Evolution of Disinfection: General Disinfectants vs. EPA-Registered Sporicides
The role of disinfectants is pivotal in maintaining contamination control and germ-free facilities. With increasing awareness and demand for effective disinfection methods, particularly due to recent global health concerns, understanding the nuances between diverse types of disinfectants has never been more critical. This blog delves into the distinctions between general disinfectants and EPA-registered sporicides, especially emphasizing the enhanced testing standards introduced in 2019 for sporicidal disinfectants.
What are Disinfectants in General?
Disinfectants are agents used to reduce or eliminate microorganisms on surfaces and objects. These disinfectants are tested against and verified by the EPA to be effective against a broad spectrum of pathogens, including specific bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Common examples of disinfectants include bleach solutions, alcohol-based products, and quaternary ammonium compounds. They are widely used in household, healthcare, and laboratory settings for routine cleaning and infection control.
Introduction to EPA-Registered Sporicides
Sporicides represent a specialized class of disinfectants designed specifically to kill bacterial spores—the most disinfectant-resistant form of bacterial life. These sporicides are crucial in healthcare, life science laboratories, and pharmaceutical or aseptic environments due to their ability to combat hardy pathogens that typical disinfectants may not effectively neutralize. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration of a sporicide is a testament to the product’s efficacy and safety standards, providing peace of mind for facilities needing a validatable sporicidal result.
The More Stringent Sporicide Testing Since 2019
The EPA significantly heightened its testing standards for vapor-based or fogging sporicides in 2019. In the past, the EPA required a sporicide to achieve a six-log reduction, meaning it must be capable of reducing the number of spores by 99.9999%. Updated testing includes the 6-log reduction but also requires sporicides to pass the tri-part soil load test, which assesses their efficacy in more challenging conditions in the presence of organic matter and other elements. CURIS' device + solution is the pioneering low concentration H2O2 system tested and approved by the EPA as a sporicide capable of killing 99.9999% of spores in a tri-part soil load.1
Choosing the Right Disinfectant
The choice between general disinfectants and sporicides should be guided by the specific needs of the environment. In household settings, general disinfectants are often sufficient for routine cleaning. However, in healthcare, laboratory, pharma, or aseptic environments, where the risk of resilient pathogens is higher, EPA-registered sporicides are indispensable. Further, some facilities require that decontamination cycles be validated and verified as sporicidal due to regulatory guidance, and CURIS products are EPA, FDA, and Annex 1 compliant as a sporicide, furthering your facility's efforts to help create and help maintain an environment safe from dangerous microorganisms.
The difference between general disinfectants and EPA-registered sporicides lies in their efficacy against highly resistant pathogens and the stringent testing standards they must meet. With the advent of new testing protocols in 2019, particularly for sporicidal disinfectants, the bar for safety and efficacy in disinfection practices has been raised significantly. If your facility needs the highest level of contamination control, ensure your decontamination system is a fully approved sporicide to help provide the most stringent biological safety and efficacy.
Stay informed about the solutions you use to disinfect or decontaminate your facility. Are they compliant with your cGMP, biosafety, or biosecurity requirements?
Is your disinfection or decontamination system an EPA-registered Sporicide?
As part of our commitment to providing superior contamination control, CURIS System is proud to be the premier low concentration system to achieve and receive the EPA's approval as a sporicide in a tri-part soil load under more stringent guidelines (EPA Reg. No. 93324-1). Our low concentration 7% hybrid hydrogen peroxide technology achieves ≥6-log reduction1 with repeatable validated results.
Learn more in our blog: “What is a sporicidal? EPA, FDA, Annex I, oh my!”
1C. diff in a tri-part soil load