In many applications, such as clean rooms, research laboratories and high containment laboratories there will be a requirement to decontaminate to maintain aseptic conditions or to restore safe conditions following an incident in a containment laboratory.
Rooms can be decontaminated with hydrogen peroxide vapour using either a fixed system, semi-permanent system or fully mobile system depending upon the application.
Bioquell have a wide range of gas generators suitable for decontamination of rooms and can offer the most appropriate solution tailored to meet the needs of individual customers. We can work with end users for decontamination of existing facilities or work with consultants and building contractors to incorporate a decontamination solution into a new facility during construction.
Can I still gas a room if I can’t control the room ventilation system?
The room ventilation system needs to be isolated during the gassing process. If isolation dampers are not accessible then the ventilation grills can be blanked off.
If I blank off the ventilation grills how will I remove the vapour after decontamination?
Bioquell gas generators have built in catalytic filters to remove the vapour and additional catalytic filters can be supplied if a faster cycle is required.
Will computer equipment and electronic equipment be damaged by repeat exposure to hydrogen peroxide vapour during a bio decontamination cycle?
Bioquell have performed extensive testing with sensitive electronic equipment and tests have shown that there is no damage, or degradation in performance, as a result of HPV decontamination. In fact HPV is effective at decontaminating this type equipment which is not normally possible to decontaminate using other decontamination processes.
Is hydrogen peroxide bio decontamination effective against TB organisms?
Published evidence suggests that Bioquell’s HPV process is able to inactivate Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Can the hydrogen peroxide vapour bio decontamination cycle be validated?
Yes, the process can be fully validated and has successfully been audited by many of the global regulatory authorities. The Bioquell HPV process has been included as the chosen method of contamination control in many high risk pharmaceutical processes due to thorough and robust validation data and a high level of process control.
How long does the bio decontamination cycle take?
The time taken for a Bioquell HPV decontamination process is very much dependant on the volume of the area to be decontaminated, the ambient environmental conditions and the equipment used to deliver the process.
In Bioquell’s rapid transfer PORT a cycle can be as short as 20 minutes but in a large room, a cycle could take a few hours. HPV generating systems are selected to best meet the process requirements and desired cycle times.
What are the effects of exposure to hydrogen peroxide vapour?
To be an effective disinfection agent Hydrogen Peroxide has to have detrimental effects on biological systems. Hydrogen peroxide is an irritant of the eyes, mucous membranes, and skin. Inhalation of high concentrations of the vapour or mist may cause extreme irritation of the nose and throat [Hathaway et al. 1991].
The inhalation of 7 ppm causes lung irritation in humans [NLM 1992]. Severe systemic poisoning may cause headache, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, numbness, convulsions, pulmonary edema, unconsciousness, and shock.
Exposure for a short period of time to the mist or spray may cause stinging and tearing of the eyes [Hathaway et al. 1991]. Splashes of high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide in the eyes may cause severe corneal damage.
At very low concentrations (1 to 3 percent), instillation of hydrogen peroxide into the eye causes severe pain that later subsides [Grant 1986].
In comparison with other disinfection agents Hydrogen Peroxide has higher acceptable exposure limits.
Is hydrogen peroxide vapour visible or does it have an odour?
No, Hydrogen Peroxide vapour is not visible but it is possible to sense the presence of the vapour. Often people claim a “clean smell” and in higher concentrations can sense a tingling in the mucous membranes and eyes
What are the legal exposure limits to hydrogen peroxide vapour?
There is no global standard for exposure limits for Hydrogen Peroxide. The US have the most developed set of exposure limits which can be found in the following link - http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguidelines/hydrogenperoxide/recognition.html
Is it possible to detect the vapour in the atmosphere? How can this be done?
There are a variety of ways of detecting Hydrogen Peroxide. This can be done using Chemical indicators or by using electrochemical sensors. Bioquell use both and can advise on appropriate methods of detection dependant on the applicaton.
Will the cycle/vapour damage my laboratory?
Hydrogen Peroxide vapour has a very favourable material compatibility profile. Bioquell has tested and documented computability testing on a wide variety of materials and this report can de downloaded here. Generally most laboratory equipment, including computer systems, can be left inside the area to be decontaminated and will be decontaminated during the process.
What type of materials are affected by the HPV bio decontamination process?
Bioquell have decontaminated tens of thousands of areas with no detrimental effect on the room construction or the equipment within the room.
These would include rooms occupied by sensitive electronic equipment and computers. Bioquell will survey a site prior to decontamination and are able to identify and advise on any material compatibility concerns.
In summary, materials that naturally oxidize in the ambient environment will suffer accelerated oxidation. Materials such as copper will form an oxidation quicker than they would normally experience in the natural environment.
Some polymeric materials, such as Nylon and natural rubber, are chemically affected by Hydrogen Peroxide and may become brittle after repeated exposure. Synthetic materials such as silicon and PTFE are unaffected.
Older oil based painted surfaces may also be affected by Hydrogen Peroxide as the paint curing process is oxidation based and the hydrogen peroxide oxidation ability may affect the surface.
However, most modern paints are water based and are not affected. Surfaces which have been poorly finished or with a very thin paint covering can allow Hydrogen Peroxide through to the substrate.
If the substrate is susceptible to oxidation then oxygen bubbles can be created under the painted surface. Again, this is unusual as most painted surfaces are of an appropriate quality.
Is hydrogen peroxide vapour able to deal with gross contamination such as in a spillage/emergency situation?
In general an area has to be physically clean prior to a decontamination with Hydrogen Peroxide vapour. The Hydrogen Peroxide vapour has to be able to “see” the contamination in order to de-activate the contaminant. However, to a lesser or greater extent, this is the same for any vapour based decontamination system.
A fixed system utilises fixed pipework with the gas generator in a remote location so that the room can be gassed at any time without the need for equipment set up.
This system is most suitable for frequently gassed rooms or high containment laboratories. A semi-permanent system can also be used for high containment laboratories with gassing connections into each laboratory.
The gas generator remains mobile and can be moved from laboratory to laboratory as required. In a fully mobile system the gas generator is placed inside the room to be decontaminated and operated by remote control.
Bioquell RBDS provides a safe, reliable bio-decontamination solution to help heathcare professionals tackle hospital aquired infections (HAI/HCAI) and stop outbreaks of drug resistant pathogens.
Emergency outbreak response
Control a ‘superbug’/ Gram-negative/ C.diff/ norovirus outbreak or bio-clean rooms after a contamination accident. Our emergency response teams will professionally bio-decontaminate your areas, returning them to working capacity.
Call +44 (0)1264 835 835 today.