Environmental sanitization is an indispensable procedure to enable safe living in all those environments where the risk of coming into contact with pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc., is at a higher level.
Therefore, this kind of sanitization contrasts the infectious risk, which is greater in environments frequented by many people.
Restaurants, hotels, gyms, swimming pools, schools, offices… there are many places where compliance with hygiene standards and proper environmental sanitization are essential for everyone’s safety.
This article is designed to deepen environmental sanitization, especially for those figures who deal with this important issue daily, starting with the purchasing department managers and company hygiene managers.
What is environmental sanitation?
Environmental sanitization is a process through which pathogens present in the air and on the surfaces of the environment are eliminated. Its purpose is to maintain the microbial and viral load of the surrounding environment within the appropriate safety hygiene standards for people’s health. In this way, anyone frequenting a certain environment is protected from the risk of contracting and/or spreading infectious diseases.
Difference between disinfection and sanitization
When it comes to environmental sanitization, there is often confusion between the concepts of cleaning, disinfection, and sanitization, using one term for the other.
What is the difference between disinfection and sanitization? Let’s clarify the meaning of these words to fully understand them.
First of all, to carry out correct environmental sanitization, the first step is that of cleaning, even if by itself it is not enough to eliminate pathogenic microorganisms.
However, it is necessary to remove the dust and dirt visible to the naked eye before proceeding with any other step, as the dirt could neutralize the active ingredients of the disinfectants. Consequently, cleaning is the first essential step for any disinfection and/or sanitization of environments.
After cleaning the environment with common detergents, you can move on to the environmental disinfection and/or environmental sanitization phases.
Here is the difference between disinfection and sanitization:
- Environmental disinfection: it is the next step after cleaning, this operation allows you to destroy the pathogens present in the environment (in the air and on surfaces).
- Environmental sanitization: it is the process aimed at eliminating the pathogens present in the environment and making it healthy and safe. Environmental sanitization is a global activity, which also includes the cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection phases.
What products are used to sanitize environments?
We have seen that disinfection and environmental sanitization are not mutually exclusive, they are two operations linked to each other. In order to carry out proper environmental sanitization, it is also necessary to deal with the cleaning phase, first, and then the disinfection phase. While commonly used detergents are sufficient in the cleaning phase, the same does not apply to the environmental sanitization process.
So, how does the sanitization take place and what products are used to sanitize environments?
It should be specified that the sanitization of the environment must be carried out by expert and trained personnel, using specific products, and relying on machinery for environmental sanitization.
There are different methods of sanitizing environments, including:
- environmental sanitization with ozone;
- environmental sanitization with UV-C light;
- environmental sanitization with hydrogen peroxide through nebulization.
The advantages of environmental sanitization with hydrogen peroxide
Environmental sanitization with hydrogen peroxide is a particularly valid and safe solution. Hydrogen peroxide is an active ingredient with demonstrated efficacy in eliminating numerous microorganisms (including bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and fungi), as reported in the ISS COVID-19 Report n. 25/2020 Interim recommendations on the sanitization of non-healthcare facilities in the current COVID-19 emergency: environments/surfaces (updated on 20/05/2021). Furthermore, the nebulization of hydrogen peroxide-based products guarantees a homogeneous diffusion of the active ingredient in the environment and on all its surfaces, without leaving residues.
How does sanitization with hydrogen peroxide take place?
To achieve this, it is necessary to use specific environmental sanitization equipment, consisting of machinery for environmental sanitation in combination with specific detergents and/or disinfectants. The machines for sanitizing environments distribute the detergent and/or disinfectant products through micro-nebulization, releasing them regularly in the chosen place.
How to sanitize an environment from Covid-19?
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to implement deep sanitization operations even outside the healthcare environments.
The reference text for the guidelines for environmental sanitization in non-hospital contexts is always the ISS COVID-19 Report n. 25/2020 Interim recommendations on the sanitization of non-healthcare facilities in the current COVID-19 emergency: environments/surfaces (updated on 05/20/2021), mentioned in the previous paragraph. The document presents different types of environmental sanitization to be used to counter Covid-19 and their characteristics, including systems based on the nebulization of disinfectants with hydrogen peroxide. These systems stand out for their speed of execution, proven effectiveness against the Coronavirus, and safety.
Where to carry out environmental sanitization?
The sanitization of environments is necessary for all those spaces where there is a daily flow of different people, as well as in all those places subject to specific environmental hygiene and safety standards.
Here is a brief overview of the environments in which environmental sanitation is needed and their characteristics.
- Catering sector: restaurants, between the continuous comings and goings of people and the presence of food (and therefore possible contamination and food poisoning), present a greater infectious risk than other environments.
- Food sector: in this area, it is essential to follow the food guidelines to ensure consumer health, by complying with the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) sanitization procedure, specific to this sector.
- Hotel sector: accommodation facilities present a situation similar to that of restaurants, it is therefore important to reduce the microbiological load in the various areas of the structure to ensure the health of guests and staff.
- Commercial activities: these are environments characterized by a large circulation of people and therefore at risk of infection.
- Vehicles and transport: whether it is public or private transport, also in this case we are dealing with confined spaces with large numbers of people and often with non-optimal air exchange possibilities.
- Educational institutions: the daily presence of many people in closed spaces at the same time facilitates the spread of viruses and bacteria.
- Workplaces: these are highly frequented environments where people spend many hours a day, thus amplifying the risk of infection.
- Sports/wellness sector: gyms, spas, swimming pools… places dedicated to sports and well-being are the center of social interactions between people, making it easier for the exchange of viruses and bacteria.
AMIL Care environmental sanitization products
Technological innovation and experience in sanitation have allowed AMIL Care to create patented environmental sanitization solutions suitable for every sanitation need. The Medisystem automated sanitization system by AMIL Care is in fact suitable for use in different environments, ensuring high-level environmental sanitization, in compliance with the regulations in force for each sector.
Within the AMIL Care range of environmental sanitization machines, we find the Teknobios and Maxibios lines, dedicated to all non-hospital sectors. The Medisystem devices feature automated ‘no touch’ technology to minimize the risks of human intervention, and a series of validated protocols to reach even the most difficult areas.
In Medisystem, the machine is combined with a range of chemicals, also produced by AMIL Care, mainly based on hydrogen peroxide.
The Sanibios and Lytecare chemical product lines are available in different concentrations to suit all needs. The dispensing of these chemical products takes place through micro-nebulization, thus ensuring a uniform and optimal diffusion of the active ingredients in the environmental sanitization phases.
For any further information on the AMIL Care environmental sanitization system and its use, our staff is at your disposal.