Sterility Assurance Level

The sterility assurance level is the technical term for how sterile an environment is. It’s imperative anyone in control of a space where there is a risk of infection, a superbug outbreak, or any other biohazard understands the hygiene level of their environment.

At Bio Decon, we work to a 6 log decontamination level. Every log of decontamination represents a factor of 10 decrease in microbial life. Therefore, after the completion of our decontamination process, there is a one in one million chance of any microorganism being alive.

How do you achieve sterilisation at 6 log reduction?

There are lots of different chemical decontamination processes used in industrial hygiene, commercial hygiene and medical hygiene.

Indeed, at Bio Decon, we have a variety of methods we use depending on the situation. We are specialists in deep cleaning, which involves the strategic, planned cleaning of an environment, including all high levels, fabrics, walls and everything else in the room.

However, this type of cleaning is unlikely to create an adequate sterility assurance level, and in environments prone to superbug outbreaks, or those requiring specialised decontamination cleaning, we use hydrogen peroxide.

Is hydrogen peroxide safe?

The chemical formula for hydrogen peroxide is H2O2. This means that, like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, there is one oxygen atom difference between hydrogen peroxide and water. This characteristic of the chemical formula makes hydrogen peroxide such a great cleaning agent, combined with the fact that it is a highly effective eliminator of microorganisms, because the second oxygen molecule unbinds from hydrogen peroxide within hours, leaving just water.

Can you guarantee a sterile environment?

It is mathematically impossible to ensure all organisms have been killed during the sterilisation process. That is why mathematics is used to calculate the probability of any microorganism remaining alive after a sterilisation process.

A1 log sterility assurance

Means 90% of biological agents have been eliminated or destroyed. This, however, does not mean there is a 90% chance of an environment being sterile. It means that there is a 0% chance of an environment being free from microbial life. The log level is not a definition of sterility, but rather a log reduction, which is a decrease by one order of magnitude.

A1 log sterility assurance

In every sector, there is different guidance as to the degree of hygiene you need to follow. In environments where health is at risk, such as in operating theatres, the sterility assurance level should be as low as possible. Instruments used for operations should have a very low chance of microbial populations living on them.

In food production, where there could be a prolonged period where microorganisms can grow during transport, it’s important to have a good sterility assurance level.

In these environments, it is possible there could be outbreaks of dangerous microbial populations if the hygiene of the area is not right.

Every situation is different, and there are different guidelines set forth by various governing organisations and standards agencies. If you want to find out more about the health and safety standards that you should be meeting in your particular sector then get in touch, and one of our sterility assurance experts will help guide you through the requirements you must meet.

How do you test sterility assurance level

There are lots of ways to check the sterility of an environment. The most common is to use a petri dish and culture bacteria and microorganisms to find out what grows over a period of around a week. This is a very inefficient way to test the sterility assurance level though. At Bio Decon, we use enzyme indicators rather than biological indicators to verify the environment in minutes.

What is the benefit of our fast sterility assurance validation?

The advantage of us testing so quickly is that you can get your environment back working in the shortest possible time. Using the other methods, you have to wait around for a week for the assurance of sterility to come through. Using our method if there is still a biohazard present after decontamination, we can quickly run another cycle of decontamination to get the hygiene level where it needs to be. With a week-long cycle of testing, this can be arduous, disruptive and have your facility out of action for an unnecessarily extended period.

Our process works superbly well in environments that need to get back online fast. We work at terrorist incidents, crime scenes and in crucial high dependency and operational areas of hospitals. We collaborate with the management teams to ensure we can get the processes complete within industry guidelines, to internal standards, and work as an outsourced department of the organisation we work with.

By getting problems fixed quickly, we reduce the negative press associated with superbug outbreaks, such as MRSA norovirus, and Staphylococcus epididymitis. We take care of all biohazard decontamination and are the ideal industrial hygiene, commercial hygiene and medical hygiene partner for any organisation.

If you need specialist hygiene solutions or a regularly structured cleanup programme from a partner you can trust, get in touch today, and we will organise a site visit to put a plan in place. If you need emergency on-call decontamination, then call us now on 01904 405 959

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