New sanitizers to prevent superbugs

Despite their name, hospital-acquired infections can be contracted in a variety of facilities
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
By Ray Junghan

To date, facility managers may not have spent a great deal of time working to prevent superbugs from breaking out in their buildings. But as incidences of resistant bacteria and viruses grow, managers will be on the front line when it comes to keeping facility occupants healthy.

As their name suggests, hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a risk in hospitals. However, hotels, malls and condominiums are all high-traffic areas where the transfer of these infections pose a high potential threat. With large volumes of people, there is an associated large volume of bacteria, as well as viral cross-contamination.

One option for facility managers looking to safeguard building occupants is to set up the on-site generation of a product that can be utilized throughout the facility, in the janitorial area, carpet cleaning, gym, pool, hot tub, HVAC, garbage, and for any ongoing sanitizing needs to avoid outbreaks.

Looking at sanitization from a microscopic level, which is where it really needs to start, bacteria not only sit on a surface, they attach and divide on them. They are not one layer deep, but can be millions of organisms deep; it is an entire population, piled up one on top of the other. When someone cleans a surface, some of these layers can easily be left behind. This is what causes infections, outbreaks, illness and HAI, and therefore are what needs to be eliminated.

When applied, most sanitizers disrupt the cell wall of bacteria or attack the virus via oxidation. If the sanitizer is not entirely effective (whether it be due to inadequate concentration, or lack of contact time, or perhaps inefficacy against a certain bacterial strain), then the result is a bacteria that adapts and gets stronger. Some viruses are simply not affected by standard sanitizers. The result is a virus that transfers to another cell and propagates additional viruses that have this resistance ability.

This is when superbugs come in: carbapenem-producing enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant klebsiella pneumoniae and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Facility managers can fight these bugs by using an advanced new sanitization technology that kills bacteria and viruses. Anolyte, or ECA technology, uses three simple inputs: water, electricity and salt. It is activated at the ionic (or molecular) level. Once attached to the bacteria, its charge repulses the other organisms. The action is like a reverse static charge — a separation and destruction at the microscopic level. This level of de-sliming and cannot be replicated by chemical alone. It means that bacteria and viruses cannot build a resistance. And studies show that all organisms are completely destroyed in milliseconds, including these superbugs.

The sanitizer is safe to handle and apply. It can be sprayed, mopped, fogged, and used in any sanitizing application without the need for personal protective equipment. It can also be generated on-site and piped to any areas that require sanitization. The product is environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic, and breaks down in water.

This advanced new sanitization technology effectively kills all known bacteria, viruses, mold, providing at least one option for combatting today’s increasingly prevalent superbugs.

Ray Junghans is the president and owner of R J Chemicals. He is a former local director of the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, and a microbiologist with more than 30 years of direct food, and chemical industry experience. The company can be reached at

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