EPA approves HOCL as high level disinfectant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) approved an HOCL disinfecting solution, marketed under two brand names. This new EPA-approved label incorporates kill claims for certain high risk pathogens that pose a significant risk in healthcare facilities and pathogens that present significant problems in produce, livestock and food processing facilities that are inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (the “USDA”).

The new kill claims that relate to healthcare facilities include Klebsiella pneumonia carbapenemase (KPC) and New Delhi Metallo-Beta Lactamase (NDM), Clostridium difficile spores (C. diff), Mycobacterium bovis (Tuberculosis), Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

KPC and NDM, the two most common types of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), were recently cited in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) Health Advisory, due to each bacteria’s high level of drug resistance, the mortality rate for humans that become infected with the bacteria and the increase in cases involving each bacteria (see the CDC Health Advisory at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/HAN/han00341.asp). C. diff is also a major problem for healthcare facilities due to its resistance to multiple antibiotics and, in its spore form, its resistance to routine disinfection products.

Both CRE and C. diff are hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) that most commonly occur in healthcare settings in patients who are receiving treatment for other conditions and who are taking long courses of certain antibiotics. The rates of infection for both CRE and C. diff increase in direct proportion to the length of a patient’s stay at a healthcare facility. Since CRE bacteria and C. diff are highly resistant to multiple drugs, preventing the spread of those bacteria has become a focal point requiring healthcare providers to establish new disinfecting protocols that incorporate the use of effective disinfectants such as HOCL.

The new kill claims related to USDA inspected produce, livestock and food processing facilities (fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, and dairy and egg farms and processing facilities) inspected by the USDA include Listeria and E. coli. Both Listeria and E. coli continue to be prevalent pathogens causing food poisoning in humans. The amended EPA-approved label related to Listeria and E. coli permits HOCL to be applied on surfaces without requiring a rinse and also permits HOCL to be applied as a sanitizer. When used as a sanitizer, HOCL can be diluted to a lower concentration. Both the no rinse and sanitizer permitted uses are very important in agriculture, livestock and food processing facilities where larger volumes of disinfecting and sanitizing solution are required to cover the surface area.

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