The Challenge:

Alternative disinfection technologies can be costly and inconsistent

Did you know?

Alternative disinfection technologies may cost up to $485,300 per year and may not be required to submit efficacy data to the EPA


Unregistered disinfection technologies often require significant capital expenditure

EPA unregistered disinfection technologies, such as UV light systems, may have annual costs as high as $485,300 depending on device type, brand, and model.18 Acquiring this new technology may also burden environmental services departments, increasing workload and/or requiring additional budget for staff to operate and support the system. It has also been noted that UV exposure to polymers over time can result in device damage leading to further expense.11

Disparate evidence on efficacy of recent technologies

UV disinfection technologies do not require EPA registration. A 2018 Health Quality Ontario study investigating the disinfection capabilities of UV light stated that test methods are "conflicting" and have been “assessed as low to very low” in quality.18

UV Disinfection and log reduction

Devices exposed to C. diff present a disinfection challenge due to the high volume of cfu involved. There are 3.8 million colony forming units (cfu) of C. diff in 1 gram of stool. On average, patients infected with C. diff have 200 grams per stool event, with events occurring 8-10 times a day.61

That’s up to 76 billion cfu of C. diff released into the environment every day per patient.

Alternative treatment technologies, such as UV light, may only achieve a 1 to 3 log reduction in organisms like C. diff, resulting in a significant amount of untreated colony forming units.

Using the example above this means:

  • 1 log reduction = 7,600,000,000 untreated cfu
  • 2 log reduction = 760,000,000 untreated cfu
  • 3 log reduction = 76,000,000 untreated cfu