hazards – skin, food, water, door handles, surfaces made of copper, stainless steel, cardboard, and plastic.

However, there is still a paucity of data regarding the survival and infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces in closed environments. Also, the environmental viability of SARS-CoV-2 is still not fully understood.

While qRT-PCR (quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction) studies showed the presence of viral RNA indoors for up to several weeks, the lack of viral RNA detected in an oncology ward housing patients with COVID-19 is surprising. Contradictory observations undermine the significance of the presence and infectivity of this virus on environmental surfaces.

In this context, an interdepartmental team from the University of California Davis, USA, analyzed the surface swabs for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and the infectivity in a hospital setting by both qRT-PCR and a viral culture assay. They also determined the suitability for sequence analysis and phylogenetically identifying the source of the virus.

The team claims this is the first report on recovering near-complete SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences directly from environmental surface swabs.

They found a low likelihood of the SARS-CoV-2 contamination on hospital surfaces with an infectious virus, disputing the importance of ‘fomites’ in COVID-19 transmission. Also, there was no detectable infectious virus from the surfaces; this is in agreement with the previous studies.

However, the researchers found almost complete genome sequences from two surfaces, suggesting that some viral genomes are present even though not infectious. The researchers amplified the viral sequences from several samples, which appeared negative by qRT-PCR. Interestingly, this highlights the potential to obtain viral sequences in some PCR negative samples.

The phylogenetic analysis helped the team identify the source of the positive SARS-CoV-2 genomes - they were derived from hospitalized patients. Notably, the environmental contamination was linked to a single lineage of the virus, most likely from a single patient.

For this study, the team collected the samples during the two waves of COVID-19 at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, in COVID-19 patient serving and staff congregation areas. They collected the first set of samples in April 2020 and the second set between late July and early August 2020.

They investigated the qRT-PCR positive samples in Vero cell cultures for cytopathic effects and then phylogenetically assessed the samples by whole genome sequencing. The complete protocol used here is made available online.


" Even though we recovered near-complete genome sequences in some, none of the positive samples (11 of 224 total) caused cytopathic effects in cultured cells suggesting this nucleic acid was either not associated with intact virions, or they were present in insufficient numbers for infectivity.”

In this study, the researchers found improved cleaning and patient management practices between April and August 2020 were associated with decreased recovery of SARS-CoV-2 RNA from hospital surface samples. A substantial reduction of SARS-CoV-2 qRT-PCR positivity (from 11% to 2%) in hospital surface samples is observed.

The improved patient management of respiratory secretions included earlier intubation, rapid sequence ventilation, and changes in the management of high O2 flow nasal cannulas.

The researchers highlighted that in mid-August, 2020, when the second surge of COVID-19 cases was admitted, substantially increasing the number of patients in the hospital.

However, the improved cleaning practices and patient management helped reduce the environmental presence of the virions.

They also observed that the SARS-CoV-2 RNA from the hospital surfaces did not exhibit infectious nature in a Vero cell culture model in vitro.

The researchers reported that the whole-genome PCR and sequencing yields more effective detection of SARS-CoV-2 than the qRT-PCR. The genomic sequences isolated from qRT-PCR negative samples indicate a superior sensitivity of viral detection by sequencing.

From two different patient rooms (from the floor and a soiled linens basket lid), they also recovered two near-complete genomes.

Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 genomes of the positive samples were derived from hospitalized patients. The researchers noted that the recovered genome sequences were from the clade 19B - that may have originated from a single patient or multiple patients infected with similar viruses.

In this study, the researchers reported that the 11% of samples collected at the UC Davis Medical Center in April 2020 were positive for SARS-CoV-2, whereas a larger follow-up experiment in August found only 2% of swabs positive. This is likely due to improved cleaning protocols and improved management of patient respiratory secretions. Some viral genomes are present but infectious. This study highlights the potential to obtain viral sequences in some PCR negative samples.

In the ongoing fight against the pandemic, this study throws light on the importance of protocols and procedures in research studies. The results from the unique observations will help the healthcare workers, and researchers adopt better SOPs.

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Journal reference:

David A. Coil, Timothy Albertson, Shefali Banerjee, Greg Brennan, A.J. Campbell, Stuart H. Cohen, Satya Dandekar, Samuel L. Díaz-Muñoz, Jonathan A. Eisen, Tracey Goldstein, Ivy R. Jose, Maya Juarez, Brandt A Robinson, Stefan Rothenburg, Christian Sandrock, Ana M. M. Stoian, Daniel G Tompkins, Alexandre Tremeau-Bravard, Angela Haczku. SARS-CoV-2 detection and genomic sequencing from hospital surface samples collected at UC Davis. medRxiv 2021.02.23.21252022; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.23.21252022, https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101 ... 21252022v1
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Re: Coronavirus & Surfaces

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Study unveils SARS-CoV-2 persistence and contamination concentration on common surfaces

3/15/21

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... faces.aspx


A recent environmental study from the United Kingdom, currently available on the bioRxiv* preprint server, shows that certain common surfaces could represent an infectious risk if contaminated with high concentrations of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – albeit the level of viable viral particles is likely to be low.

The global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, was successful due to viral transmission via a number of different routes, including human contact with contaminated surfaces. People usually get contaminated either as a result of virus-containing droplets or by touch.

Consequently, molecular analytical approaches were used by many researchers to detect SARS-CoV-2 genetic material on various surfaces; however, a viable virus was rarely found. This means that the risk of infection from virus-contaminated surfaces is rather challenging to predict, invoking further studies to enhance our understanding of its survivability.

This new paper by UK researchers (led by Dr. Susan Elizabeth Paton from the Public Health England, National Infection Service in Wiltshire) aimed to appraise the viability of SARS-CoV-2 over a certain period after being dried onto a range of materials, but also to compare the viability of the virus to RNA copies recovered and observe its potential concentration dependence.

Inoculating common materials

In this study, the researchers decided to use surfaces representative of non-porous hand-touch sites (such as stainless steel) and banknotes (i.e., English polymer 10 GBP notes) and personal protective equipment items that are pervasive in the health care setting and the wider environment, such as layered surgical masks, disposable plastic gowns, and coveralls. This was supplemented by materials that represented clothing items, such as polyester sports shirts and cotton T-shirts. Coupons sized 1x1 cm of each material have been prepared.

The SARS-CoV-2 strain was initially isolated using Vero E6 cells (derived from the kidney of an African green monkey), and viral aliquots were defrosted to room temperature immediately before the inoculation of materials. The virus was recovered from the coupons, and a plaque assay was then conducted. RNA extraction and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis have also been pursued.

When data analysis is concerned, each time point for every material coupon used had three biological replicates (i.e., individual coupons) and two technical replicates (i.e., plaque assay performed in duplicate).

Optimal stability on non-porous hydrophobic surfaces

This study demonstrated that the UK SARS-CoV-2 isolate could remain viable on hydrophobic surfaces for up to seven days. Its recoverable viability on hydrophilic surfaces is basically reduced to three days at relative humidity ambient temperature.

More specifically, viable virus persisted the longest on stainless steel and surgical mask material (more than 100 hours for 99.9% reduction in SARS-CoV-2 viability for both materials), while the fastest drop was observed on a polyester shirt (99.9% reduction in 2.5 hours), followed by cotton (99.9% reduction in 72 hours).

In any case, SARS-CoV-2 was most stable on non-porous hydrophobic surfaces, and viral RNA was very stable when dried on surfaces – with only one log reduction in recovery over three weeks. Still, it was shown that SARS-CoV-2 viability decreased much more rapidly, and such decay rate was independent of starting concentration.

Genetic material vs. viable virus


The study concludes that expected levels of viable SARS-CoV-2 environmental surface contamination lead to undetectable levels within two days. In other words, when viral genetic material (RNA) is detected on surfaces, it does not directly suggest the presence of a viable virus.


"This has implications for interpretation of surface sampling results using RT-PCR to determine the possibility of viable virus from a surface," caution study authors in this bioRxiv paper. "Unless sampled immediately after contamination, it is difficult to align RNA copy numbers to the quantity of viable virus on a surface", they add.

Future studies may address this current limitation, where the copy number is obtained for much lower concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 present on surfaces. Consequently, this will help identify whether the persistence of RNA is independent of viral concentration and elucidates the exact relationship to viable virus recovery.

*Important Notice


bioRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Journal reference:


Paton, S.E., et al. (2021). Persistence of SARS-CoV-2 virus and viral RNA on hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces and investigating contamination concentration. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.11.435056, https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101 ... 1.435056v1
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Re: Coronavirus & Surfaces

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Could visible light be a safe and effective SARS-CoV-2 disinfectant?

3/17/21


https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... ctant.aspx


A new study reports that blue light with a wavelength of 400–420 nm can inactivate enveloped viruses like severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza. This could allow continuous disinfection of spaces even when people are present.

Among the several strategies to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by improved ventilation and disinfection of closed spaces is also being used in sectors such as retail, dining, and transportation. Studies have shown that the virus can remain alive on surfaces for many days, and transmission can occur by touching such contaminated surfaces (also known as ‘fomites’).

Disinfection methods generally use 70% alcohol and bleach to clean surfaces. However, such methods are not continuous, and spaces are not treated in-between disinfection.

Another method is to use ultraviolet (UV) lights to kill germs. The UV light dimerizes the RNA or DNA of organisms and can kill many types of pathogens like bacteria, virus, and fungi. However, UV light can also cause harmful effects in humans and hence requires precautions. For example, it cannot be used to decontaminate areas when people are present.

Blue light in the range 380–500 nm, and in particular, wavelengths between 405 and 450 nm is an alternative that has been tested mainly in bactericidal and fungicidal applications. Studies have shown to blue light can reduce bacteria in whole room irradiation.

The mechanism of action of blue light is believed to be the absorption of light releasing reactive oxygen species, which damage proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids and disrupt cellular functions. Reactive oxygen species can also lead to loss of cell membrane permeability. However, viruses lack photosensitizers that can absorb light and so the addition of these materials may be required for virus inactivation.

Blue light for virus inactivation


In a study published on the bioRxiv* preprint server, researchers have shown that SARS-CoV-2 can be inactivated using 405-nm wavelength light without adding any photosensitizers.

The team used a device emitting blue light with a wavelength of 400–420 nm and applied different doses of irradiation to samples placed about 10 inches away. They tested cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus.

At the lowest dose of 0.035 mWcm-2, the researchers saw about half of the SARS-CoV-2 virions, without any added photosensitizers, were inactivated after four hours of irradiation, which increased to about 90% inactivation after a day of irradiation. The inactivation was dependent on the irradiation dose and time of application. At the highest dose of 0.6 mWcm-2, after one hour, about 71% of the viruses were inactivated, and more than 99% were inactivated after eight hours.

The influenza A virus also behaved similarly. In the absence of any added photosensitizers, about 31% of the virions were inactivated after an hour of irradiation, and 98% were inactivated after 8 hours of irradiation at 0.6 mWcm-2.

Although both are enveloped RNA viruses, the difference in how blue light affects them may likely be because the flu virus has a smaller virion size, about 120 nm, compared to the 200-nm virions of SARS-CoV-2, which creates a smaller area for light absorption.

The researchers also looked at non-enveloped viruses to understand the effect of blue light irradiation without photosensitizers on viruses. They found that a high dose of 0.6 mWcm-2 inactivated about 91% of the Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), and showed a less dramatic reduction compared to the enveloped RNA viruses. Such viruses may need higher doses for inactivation.

Potential for continuous disinfection

The results thus show that viruses can be inactivated by blue light without the need for adding external photosensitizers. Although the mechanism of this inactivation is not yet fully understood, theories suggest the production of UVA (390 nm) as a by-product, which can create oxidative stress on the viruses, may play a role.

One limitation of the study was that it was performed on liquid samples rather than aerosol droplets. Although previous studies have shown that air disinfection using visible light can increase disinfection 4-fold, further studies using aerosols are required to determine its potential in virus inactivation.

Nevertheless, visible light could be an effective disinfectant for SARS-CoV-2. The advantage of the method is that it can be operated continuously and is safe for humans, and could be used in places like hospitals, schools, and offices.

*Important Notice

bioRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Journal reference:


Rathnasinghe, R. et al. (2021) Shed the light on virus: virucidal effects of 405 nm visible light on SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.14.435337, https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101 ... 4.435337v1
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Re: Coronavirus & Surfaces

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Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility Every Day and When Someone is Sick

4/5/21

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nc ... ility.html


The virus that causes COVID-19 can land on surfaces. It’s possible for people to become infected if they touch those surfaces and then touch their nose, mouth, or eyes. In most situations, the risk of infection from touching a surface is low. The most reliable way to prevent infection from surfaces is to regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizer.

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces can also reduce the risk of infection.

Always follow standard practices and appropriate regulations specific to your type of facility for minimum standards for cleaning and disinfection. This guidance is indicated for buildings in community settings and is not intended for healthcare settings or for other facilities where specific regulations or practices for cleaning and disinfection may apply.

When to Clean and When to Disinfect


Cleaning with products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and may also weaken or damage some of the virus particles, which decreases risk of infection from surfaces.

When no people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are known to have been in a space, cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces and help maintain a healthy facility.

Disinfecting (using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s List Nexternal icon) kills any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection.

You may want to either clean more frequently or choose to disinfect (in addition to cleaning) in shared spaces if certain conditions apply that can increase the risk of infection from touching surfaces:

High transmission of COVID-19 in your community,
Low number of people wearing masks,
Infrequent hand hygiene, or
The space is occupied by certain populations, such as people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19

If there has been a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in your facility within the last 24 hours, you should clean AND disinfect the space.

Routine Cleaning

Develop Your Plan

Determine What Needs to Be Cleaned

Consider the type of surface and how often the surface is touched. Generally, the more people who touch a surface, the higher the risk. Prioritize cleaning high-touch surfaces.

Determine How Often To Clean

High-touch surfaces should be cleaned at least once a day.
More frequent cleaning might be needed when the space is occupied by young children and others who may not consistently wear masks, wash hands, or cover coughs and sneezes.
If the space is a high traffic area, or if certain conditions apply, you may choose to clean more frequently.

Determine If Regular Disinfection Is Needed

In most situations, regular cleaning (at least once a day) is enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces. However, if certain conditions apply, you may choose to disinfect after cleaning.

Consider the Resources and Equipment Needed

Keep in mind the availability of cleaning products and the personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for cleaners and disinfectants (if needed).

Implement

Clean High-Touch Surfaces

Clean high-touch surfaces at least once a day or as often as determined is necessary. Examples of high-touch surfaces include: pens, counters, shopping carts, tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, stair rails, elevator buttons, desks, keyboards, phones, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

Protect Yourself and Other Cleaning Staff

Ensure cleaning staff are trained on proper use of cleaning (and disinfecting, if applicable) products.
Wear gloves for all tasks in the cleaning process.
Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after cleaning. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.
If hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and wash with soap and water as soon as you can.
Special considerations should be made for people with asthma. Some cleaning and disinfection products can trigger asthma. Learn more about reducing your chance of an asthma attack while disinfecting to prevent COVID-19.

Disinfect Safely When Needed - If you determine that regular disinfection may be needed

If your disinfectant product label does not specify that it can be used for both cleaning and disinfection, clean visibly dirty surfaces with soap or detergent before disinfection.
Use a disinfectant product from the EPA List Nexternal icon that is effective against COVID-19. Check that the EPA Registration numberexternal icon on the product matches the registration number in the List N search tool. See Tips on using the List N Toolexternal icon.
If products on EPA List Nexternal icon: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19) are not available, bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface.
Always follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. The label will include safety information and application instructions. Keep disinfectants out of the reach of children. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet with a disinfectant for a certain period (see product label).
Always take necessary safety precautions.
Ensure adequate ventilation while using the product.
Wear gloves. Gloves should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Additional PPE, such as glasses or goggles, might be required depending on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
Use chemical disinfectants safely! Always read and follow the directions on the label of cleaning and disinfection products to ensure safe and effective use.
Wear gloves and consider glasses or goggles for potential splash hazards to eyes.
Ensure adequate ventilation (for example, open windows).
Use only the amount recommended on the label.
If diluting with water is indicated for use, use water at room temperature (unless stated otherwise on the label).
Label diluted cleaning or disinfectant solutions.
Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.
Do not mix products or chemicals.
Do not eat, drink, breathe, or inject cleaning and disinfection products into your body or apply directly to your skin. They can cause serious harm.
Do not wipe or bathe people or pets with any surface cleaning and disinfection products.

Alternative Disinfection Methods

The effectiveness of alternative surface disinfection methodsexternal icon, such as ultrasonic waves, high intensity UV radiation, and LED blue light against the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been fully established.
CDC does not recommend the use of sanitizing tunnels. Currently, there is no evidence that sanitizing tunnels are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Chemicals used in sanitizing tunnels could cause skin, eye, or respiratory irritation or injury.
In most cases, fogging, fumigation, and wide-area or electrostatic spraying is not recommended as a primary method of surface disinfection and has several safety risks to consider.

Clean and Disinfect Specific Types of Surfaces

Soft surfaces such as carpet, rugs, and drapes

Clean the surface using a product containing soap, detergent, or other type of cleaner appropriate for use on these surfaces.
Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
If you need to disinfect, use a product from EPA List Nexternal icon approved for use on soft surfaces
Vacuum as usual.

Laundry such as clothing, towels, and linens

Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
It is safe to wash dirty laundry from a person who is sick with other people’s items.
If handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick, wear gloves and a mask.
Clean clothes hampers or laundry baskets according to guidance for surfaces.
Wash hands after handling dirty laundry.


Electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines


Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics, which makes cleaning and disinfecting easier.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for cleaning the electronic device.
For electronic surfaces that need to be disinfected, use a product on EPA List Nexternal icon that meets manufacturer’s recommendations. Many of the products for electronics contain alcohol because it dries quickly.

Outdoor areas

Spraying cleaning products or disinfectants in outdoor areas – such as on sidewalks, roads, or groundcover – is not necessary, effective, or recommended.
High-touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars, play structures, and railings, should be cleaned regularly.
Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces (such as wood play structures, benches, tables) or groundcovers (such as mulch and sand) is not recommended.

Clean and Disinfect Your Facility When Someone is Sick


If there has been a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in your facility within the last 24 hours, you should clean and disinfect the spaces they occupied.

Before cleaning and disinfecting

Close off areas used by the person who is sick and do not use those areas until after cleaning and disinfecting.
Wait as long as possible (at least several hours) before you clean and disinfect.

While cleaning and disinfecting

Open doors and windows and use fans or HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) settings to increase air circulation in the area.
Use products from EPA List Nexternal icon according to the instructions on the product label.
Wear a mask and gloves while cleaning and disinfecting.
Focus on the immediate areas occupied by the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 unless they have already been cleaned and disinfected.
Vacuum the space if needed. Use a vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and bags, if available.
While vacuuming, temporarily turn off in-room, window-mounted, or on-wall recirculation heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to avoid contamination of HVAC units.
Do NOT deactivate central HVAC systems. These systems provide better filtration capabilities and introduce outdoor air into the areas that they serve.

It is safe to wash dirty laundry from a person who is sick with COVID-19 with other people’s items, if needed.
Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfectant products, including storing such products securely and using PPE needed for the cleaning and disinfection products.

If less than 24 hours have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, clean and disinfect the space.

If more than 24 hours have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, cleaning is enough. You may choose to also disinfect depending on certain conditions or everyday practices required by your facility.

If more than 3 days have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, no additional cleaning (beyond regular cleaning practices) is needed.

Additional Considerations for Employers and Facility Operators


Educate workers who clean, wash laundry, and pick up trash to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19.
Develop policies to protect and train workers before assigning cleaning and disinfecting tasks.
To protect workers from hazardous chemicals, training should include when to use PPE, what PPE is necessary (refer to Safety Data Sheet for specific cleaning and disinfection products), how to properly put on, use, and take off PPE, and how to properly dispose of PPE.
Ensure workers are trained to read labels on the hazards of the cleaning and disinfecting chemicals used in the workplace according to OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200external icon).
Comply with OSHA’s standards on Bloodborne Pathogens (29 CFR 1910.1030external icon), including proper disposal of regulated waste, and PPE (29 CFR 1910.132external icon).

This guidance is indicated for cleaning and disinfecting buildings in community settings to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading. This guidance is not intended for healthcare settings or for operators of facilities such as food and agricultural production or processing workplace settings, manufacturing workplace settings, or food preparation and food service areas where specific regulations or practices for cleaning and disinfection may apply.
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Re: Coronavirus & Surfaces

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New device can be used to disinfect surfaces without special training

4/15/21


https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... ining.aspx


The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a harsh light on the urgent need for quick and easy techniques to sanitize and disinfect everyday high-touch objects such as doorknobs, pens, pencils, and personal protective gear worn to keep infections from spreading.

Now scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) have demonstrated the first flexible, hand-held, device based on low-temperature plasma -- a gas that consists of atoms, molecules, and free-floating electrons and ions -- that consumers can quickly and easily use to disinfect surfaces without special training.

Recent experiments show that the prototype, which operates at room temperature under normal atmospheric pressure, can eliminate 99.99 percent of the bacteria on surfaces, including textiles and metals in just 90 seconds. The device has shown a still-higher 99.9999 percent effectiveness when used with the antiseptic hydrogen peroxide. Scientists think it will be similarly effective against viruses.

" We're testing it right now with human viruses."

- Sophia Gershman, Study First Author and Physicist, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports that describes the device and the research behind it.

Positive results welcomed


The positive results were welcome at PPPL, which is widening its fusion research and plasma science portfolios. "We are very excited to see plasmas used for a broader range of applications that could potentially improve human health," said Jon Menard, deputy director for research at PPPL.

The flexible hand-held device, called a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD), is built like a sandwich, Gershman said. "It's a high-voltage slice of bread on cheese that is an insulator and a grounded piece of bread with holes in it," she said.

The high-voltage slice of "bread" is an electrode made of copper tape. The other slice is a grounded electrode patterned with holes to let the plasma flow through. Between these slices lies the "cheese" of insulating tape. "Basically it's all flexible tape like Scotch tape or duct tape," Gershman said. "The ground electrode faces the users and makes the device safe to use."

The room-temperature plasma interacts with air to produce what are called reactive oxygen and nitrogen species -- molecules and atoms of the two elements -- along with a mixture of electrons, currents, and electrical fields. The electrons and fields team up to enable the reactive species to penetrate and destroy bacteria cell walls and kill the cells.

Room-temperature plasmas, which compare with the fusion plasmas PPPL studies that are many times hotter than the core of the sun, are produced by sending short pulses of high-speed electrons through gases like air, creating the plasma and leaving no time for it to heat up. Such plasmas are also far cooler than the thousand-degree plasmas that the laboratory studies to synthesize nanoparticles and conduct other research.

A special feature of the device is its ability to improve the action of hydrogen peroxide, a common antiseptic cleanser. "We demonstrate faster disinfection than plasma or hydrogen peroxide alone in stable low power operation," the authors write. "Hence, plasma activation of a low concentration hydrogen peroxide solution, using a hand-held flexible DBD device results in a dramatic improvement in disinfection."

Novel collaboration

Achieving these results was a novel collaboration that brought together the plasma physics expertise of PPPL and the biological know-how of a laboratory at NJIT. "While we usually are a neurobiology lab that studies locomotion, we were eager to collaborate with PPPL on a project related to COVID-19," said Gal Haspel, a professor of biological sciences at NJIT and a co-author of the paper.

Performing the plasma disinfection tests was co-author Maria Benem Harreguy, a graduate student in biological sciences at NJIT, with assistance from Gershman. "She did all the experiments and without her we wouldn't have this study," Gershman said.

The idea for this research began "as soon as we got into the COVID lockdown last March," said PPPL physicist and co-author Yevgeny Raitses, who directs the Princeton Collaborative Temperature Plasma Research Facility (PCRF) -- a joint venture of PPPL and Princeton University supported by the DOE Office of Science (FES) that provided resources for this work through a user project. "We at PCRF were thinking of how to help in fighting against COVID through our low-temperature plasma research, and it's been exciting for us to continue this collaboration," he said.

Raitses guided the PPPL side of the project, which included setting up the DBD based on a printed surface design and characterizing the plasma discharge in this device, and oversaw the ongoing collaboration with NJIT. Going forward, he said, "we are working to get access to a facility in which we will be able to apply the DBD and other relevant devices against the SARS CoV-2 virus" that causes COVID-19. "Also under way is research with immunologists and virologists at Princeton University and Rutgers University to expand the applicability of developed plasma devices to a broader range of viruses."

Source:


DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Journal reference:


Gershman, S., et al. (2021) A low power flexible dielectric barrier discharge disinfects surfaces and improves the action of hydrogen peroxide. Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-84086-z.
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