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Disinfectants in LAS
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Decreased Efficacy of Quats



Decreased Efficacy of Prepared Quaternary Ammonium Solutions When Exposed to Certain Paper Toweling Products

  A.S. Ingraham, RLATG, BS and T.M. Fleischer, Industrial Environmental Engineer

The use of paper hand towels and paper “sport towels” in the laboratory animal science field is widespread.  Many facilities utilize paper towels to wipe down containers being sprayed with disinfecting solutions prior to entry to the animal care area.  Also common is placing paper toweling products in a container and soaking the contents with a disinfecting solution, then using the container under changing hoods.Quat PV

We first noted a potential problem when called to a facility to investigate a marked, rapid and pronounced decrease in efficacy of prepared quaternary ammonium solutions.  The facility had used paper toweling saturated with prepared quaternary ammonium (Quatricide®PV EPA REG# 47371-131-08714) in their changing hoods.

The facility utilized Hydro™ 835 mixing stations in each room.  These stations had been calibrated for appropriate delivery of the mixed product.  These units were checked with QuatCheck™ 1001 paper (pHydrion Papers, Micro Essential Laboratory Inc., Brooklyn NY) and verified for accurate dilutions.  Mixed quaternary ammonium solution was placed in lidded containers with laboratory grade paper wipes.  The solution completely covered the stack of paper wipes and saturated them.

The solution in the containers rapidly degraded and dropped to less than 200 ppm within 2 minutes (mixed solutions lower than 600 ppm have little active quaternary ammonium present and should be discarded).

This drop was duplicated with paper towels (office supply store brand).

Telephone consultation with Kimberly Clark scientists confirmed this observation.   Certain paper products (wipes, towels, etc.) containing a mixture of cellulose-sugar-paper combination will inactivate the quaternary ammonium solution swiftly.  Kimberly Clark recommends that facilities using quaternary ammonium products employ their KimTech Prep Wipes® for Wet Task Systems (specifically the disposable #06211  unit).  These units come with a tub so the end-user just needs to fill the tub with the quaternary ammonium solution (mixed to 600-800 ppm) and the wipes feed from the top (similar to baby wipes).

We proceeded to test various paper products against a standard prepared quaternary ammonium solution in a controlled bench top setting.  Our initial results are as follows:

 

QUATRICIDE™ PV EPA REG # 47371-131-08714

Trial 1 Lot # 2105138 Concentrate 4.04% pH 7.27
Mixed Solution at 2 oz/gallon  ( 1:64 ) 800ppm and pH 6.3 initial reading
                                                              800 ppm and pH 6.3 day 7
Trial 2 Lot # 2104050 Concentrate 4.19% pH 7.8
Mixed Solution at 2 oz/gallon  ( 1:64 ) 800ppm and pH 6.2 initial reading
                                                              800 ppm and pH 6.3 day 7
WT = Kimberley Clark Wet Tasks
SP = Office supply store paper towels
TM = Shop paper towels
Hr(s) = hour(s)

PPM QUAT

Wipes

10 min

15 min

30 min

1 hour

7 Hr

24 Hrs

Day 7

WT Trial 1

800

800

800

800

800

800

600

WT Trial 2

800

800

800

800

800

800

600

SP
Trial 1

400

0

0

0

0

0

0

SP
Trial 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TM
Trial 1

800

800

800

800

600

400

200

TM
Trial 2

800

800

800

800

600

400

200

PH

Wipes

10 min

15 min

30 min

1 hour

7 Hr

24 Hrs

Day 7

WT Trial 1

6.3

6.3

6.3

6.3

6.3

6.3

7.2

WT Trial 2

6.2

6.2

6.2

6.2

6.2

6.3

7.2

SP
Trial 1

8.2

8.2

8.2

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

SP
Trial 2

8.1

8.2

8.2

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

TM
Trial 1

6.3

6.3

6.3

6.4

6.6

7.2

7.6

TM
Trial 2

6.3

6.3

6.3

6.5

6.8

7.0

7.5

 

From the results in both the lab and the bench settings, we note that common paper products may not be appropriate for use with quaternary ammonium products and may decrease efficacy of these products.  Facilities should verify that the wipes chosen for these tasks are compatible with the disinfectants in house.  This can be easily accomplished by verifying the proper wipe is selected when ordering from the supplier or by contacting the wipe manufacturer directly. It is imperative that the disinfectants are used in accordance with all label directions and recommendations to ensure the product is performing acceptably.

 

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge Jennifer Bidwell, Veterinary Technician, West Virginia University Health Science Center, for her assistance in the initial detection of this phenomenon.

 

The authors are affiliated with Pharmacal Research Laboratories, 562 Captain Neville Dr., Waterbury, CT 06705. Please send reprint requests to Ingraham at the above address, or email: aingraham@pharmacal.com.



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