Cleaning and hygiene are essential to prevent the potential survival and spread of microorganisms. In many cleanrooms and sterile environments, whole room disinfection has been the best process to achieve this, since it enables difficult to reach places to be thoroughly disinfected. One of the most popular ways to achieve this is via chemical misting. Technically speaking, a decontamination system that distributes a biocide via an automated spray, mist, fog, vapour, or other technique, is considered an ‘airborne automated disinfection system’.
Used to disinfect, sanitise, or restrict the growth of mould, bacteria, and viruses, airborne automated disinfection system (more commonly known as ‘fogging machines’) can sanitise large internal spaces, common touch surfaces and tricky areas effectively. It makes this method of disinfection particularly suited to environments that need to be kept sterile or where infection can easily and quickly spread too, such as hospitals, veterinary clinics, schools, public transport, catering environments, and other public facilities.
In addition to whole rooms, automated airborne disinfection is a measure required for small enclosures, such as for biosafety cabinets and hatcheries.
We are proud to include EN 17272 test in our roster of services, making us the UK’s only commercial testing company currently offering this in-house. We can perform this test on automated airborne systems in our new purpose-built lab. This building has been specially commissioned for this process and is equipped for both whole rooms and small enclosure testing. This standard determines the disinfectant activity of processes used in the medical, veterinary, food, industrial, domestic, and institutional areas, using automated processes for distributing chemicals by air diffusion with no operator manually applying the disinfectant. This includes the disinfection of nonporous surfaces but not that of the air.
Prior to October 2020, regulators have required efficacy data produced using the French standard NFT 72-281. However, this was superseded in 2020 by a new European standard: BS EN 17272:2020 Chemical Disinfectants and Antiseptics – Methods of airborne room disinfection by automated process – Determination of bactericidal, mycobactericidal, sporicidal, fungicidal, yeasticidal, virucidal and phagocidal activities. According to this, manufacturers must have their systems tested to ensure compliance, or have their solutions booked in to be tested. It is important to note that the product-device combination cannot be separated for the testing by this standard.
Whereas the previous standard, NFT 72-281, solely focused on evaluating biocidal activity of air surface disinfection processes, the EN 17272 test method consists of two parts, testing both effectiveness and distribution. The efficacy part of the test ensures that the minimum microorganism reduction requirements are met for each claimed activity and for the targeted application area, whilst the distribution test is designed to evaluate the distribution efficiency process throughout the test enclosure or room.
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