What is the meaning of sanitization? Before learning about the various types of sanitization for environments, it is good to take a step back and clarify what is meant when we use the term “sanitization”. Sanitization is defined by current regulations as the set of procedures and/or disinfection and maintenance of good air quality. It is therefore aimed at making environments and surfaces healthy through the elimination of pathogens and contaminants, which cannot be removed by normal cleaning and cleansing.
It is important to summarize which are the most popular environmental sanitation systems in this article, dedicated to all professionals who deal with sanitization, both environmental and hospital sanitization, on a daily basis.
The best-known environmental sanitation systems
Over the years, several methods of sanitizing environments have been developed, based on different technologies, products, active ingredients, or delivery methods. Each of these methods has characteristics that can make it more or less suitable for use in certain environments or situations. Here are the best-known environmental sanitization systems:
- Nebulization: this term refers to the process that reduces a liquid into minimal droplets, which thus remain suspended in the air. This method works through the use of a disinfectant dissolved in water and a spray nebulizer device, which distributes the solution in the environment and on the surfaces to be disinfected. The most widespread devices are professional pressure nebulizers and high-efficiency pre-compressed pumps. Instead, as regards the sanitizing agents at the base of chemical products, the most used is hydrogen peroxide.
- Production of ULV (Ultra Low Volume) aerosols: the disinfectant is dispensed into the air and onto the surfaces of an environment in the form of an aerosol. The dispensing of the disinfectant takes place via portable devices, usually guided by an operator, or fixed on a trolley to facilitate its movement. This category of sanitization systems includes, for example, hot thermo-nebulizers, which use thermo-propulsive energy to produce very fine droplets, in a variable size between 0.5 and 50 μm.
- Cold air generators: we always talk about devices that generate aerosols, but in this case, this happens through compressed air or ultrasound. The droplets emitted by these aerosol generators have an average volumetric diameter of about 30 μm.
- ULV nebulizers (Ultra Low Volume): these devices are capable of producing small droplets, with a diameter of less than 20 μm, thus ensuring uniform coverage even with low volumes of disinfectant solution. Some models of ULV nebulizing devices allow remote commissioning, in this way, it is possible to program the start-up of the device and the distribution of the disinfectant product even without the operator.
- Spraying: this method involves the application of a disinfectant previously dissolved in water, which is distributed in large quantities on the surfaces to be treated. It is the system that is usually used for road disinfection. The equipment used to dispense the liquid is mounted on tanker trucks or sweepers (vehicles driven by an operator), or using special tanks connected to hand-held lances, directly deployed by the operators to wet the surfaces affected by the treatment.
- Foaming: hydro-cleaning equipment dispenses foaming disinfectants. This environmental sanitation system is medium pressure and can be fixed or mobile, fully automated, or not, meeting different needs.
- Ozone generators: ozone is a molecule composed of three oxygen atoms, characterized by oxidizing properties against microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, molds, spores, etc. In this way, the ozone generators release it in the form of gas, which acts as a disinfectant directly on site and when the equipment is used. Alternatively, ozone can be dispersed in water by washing.
- Ultraviolet radiation: UV-C radiation emitting devices can have cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection function. The power of the UV-C light and the exposure time of the surfaces affect the outcome of the treatment. In fact, if the surfaces are exposed to UV radiation that is not intense enough, disinfection could be compromised and inadequate.
Advantages and disadvantages of the main environmental sanitation systems
Now that we have seen the most common systems for sanitizing environments, the question may arise: are they all the same? The answer is no, these methods have various pros and cons. For example, environmental sanitization systems based on the nebulization of disinfectants with hydrogen peroxide are characterized by execution speed and by the fact that this active ingredient leaves no residue on surfaces, as well as having proven efficacy even against the Coronavirus, as reported in the “Interim recommendations on the sanitization of non-healthcare facilities in the current COVID-19 emergency: surfaces, interior environments and clothing” of the ISS (Higher Institute of Health) Report COVID-19 n. 25/2020.
ULV aerosol generators, on the other hand, can treat massive surfaces in a relatively short time.
Some sanitization methods, if not carried out by specialized operators and following precise rules, may present risks. This is the case with sanitization with ozone, in fact, this molecule, when present in high concentrations, is toxic to humans.
The risks of ozone sanitization make it necessary to treat environments without people and to plan a return to the environments themselves only after a set period of time, such as to allow the ozone to decay below a certain threshold.
AMIL Care sanitization systems for environments
AMIL Care leads the disinfection culture by offering a complete range of sanitization systems to meet the needs of different sectors: medical and hospital, as well as industrial, services, and hospitality.
The AMIL Care Medisystem sanitization system associates a series of micro-nebulizing devices with automated dispensing and chemical disinfectant products, both developed by the company. The AMIL Care devices can treat volumes from 10 to 10,000 cubic meters. Thanks to a fine calibration, the confined space is saturated and sanitized with the dispensing of the chemical product in constant quantities and at regular intervals, based on the assigned protocol.
Hydrogen peroxide, otherwise known as hydrogen peroxide, is a well-known biocide, efficient in eliminating pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, spores, and fungi. Furthermore, hydrogen peroxide is considered not very toxic to the environment, degrading quickly into oxygen and water, without leaving residues on surfaces. This is why AMIL Care has chosen to develop a large part of its line of chemical products with hydrogen peroxide, present in various concentrations in the Sanibios, Evolyse, and Sterilbios lines.
The Medisystem room sanitization system is certified and uses patented devices to guarantee optimal disinfection levels. Furthermore, the standardization and automation of the process exclude the possibility of human error, thus increasing the safety level of the sanitization procedure.