New Study Reveals How Quickly Viruses Contaminate Buildings; Clearstream, LLC Offers Antimicrobial Solutions

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Researchers demonstrate the rapid spread of viruses in 2-4 hours; Clearstream provides antibacterial and antimicrobial products to combat viral contamination.

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These findings underscore the importance of preventative measures in halting the spread of viruses and bacteria.

Researchers at the University of Arizona, Tucson, recently revealed the results of a new study on viral contamination, presenting their findings at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in September. In response to the study, Clearstream, LLC – a diversified provider of environmentally friendly antimicrobial products and services – proposes proactive, technologically advanced measures to kill germs and prevent microbial transmission.

To determine the speed and extent of virus contamination in health care facilities, office buildings and hotels, the University of Arizona research team examined the transmission of bacteriophage MS-2 – a harmless tracer virus that is similar to the human norovirus in terms of its shape, size and resistance to disinfectants. The researchers applied the bacteriophage to one or two commonly touched surfaces, such as a doorknob or tabletop, at the beginning of the day. Then at various intervals throughout the day, they sampled dozens of surfaces (including light switches, countertops, handles, phones and computer equipment) to see if the virus was present. Their findings showed that within two to four hours, the virus had contaminated between 40 to 60% of the sampled surfaces (1).

A second phase of the study examined the effectiveness of disinfectants in preventing transmission of the virus. “The results show that viral contamination of [surfaces] in facilities occurs quickly, and that a simple intervention can greatly help to reduce exposure to viruses,” reported researcher Charles P. Gerba of the University of Arizona (2).

The scientists recommended using a disinfectant registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in combination with hand hygiene to prevent the spread of viruses (1). While the study specifically examined the use of disinfecting wipes containing quaternary ammonium compounds (QUAT), organizations can choose from a range of EPA-registered disinfectants and antimicrobial surface treatments – including Clearstream mPact products and services – to combat the spread of viruses.

Infectious diseases spread rapidly through health care facilities, offices, schools, hotels and mass transportation. The [University of Arizona] study has proven that widespread contamination can occur in just a couple of hours,” said Clearstream CEO Jim Praechtl. “These findings underscore the importance of preventative measures in halting the spread of viruses and bacteria.”

Praechtl emphasized the role of intervention, explaining, “Proper hand washing is essential for individuals to protect themselves from contagions; however, organizations also have a responsibility to protect their customers and the public by doing all they can to help reduce the surface transmission of viral, bacterial, and fungal cross-contamination.”

According to Betsy McCaughey, former Lt. Governor of New York State and Founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths (RID), common infectious diseases such as MRSA and C. diff are racing through U.S. hospitals, killing an estimated 75,000 patients every year (3) – signaling a widespread need for a standardized, synergistic approach designed to reduce the spread of infectious diseases on a national level, per Praechtl.

Clearstream offers an array of products together with the mPact line of antimicrobial products and services including select product technologies that are approved by the EPA and by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are formulated to reduce the risk of cross-contamination from a variety of sources, including and extensive and growing compendium of viruses, bacteria, mold, mildew, fungi, algae and yeast. There are two key steps in the mPact antimicrobial system – first, clean and disinfect with a biocide and second, treat targeted substrates with a long term (bound) static antimicrobial surface protection technology.

Clearstream’s first step begins with their mPerial detergent/disinfectant. mPerial disinfects and sanitizes surfaces to eliminate a broad spectrum of bacteria, fungi and viruses. It is proven effective against many viruses including, but not limited to, the norovirus (Norwalk virus), HIV-1, and bacteria such as E-coli, Salmonella, and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

The second step, mPale Antimicrobial with ÆGIS Microbe Shield®, is a surface-protection technology that renders offending microbes inactive without chemical poisons. Its unique design allows the formula to bond with virtually every porous, non-porous, organic or inorganic surface, providing non-toxic, non-leaching, long-term protection that will not persist in the environment.

Clearstream’s mPale antimicrobial technology helps to keep infection transmission rates low due to its unique property of creating an antimicrobial surface. Once cured on the surface, mPale will continue to protect those treated surfaces by physically disrupting cellular activity. The non-leaching static properties of mPale will not allow microorganisms to colonize, mutate, or to form adaptive strains.

Clearstream is currently in contact with the UN, the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, US AID, the US Military, and Samaritans Purse in an effort to help reduce the suffering from the Ebola Virus in West Africa.

To learn more about Clearstream’s antimicrobial product technology, including their mPact products and services, visit http://www.thinkclearstream.com.

About Clearstream, LLC:

Clearstream is a multi-dimensional and diversified provider of products and services that combine multiple disciplines. Clearstream’s environmentally safe, corrective and long-term protective solutions employ advanced antimicrobial formulations in the fight against microbial cross-contamination and surface degradation. The company is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has partner-run operations in Florida, Texas, South Carolina and Pennsylvania. For more information, visit http://www.thinkclearstream.com.

1.    American Society for Microbiology. “How Quickly Viruses Can Contaminate Buildings and How to Stop Them”; press release issued during 2014 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC); September 8, 2014; accessed October 22, 2014. icaac.org/index.php/newsroom/92-icaac-2014/newsroom/321-how-quickly-viruses-can-contaminate-buildings-and-how-to-stop-them.

2.    Rettner, Rachael. “Office Germs: Viruses Spread Everywhere in Just Hours, Study Shows”; LiveScience; September 8, 2014; accessed October 22, 2014. livescience.com/47730-virus-spread-offices.html.

3.    McCaughey, Betsy. "CDC Director Risks US Ebola Exposure." Newsmax. N.p., 3 Oct. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014. newsmax.com/BetsyMcCaughey/CDC-Ebola-Outbreak-Texas/2014/10/03/id/598402/.

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