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Does your product really kill viruses?

by Clean India Journal - Editor
0 comment

Many products claim to be virucidal. Now, an Indian research centre with years of microbiological expertise can validate such claims as true.

Effective disinfection and sanitisation are mandatory in several areas of healthcare facilities, homes, schools, hotels, commercial kitchens etc. This ensures inactivation of pathogens (bacteria, fungus, and viruses) in the treated area, and also curtails the transfer of pathogens from one location/person to the other.

Hygiene arsenal

There are readily available guidelines, recommendations, and procedures for conducting instrument, surface and hand disinfection defined by WHO, CDC, ICMR etc. During the pandemic, disinfectants and sanitisers were at the forefront of defence against the SARS CoV-2 virus. Since then, a large number of companies manufacturing a variety of disinfectant-based cleaning products (synthetic as well as organic/herbal formulations) for home as well as institutional hygiene have appeared on the market.

Why validate?

Users today are more aware, and conscious about the formulation and efficacy of these products, and they use these products with a certain degree of trust and confidence in their ability to control pathogens. Thus, the responsibility of confirming the effectiveness and authenticity of the product with regards to its biocidal activity lies with the manufacturer; this includes those products made by following the WHO/US EPA recommended formula as well.

Hence, the evaluation of antimicrobial efficacy of a product is an extremely important task which should be left to laboratories and personnel who are scientifically and technically trained, and have adequate experience in complying with the said procedures.

Defined standards

Most methods used for evaluating antimicrobial efficacy have been defined by European Standards (EN) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) protocols. These methods cover a range of products for various applications (viz. disinfectants, sanitisers, surface/floor/kitchen/toilet cleaners) to evaluate biocidal activity, and are assessed for bactericidal (against bacteria), fungicidal (against fungi), sporicidal (against spores) and virucidal (against viruses) activity. Based on the proposed application, one can get the product tested for understanding the germ kill potential and accordingly market the product for appropriate application.

War on viruses

Viruses are known to persist in the environment on various surfaces for longer durations ranging from hours to days or weeks. They can potentially form a continuous source of transmission, if adequate cleaning and inactivation regimes using effective formulation are not followed. Various outbreaks of infectious disease have been linked with fomite-mediated transmission through humans by touching contaminated objects (fomite).

Test-in-India

To ensure that a given formulation is effective against viruses, its virucidal activity is tested world-wide as per EN 14476 or by ASTM 1052. These tests are not offered readily in India, and so far, most industries were getting their product tested from outside the country. Now, this service is being offered by Bhavan’s Research Center, Mumbai which can be availed by the supplier and user industries to evaluate the virucidal activity of products (Refer to Page 67 for more details about virucidal testing).

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