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The Dirty Little Secrets in Your Hotel Room…and What You Can Do About It
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I’ve always enjoyed going to a hotel because everything is in its place, the bed is freshly made, clean towels in the bathroom, and the maid recently cleaned the room. However, even in the cleanest looking hotels, germs could be hiding in plain sight.

A study published in Food And Environmental Virology tracked a sample virus planted in a hotel room to see what would happen.  Researchers watched as hotel cleaning staff spread that virus to three other rooms nearby.  According to Kelly Reynolds, Associate Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Arizona, “Sometimes the act of cleaning does more harm than good because you’re just spreading the germs to new areas.”  Therefore, it’s important to know the difference between disinfecting and cleaning, and how to truly achieve disinfection.

So, what areas might need some extra attention in your hotel room?

Handles, Remote Controls, and Light Switches, Oh My!

Recent studies have shown that 81% of surfaces in hotels have some fecal bacteria.  Places like light switches, TV remotes, toilets (of course), and bathroom sinks may be contaminated with bacteria.  Light switches showed an average of 112.7 colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria per cubic centimeter squared.  By comparison, hospital cleanliness recommends 5 CFU as the upper limit.

Bathrooms & Toilets – No Surprises Here, Right?

As we would expect, toilets and bathroom sinks also show up on the list of areas contaminated with bacteria, but germs may not stop at the toilet.  In a study in the American Journal of Infection Control, Reynolds reported how bacteria may make its way throughout the bathroom.  After flushing the toilet, it sends contaminates flying to the floor and the back of the toilet (more than 80% of the time), the wall behind the toilet (around 40%), on to the handle (22%), and on the toilet paper dispenser (17%).  You may want to keep that in mind next time you reach for toilet tissue to blow your nose!

Before You Lie Down…

Protect from Germs While Traveling

Soft surfaces like the carpeting and bedspread are just two areas to be aware of.  Depending on the bedding of choice at your hotel, bedspreads are not washed as often as the rest of the bedding.  And, even if you are carrying around your disinfectant wipes, they aren’t going to help with your bedding. 

Oh my, so what can we do?

One common characteristic of all the surfaces and areas of your hotel room is that they can be disinfected with the power of light.  Sunshine has long been known to be a great disinfectant.  In fact, this is evident if we think about where we see mold grow; it’s always in the shady areas where the sun doesn’t shine.

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Violet Defense’s patented UV technology brings the germ-killing power of sunlight indoors in a small, portable unit called S.A.G.E. Micro.  S.A.G.E. stands for Surface & Air Germ Elimination – meaning it can kill germs in the air and on surrounding surfaces simultaneously.  The S.A.G.E. UV products have been proven to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including MRSA, Norovirus, E. Coli, and Salmonella. So, S.A.G.E. can help you disinfect your room quickly and easily.

Get your S.A.G.E. Micro on Amazon so you can truly rest easy on your next vacation or business trip knowing you and your loved ones are better protected against harmful germs.

Jessica Jones
Norovirus: The Biggest Foe at the Winter Olympics
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Athletes train for years to get the opportunity to compete in the Olympics.  PyeongChang has been preparing for the Winter Games since winning the bid in 2011 – building new hotels, a high-speed rail, and more athletic venues to be ready for the estimated 80,000 Olympic tourists.  But what was the Winter Olympics not prepared for?  Norovirus.

This highly contagious pathogen has resulted in 283 confirmed cases of Norovirus so far, with 49 people still in quarantine at the Olympic village (as of February 19).  Norovirus began wreaking havoc before the games officially even began, causing 1200 guards to be placed in quarantine and requiring 900 soldiers to replace them.  While the virus has primarily affected staff members for the games, it also infected two Swiss athletes. 

It’s not uncommon for infectious diseases like this to spread at similar athletic events.  Last year’s World Athletics Championship in London also faced a Norovirus outbreak – sidelining several athletes during the events.  At the 2014 Winter Olympics, 249 persons were impacted by infectious disease outbreaks, and 185 cases were reported at the 2010 Vancouver games.

Olympic spokesperson Christophe Dubi stated that “very stringent measures are in place when it comes to food and beverages” because the initial outbreak was traced back to contaminated water used to prepare food.   "We're making sure that water quality is being monitored... and also hygiene is being monitored," said Sung Baik You, spokesman for the Game’s organizing committee.

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Once Norovirus is contracted, though, it can easily spread via person-to-person contact, as well as from contact with contaminated surfaces.  As a result, attendees of the games have been encouraged to keep up with good handwashing hygiene.  However, when Norovirus struck the father of a U.S. hockey player James Wisniewski, a new post-game offer of respect was instituted by the players substituting a fist bump instead of the usual hand shake.  Suspending this time-honored sportsmanship tradition is a clear indication of a growing appreciation of the risks with these infectious germs, and the desire of the staff and athletes to do anything they can to minimize spreading this illness.

Effective Surface Disinfection

While good hygiene and monitoring your proximity to others is important, often less attention is paid to the proper disinfection of surfaces.  According to the CDC, Norovirus can survive on select surfaces for days or even weeks.  In addition, people can be contagious for up to 14 days after their symptoms end, so disinfection isn’t a one step process, but rather, a continuous battle. 

While a spokesperson for the games has indicated that areas are being disinfected after a new case is reported, this can be a challenging task to accomplish and is very reactionary to problems once they are found instead of proactively protecting the surfaces in advance.  Norovirus is resistant to many disinfectants and can withstand temperatures up to 60°C (140°F), making it very difficult to effectively kill with traditional disinfecting solutions. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, it is recommended that you use bleach and water, as many disinfectants won’t kill Norovirus.  Furthermore, it is recommended that you clean everything you touch, and let the bleach water or disinfectant cleaner stay on the surface for 10 minutes.  These recommendations pose several challenges – from surfaces that you cannot use bleach on to trying to ensure surfaces remain wet for the required contact time; not to mention the health risks that some chemicals can pose to humans.   

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A person only has to be exposed to about 100 particles of Norovirus to become ill, so if you miss any areas while you are disinfecting, people can still be at significant risk for contracting the illness. 

Opportunity to Better Plan for Outbreak Prevention

A lot of time and money are usually spent ahead of major sporting events planning the food, entertainment, lodging, and transportation.  Moreover, a great deal of attention is paid to helping keep athletes in prime condition, but maybe they are missing a major opportunity when planning for events like this?  How can they minimize the risk of outbreaks like Norovirus occurring?

Ultraviolet light has been proven to effectively kill bacteria and viruses.  Violet Defense has created a way to bring this technology to everyday spaces – with cost-effective mobile or even autonomous built-in options. This enables us to bring the disinfecting power of ultraviolet light to hotels, athletic facilities, and other places where people will be near one another, and adds a layer of protection to help minimize the risk of illnesses like Norovirus from spreading.  With clinical validation that its line of S.A.G.E. (Surface & Air Germ Elimination) products can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including Norovirus, it should be a key disinfection component for upcoming sporting events to protect both athletes and spectators alike.  Maybe the headline at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo should read “Olympic Participants Can Keep their Focus on the Games with New Technology Focused on Preventing the Spread of Norovirus.”

Contact us to find out more about how UV can be another tool in the fight against Norovirus.

Jessica Jones
Top 4 Reasons Why You Might Need a New Way to Disinfect

In the middle of one of the worst cold and flu seasons in recent history, everyone is probably a little more diligent about washing their hands.  Parents are trying to isolate sick children from the rest of the family.  Schools are cleaning classrooms more often to try to decrease the spread of illness among students and staff, but illness is still spreading rapidly. 

So why is it so hard to disinfect properly?

It’s Difficult to Find the Right Chemical Disinfectant for Every Job

Depending on the type of disinfectant you are using, it may or may not effectively kill everything.  For example, ammonia-based cleaners or vinegar are eco-friendly cleaners, but they can’t disinfect staph bacterium.  Antibacterial soap may kill some bacteria, but no more than regular soap, and it doesn’t fight off viruses.

Cleaning disinfecting chemicals

An article in Real Simple highlights 5 areas that you should disinfect during cold and flu season (cell phones, keyboards, doorknobs, countertops & faucets, and stuffed animals & blankets) – each one requiring a different type of cleaner, wipe or process to sanitize without the risk of damaging what you are trying to clean. 

Your Cleaners May Take Longer to Kill Germs Than You Realize

How closely do you read the labels on your current disinfectants?  You may or may not know that most household wipes and cleaners require the surface to be visibly wet for 3-4 minutes or more to kill 99.9% of some types of bacteria or virus. 

Are you using alcohol to clean?  Alcohol may need 2-10 minutes on the surface to do the job. This processing time is complicated by alcohol’s rapid evaporation rate.  While wiping away dirt and grime are important, you still may be leaving bacteria and viruses behind if you don’t ensure adequate contact time for the chemical cleaner with the surface.

You Are Likely Leaving Bacteria or Viruses Behind

Without the right tools, it is difficult to eliminate the bacteria and viruses that may linger on your surfaces.  A study by UC Davis found that after the use of traditional mops and cloths, there was only a 30% reduction in bacteria.  Even if you have the right tools and chemicals, you may miss surface areas or not use the correct chemical for the job.  Another study conducted by Carlin in acute care hospitals found that only 49% of tested surfaces had reached the required compliance with cleaning standards.

Products May Be Harmful to You & the Environment

You may think that the products you are purchasing are keeping you healthy by killing germs, but they may also be harmful to you and the environment.  While Bleach is effective against dirt, mold, bacteria and viruses, “bleach is also one of the most harmful disinfectants to human health and has been linked to respiratory problems and birth defects.”  It may also be hazardous to wildlife and the environment.  In addition, it may permanently damage everyday fabrics like clothing, upholstery, and carpet.  Furthermore, bleach is corrosive to most metals in high concentrations.

Antibacterial soap products have been very popular lately, however the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently banned certain active ingredients because manufacturers were unable to demonstrate that these ingredients were safe for long-term daily use. The agency issued the ruling after reviewing data provided by the manufacturers on the safety and effectiveness of the ingredients. Essentially, the manufacturers were unable to prove that the ingredients are more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections:

"Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water," said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). "In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term."

The ruling further noted that some data suggested that long-term exposure to certain active ingredients used in antibacterial products, including triclosan and triclocarban, could pose health risks for humans, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects. 

uv room disinfection - A Better Way to Disinfect

Consumers need options for cleaning that can kill bacteria and viruses effectively and safely, which shouldn’t mean the necessity to have 20 different cleaning products to be able to disinfectant every surface and situation in your house.

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That’s where ultraviolet light has historically proven to be extremely effective.  The new S.A.G.E. (Surface & Air Germ Elimination) line of products from Violet Defense uses ultraviolet light to safely and effectively disinfect the air and the surrounding surfaces.  Violet Defense technology has been shown to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. 

With options like S.A.G.E. Micro, a unit about the size of a book, you can simply place the unit in the room you want to disinfect, plug it in, and return to a space that is truly clean without worrying about damaging the surfaces, contents or spreading chemicals throughout the environment of your room or home.

For a better way to disinfect, contact the team at Violet Defense.

5 Outbreaks in 2017 that Violet Defense Technology Could Have Helped

As we look forward to the great things to come in 2018, one of our primary goals is to ensure that we can protect more people from the harmful bacteria and viruses that cause unnecessary illnesses.  Millions of people each year fall ill to diseases caused by germs, including Norovirus, MRSA, E. Coli, Salmonella, and many more.  Outbreaks are not limited to a single location or a single industry – they can happen just about anywhere that people go.  Here are a few examples of outbreaks that occurred in 2017.

1.  District Closes 18 Schools

Schools can be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses with so many students in close proximity.  Moreover, add the fact that germs such as Norovirus are highly contagious and difficult to combat due to their resistance to many disinfectants, and these germs can easily become a major problem. For children attending public schools, transmission of common infectious diseases is estimated to result in more than 164 million lost school days each year.  In Humboldt County, California, a district closed 18 schools to ensure they could complete a deep clean to eliminate such germs prior to allowing students to return.  Not only does this mean lost education time for students, in some states this means less money for schools as well, especially if their budgets are based on attendance.  Add in the additional administrative expenses for handling these situations, as well as the lost wages for parents who must take time off work to care for their sick children, and the result is a huge economic impact for every outbreak.

2.  Royal Caribbean Cruise Outbreak Impacts Over 300 Passengers

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According to the CDC, 310 passengers and 22 crew members reported being ill on a December sailing of the Independence of the Seas.  This outbreak of Norovirus is one of 11 outbreaks reported on cruise ships in 2017.  Two ships, the Noordam and the Volendam, both suffered back-to-back Norovirus outbreaks in July 2017 highlighting that without proper disinfection of a ship these diseases can linger even between voyages.  Altogether, nearly 1400 passengers and crew members were reported ill on cruise ship outbreaks in 2017.  However, this may not be the total number of passengers impacted as many may not have officially reported their illness.  

3.  Assisted Living Center Quarantined

The CDC reports that up to 3 million serious infections occur in assisted living facilities each year.  Symptoms from illnesses caused by pathogens such as Norovirus can be extremely serious for older adults.  Seniors are prone to complications from these illnesses as they are more susceptible to such dangers as dehydration from stomach viruses.  In January of 2017, one assisted living facility had to place its guests under quarantine to prevent the further spread of Norovirus in their facility.  As a result, residents had to be placed in isolation for weeks to prevent other seniors from falling ill. 

4.  Hotel Investigated for Norovirus Outbreak

In April 2017, a hotel was investigated for a Norovirus outbreak after a group of 20 students were reported ill.  This outbreak followed reported illnesses of at least two other groups at the Connecticut Hotel & Convention Center.  It is noteworthy to mention that hotels are not usually identified as the source of such outbreaks because travelers are unable to trace the cause of their illness as they often leave the hotel before the symptoms manifest.  However, even if outbreaks are not commonly attributed to hotels, we know from surveys how important cleanliness is, as 85% of hotel guests indicate that cleanliness is one of the most important factors in selecting a hotel. Hence, it’s critical that hotels have an effective disinfection solution.

5.  Salmonella Outbreak Shuts Down Restaurant

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In June 2017, Cilantro Fresh Mexican Grill shut down while health investigators looked into a Salmonella outbreak.  This is just one example of the numerous foodborne illness outbreaks that occur in restaurants each year.  Not only does this lead to an immediate loss of revenue, but also a long-term negative impact on the business’ reputation.   Chipotle experienced two more outbreaks this year, with the most recent in Los Angeles, further compounding the stain on their reputation from the series of E. coli, Salmonella and Norovirus outbreaks from 2015. 

While not all transmissions of illness can be prevented, especially those transmitted by person-to-person contact, we know that most bacteria and viruses can last for several days, and some even up to weeks on surfaces.  We also know that germs are regularly transmitted by contact with air, surfaces, and equipment that is not properly disinfected.  Some studies have indicated as many as 50% of surfaces are still contaminated after traditional chemical cleaning. 

Violet Defense’s Surface & Air Germ Elimination (S.A.G.E.) line of products can effectively kill up to 99.9% of germs in the air and on surfaces, including those that caused the many outbreaks this past year.  Violet Defense has also announced the S.A.G.E. UV Micro unit, an extremely small, yet powerful product that can be taken virtually anywhere.

For more information on how we can help protect your business and be prepared to tackle any potential outbreaks, contact us

Germs Kill, My Mother Is Proof - Heartbreak Leads to Hope for Millions of People

By Mark Nathan, Founder & CEO, Violet Defense LLC

It is very hard for me to share my story, but 4 days after talking with my Mother to celebrate my birthday, she went from being a healthy person to another victim of the deadly H1N1 virus.

How can this happen in today’s world? How can invisible germs still claim lives so quickly? And, most importantly, how can we keep the people we love safe, yet do it without using a poisonous cocktail of chemicals that can also have negative effects on health?

Ironically, I had already begun a journey to try and control harmful germs. Why? Because I regularly traveled on business, I often found myself sick with colds, flus, strep throat and more every few weeks. I thought that I must have a weak immune system, but concluded that if I could come up with a way to automatically limit my exposure to harmful germs in airplanes, hotels, restaurants, subways, and other public spaces, it would be easier to stay healthy.

You might be thinking, “Oh, another germaphobe, germs aren’t that big of a deal.” Well, the facts tell a very different story, as these invisible germs kill over 9 million people a year globally. That makes germs the second leading cause of death behind heart disease, and greater than cancer.

But, you may say, we have antibiotics, don’t we?!? Yes, but to be clear, antibiotics don’t work on viruses, like the one that took my Mother’s life.  Even more disturbing is the fact that most antibiotics have lost their ability to work against many bacterial infections as well; this is something most people don’t know. Why?!? Because, over time, these harmful germs have developed a resistance to them, as well as to many cleaning chemicals, and these same pathogens continue to mutate and get stronger every day.

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After I lost my Mom, my quest to find a solution to this real-world problem became an obsession. In 2012, after 10 years of research, I made a discovery that I believe can bring hope to millions of people. This solution, with its roots in quantum physics, has been proven to be effective for Eons ... sunlight kills germs. In fact, as long as the sun has been shining down upon us, its light has been killing germs. The same invisible microbes that cause so much harm have demonstrated no defense from the energy in sunlight.

So, how do we bring the power of sunlight indoors? Historically, this has been very difficult, until our discovery. But we found a key way to make this possible, enabling it to be small, automatic, and easy to incorporate into everyday spaces.  Please help us to welcome S.A.G.E., which stands for Surface & Air Germ Elimination; a device that can now automatically eliminate dangerous germs without using harmful chemicals. Today, our S.A.G.E. products are working around the clock to automatically kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and molds, as well as parasites with units that are easily deployed in homes, hotels, healthcare facilities, offices, schools, assisted living, kitchens, large food production facilities, government and law enforcement facilities, and many more locations coming soon.

Hope for millions is now possible. It is too late for me to help keep my Mom safe from harmful germs, but now that we have founded Violet Defense and released the S.A.G.E. line of products, we can help keep millions of people healthy and safe around the World. I can only hope that my Mother would be proud of me.

Mark Nathan
3 Reasons to Add Ultraviolet Light to Your Mold Remediation Toolbox
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Being based in the Sunshine state, we know firsthand just how many people in the hot and humid south have to deal with the fight against mold. Throw hurricanes into the mix that can accelerate mold growth due to flooding or leaks and you have a large number of homeowners and businesses concerned about how to effectively deal with this issue, including the financial burden. 

According to HomeAdvisor.com, the average cost of mold remediation reported by homeowners nationwide is $7500, but can easily soar into the tens of thousands when there is extensive damage.

However, an even bigger concern is their health, or that of their customers or employees.  That’s where mold remediation companies come into play – to effectively take care of mold and prevent the health risks of mold that can include skin irritation, asthma, respiratory infections or exacerbation of other existing diseases.

To do that, they need the right tools to do the job right the first time.  Here are 3 reasons why ultraviolet light is a good addition to that toolbox.

#1 – Ultraviolet Light Disinfects Everywhere the Light Touches

Ultraviolet (UV) Light is a proven technology that has been killing mold, fungus, bacteria, and viruses since the beginning of time.  Think about a sidewalk and the shaded areas where you find mold – that’s because the germ-killing power of sunlight isn’t reaching those areas.  Ultraviolet light brings this same power of the sunshine indoors allowing you to kill mold wherever the light touches, but not just on the surfaces of a room.  Ultraviolet light can kill mold in air and on surfaces.  It’s effective at treating the mold you know about, and can help kill mold, including airborne spores that you can’t see.

#2 – Ultraviolet Light Kills Without the Use of Harmful Chemicals

 According to the EPA Guidelines on Mold Remediation, “the use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation.”  Chemicals, not only have harmful effects to the people using them, but also often have to be left so long on surfaces during remediation; they could actually damage certain materials.  UV light can kill mold without these negative effects.

UV light produces electromagnetic energy that attacks and destroys the DNA and RNA of microorganisms – preventing their ability to reproduce and causing cell death.  UV light can kill microorganisms given the right distance and duration to deliver the proper dosage.

#3 - ultraviolet light provides Protection Throughout the Remediation Process  

The initial step of remediation is an inspection to assess the level of damage and the most appropriate course of action to deal with the mold in the space.  However, there is the mold you can see, but there are likely mold spores in the air that you can’t see. 

UV light can be an easy way to begin killing any of the visible mold, and also to help kill any mold spores in the air and prevent further spreading of the mold.  However, as you begin the remediation process, you run the risk of disturbing mold spores – sending them airborne once again into the space you’re treating, or worse into surrounding rooms via air ducts or any gaps in your containment.

Therefore, UV light can be a regular part of your routine to continually stamp down any mold that has been exposed or potentially spread into the air.  Want to ensure your customers that you have killed all of the mold in their rooms – add UV light as a final step to protect against any mold or spores that may still be active.

Violet Defense S.A.G.E. Products Can Help

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 With the Surface & Air Germ Elimination (S.A.G.E.) UV line of products from Violet Defense, you can deploy an effective solution that will help keep your customers and staff safe and healthy. S.A.G.E. UV uses pulsed Xenon technology that delivers a broad spectrum of UV-C, UV-B, UV-A, and violet-blue light to optimize the killing effects.  Violet Defense has a line of mobile products that can bring powerful, germ-killing UV light to your remediation site in the size and shape that’s right for the job at hand. 

Contact us to find out more about how our technology could fit into your mold remediation process.

Jessica Jones
6 Things to Know About Your Office Before Cold & Flu Season
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The cold and flu season, which runs from mid-December to March according to the CDC, is quickly approaching.  Here are a few surprising things to know about the risks of your office for you and your employees.    

1.  Up to 80% of Employees Will Come to Work Sick

Recent studies have shown repeatedly that the majority of employees will come to the office while they are sick - as many as 80% reported doing so by a poll completed by Staples.  Even if they did go home sick, up to two-thirds indicate they will return to work while they are still contagious.

2.  Bacteria and Viruses Can Survive For Days 

According to Dr. Charles Gerba, Environmental microbiologist from the University of Arizona, "coughing and sneezing can leave behind a 'minefield of viruses' that can live on a surface for up to 3 days.  Influenza is known to last up to 24 hours, especially on hard surfaces like you would find in a typical office environment.

3.  Eating At Your Desk Could be Harmful

Employees may eat lunch at their desk as a way to squeeze in a few more minutes of their day, but they could be putting themselves at risk.  Leave a few crumbs behind and you've created a breeding ground for bacteria.  According to some reports, as many as 47% of working adults will eat lunch at their desk. 

4.  Your Desk May Have More Bacteria Than a Toilet Seat

Think through the typical things you see your cleaning crew touch - they vacuum, they take out the trash, they clean the bathrooms - but do they clean anything on your desk?  Studies have shown that the average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than an average toilet seat.  Keyboards can be especially hard to clean so many of us don't - 50% of people don't clean it more than once a month and 10% never bother at all.  Dr. Gerba also reported that he has found that they could reduce absenteeism in schools by 50% simply by disinfecting their desks once a day.  

5.  Break Rooms Are Another Hidden Danger

Another area of your office that you might not think about that could be placing you at risk for exposure is your break room.  

A study by “The Healthy Workplace Project" found high levels of contamination on these surfaces:

  • 75 percent of break room sink faucet handles
  • 48 percent of microwave door handles
  • 26 percent of refrigerator door handles
  • 23 percent of water fountain buttons
  • 21 percent of vending machine buttons

6.  New ultraviolet light Technologies Are Available to Protect Your Office

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While hand washing will always be a necessary line of defense to protect from person-to-person contact, implementing strategies to disinfect your office can help reduce illnesses.  Some experts even say that implementing certain protocols could help cut absenteeism in half.

Violet Defense has a variety of solutions that reduce the number of bacteria on surfaces that are not cleaned by the custodial staff or that may have been missed.  These solutions could be installed to run automatically over night to help employees start each day in a clean office, added to your bathrooms, or added as part of the cleaning staff's nightly routine.

For more information on how Violet Defense can add a layer of protection to help keep your employees healthy and productive, contact us.

 

Risky Business? Foodborne Illnesses and Their Impact on Customers and Business
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foodborne illnesses

Each year, millions of people acquire foodborne illnesses from bacteria and viruses - including in restaurants, catering or banquet facilities, and other locations.  It's estimated that 1 in 10 people fall ill to foodborne diseases.

The costs of these outbreaks are tremendous - not only in terms of the health implications for the medical costs, lost time from work, and unfortunately too many premature deaths.  However, these costs can also extend to the businesses as well.  Simply search for articles about outbreaks in restaurants or visit a site like Food Safety News, and you will find an abundance of recent stories of outbreaks, lost revenue due to closings necessary to deal with the bacteria or viruses at hand, and even lawsuits.

proper surface sanitizing

While there are many strategies to help reduce the risk of outbreaks, effectively sanitizing surfaces and equipment are critical to this list.  In 2015-2016, locally there were 65,000 food safety violations due to food-contact surfaces not being properly cleaned and sanitized in restaurants.  With that number from Florida alone, imagine the numbers throughout the United States.  Download Violet Defense's Guide:  The Risks of Foodborne Illnesses to Your Customers & Your Business to learn more about the risks your customers and your business face.  

Even with the best of intentions or highly trained staff - how do you know if you have effectively disinfected your entire space?  Areas can be missed.  Chemicals may have not been left on long enough to ensure that the germs you are concerned about have been dealt with properly.  Adding another layer of protection could be the key. 

ultraviolet light for disinfection

Ultraviolet light is a great way to provide insurance that you have effectively disinfected a space as it kills germs anywhere the light touches.  To learn more about how Violet Defense can help bring UV to your restaurant or food facility to protect your customers and your business, contact us.  

New Tools Against a Global Threat
 
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Most of us are aware that we are surrounded by germs every day, but a lot of us don't really like to think about that.  Unfortunately, the potential dangers have grown too high for us to not pay attention or take it that seriously.

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If you look at the top causes of death according to the World Health Organization's Global Health Estimates (2015), you will see commonly known threats like ischemic heart disease and stroke.  However, you'd be missing the real threat that germs represent to our health and wellness.

When you total up all of the deaths caused by infections due to germs that surround us (ranging from diarrhoeal diseases to respiratory infections and STDs), you start to see a very concerning picture.  Various bacterial and viral infections cause approximately 9.3 million deaths each year, making it the second leading cause of death compared to 10 million from heart disease and 8.7 million from cancer.

Most are unaware that over 9 million people, based on 2015 WHO data, across the world die from illnesses caused by germs each year, comparable to heart disease and greater than cancer.
— Mark Nathan, CEO, Violet Defense

When you combine the harmful impact germs represent, the continued growth in antibiotic resistance, and recent pandemics like the 2014 Ebola epidemic that killed 11,000 people, new agencies outside of the traditional health care sector are starting to pay attention to this issue that can have widespread consequences.  Recently, the World Bank's annual meeting included a simulation about how things like travel and tourism could be affected by a mystery respiratory virus.   After the Ebola Response, the bank wanted "to prepare much more systematically to be ready for the 100 percent probability we will be dealing with this again," according to Tim Evans, senior director for health, nutrition and population at the World Bank.

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The good news is that as we become more aware of the threat, we can develop and deploy new solutions.  Violet Defense has recently launched a new line of germ-killing light products, including our S.A.G.E. UV Whole Room Unit that can add a layer of protection to a virtually unlimited number of locations.  The small footprint of our products, coupled with the germ-killing power, enables clinical-level cleaning in everyday spaces - from hotels, restaurants, and cruise lines to assisted living facilities, doctor's offices, schools, and hospitals.

Contact us to find out more about how Violet Defense can help you protect yourself, your employees, and your customers against this very real threat.

 

 

 

 

Jessica JonesUV, outbreaks, germs, uv light
The Latest Listeria Threat: How UV Can Help
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On Monday, a major food production facility had to issue a voluntary recall on numerous products due to a possible contamination of vegetables sourced by their company.  There were 98 different products included in the recall - affecting major retail chains, including Walmart, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Albertsons and many more across the country.   This shows how quickly an issue at a single facility can lead to widespread, multi-state outbreaks.  In 2015, an outbreak associated with a brand of packaged salads led to 19 hospitalizations and one death across 9 states.  

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Many people are also familiar with the major outbreak associated with Blue Bell ice cream, which caused 10 cases of listeriosis and 3 deaths.  What was originally perceived as an isolated incident led to multiple recalls across 5 states.  

about listeria

According to the CDC, Listeria monocytogenes infects 1600 people each year and approximately 260 die.  While this recall was made prior to any reported illnesses, it can take 2-10 weeks or longer to determine if someone was part of a Listeria outbreak according to the CDC.  The bacteria can be especially dangerous to pregnant women with the ability to cause miscarriages or long-term health effects in the child.  It is also more dangerous to adults over the age of 65.

Listeria is commonly found in:

  • Soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk
  • Raw sprouts
  • Melons
  • Hot dogs
  • Lunch & deli meats

The USDA has numerous recommendations for facilities on prevention, including sanitizing utensils and equipment, taking apart ready-to-eat food processing equipment prior to cleaning, scrubbing surfaces to ensure listeria is not forming biofilms that become harder to clean, rotating sanitizers to ensure listeria is not establishing niches, and using low water pressure to ensure you're not spreading microorganisms unintentionally with splashing and overspray.  

UV light for disinfection

Given the severity of the potential effects of this pathogen and how easily it can spread across the country, it is critical that facilities have a multitude of tools at their disposal.  UV light has been proven effective against listeria (in addition to other pathogens, such as E. coli and Salmonella that cause foodborne illnesses).  As an additional layer of protection, UV light can help reduce the risk of listeriosis and it has been proven as a promising bactericidal option in food facilities as it does not negatively effect the color, flavor, odor or taste of the product.

For more information about how Violet Defense products, such as the S.A.G.E. UV Whole Room Unit could help protect against this threat, contact us.  

 

 

 

 

 

Smart, Effective Cleaning Tools for Hotels
Florida Restaurant Lodging

Violet Defense recently previewed its new S.A.G.E. UV line, including its whole room unit at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show in Orlando, Florida.  The show featured hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of attendees from the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality markets. 

Violet Defense's S.A.G.E. UV line was selected as one of the top 14 "most exciting new product innovations" on display at the show as reviewed by a group of restaurant and foodservice journalists.  Featured in Hospitality Technology:  Smarter Hotels & Restaurants, S.A.G.E. UV is designed to bring clinical-level cleaning to spaces that have not previously had cost-effective options for deploying UV in their environments, including hotels, assisted living facilities, restaurants, cruise ships, schools, etc. 

The technology also caught the attention of the editor, Glenn Hasek, of Green Lodging News, the lodging industry's leading environmental news source.  Reminded of the Best Western “I Care Clean” program, which used UV wands to help clean and black lights to detect, Mr. Hasek pointed out that the instructions to effectively use the wand required "the UV wand had to be held in place for five to seven seconds within five to seven inches of an item."  "I just could not imagine a housekeeper going over an entire room like this," added Mr. Hasek.

Whereas, with the S.A.G.E. UV Mobile Unit, a housekeeper could do their routine cleaning and then simply position the unit in the room, turn it on and let it disinfect the space while he or she begins prepping the next room.

With the ability to potentially reduce the use of chemicals or simply provide an added layer of protection to be able to assure guests that their hotel room is clean of germs, such as E. Coli, Norovirus, and even MRSA, it's a great tool to add to the cleaning protocols for a hotel or resort.  The S.A.G.E UV whole room units and S.A.G.E. UV bathroom fan covers can be installed and then automatically deployed to clean the rooms anytime it is unoccupied.  

For more information about the new product line and how it could be a great addition to your brand, contact us.

 

Jessica Jones
Top Benefits of Including UV Light as Part of Your Infection Control Strategies

From 2010-2013, eleven states reported 1500 outbreaks in assisted living facilities.  To prevent outbreaks, facilities must implement a variety of measures from hand hygiene practices and use of personal protective equipment to “appropriate environmental cleaning procedures.”  But how do you know what is appropriate? 

The germ-killing power of UV light, such as the Surface & Air Germ Elimination (S.A.G.E.) UV line from Violet Defense, provides numerous benefits to incorporating UV into your infection control strategies.

UV Light Can Kill Bacteria & Viruses

Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities from the CDC suggests that cleaning and disinfection schedules and methods vary based on area, type of surface to be cleaned, amount and type of soil present, and whether it’s a surface with frequent hand-contact.  While recommendations might limit how much attention is paid to certain types of areas, staff may have difficulty knowing “when a multi-drug resistant organism is likely to be in the environment.”

Environmental Infection Control.jpg
Fighting Drug Resistant Organisms.jpg

Can you tell which of these bathrooms has E. coli?

Since you cannot visually determine if a space contains harmful pathogens, it is critical to take the proper steps to disinfect all areas to the best of your ability.  The benefit of UV disinfection systems is that they can kill all types of harmful germs - bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses – and the light produced is uniform, it does not suffer from “missed spots” on a given surface.

UV Light Cleans Wherever the Light Touches

Facility policies, which outline the methods, thoroughness and frequency of cleaning used to disinfect a space, are driven by cost, product-surface compatibility, and ability to implement appropriate cleaning protocol in a space.  But what if you had a technology that could automatically begin cleaning a room anytime it’s unoccupied?  And even better, what if it could automatically kill harmful germs wherever the light touches? 

The S.A.G.E. line of products utilizes a broad spectrum of UV-C, UV-B, UV-A, and anti-bacterial violet blue light to optimize the germ-killing benefits of the light produced.  The light not only provides an additional layer of protection to your high-touch surfaces, but may also penetrate to areas that are difficult for, or completely missed by, normal manual cleaning.

Units using uv light Require Minimal to No Staff Training

Even if you do have well-established protocols and policies in place to disinfect your facility, how do you ensure your staff knows what to do (especially when there can be a high turnover rate in this industry - up to 38%), and how do you ensure that your staff actually follows your protocols and policies on a regular basis?  According to an analysis of Infection prevention and control standards in Assisted Living Facilities, only half of states regulations include required mandatory staff training on infection control. 

Furthermore, despite the best efforts of anyone charged with manually cleaning a facility, it can be easy to miss an area or not know the correct chemical or the product-surface compatibility for every inch of a facility.  Units, such as the S.A.G.E. UV Whole Room Unit can be installed into a space and require no staff training for operation – they will simply add a layer of protection every time they are activated either through autonomous control or pre-programmed cleaning cycles.

uv light May Reduce Reliance on Chemicals

Chemicals are one of the most common methods for disinfecting spaces.  However, many of the most effective chemicals, such as bleach, are harmful to humans and the environment.  Eco-friendly or less harmful chemical options are often less effective against bacteria, viruses or bacterial spores.  And this all assumes that the proper procedures are followed.

If you actually read the instructions closely, you will find that for full effectiveness, chemicals typically require surfaces to remain wet for anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes before being wiped down.  A practice that is unlikely followed on a consistent basis, leading to surfaces not being properly disinfected.  Removing organic matter and visible soils which may interfere with microbial inactivation should always be the first step in cleaning.  However, after that step, the use of chemicals could be reduced if you are actively disinfecting with UV light. 

Consider Incorporating uv light as An Additional Layer of Protection

While certainly not the only solution, incorporating UV as another tool in your infection control strategies is a great way to add another layer of protection and reduce the risk of an outbreak in your facility. Contact Violet Defense to find out how we can get your facility protected today. 

Jessica Jones
Guide to Understanding UV Light & How It's Redefining Clean
How Does UV Kill Germs Bacteria Viruses.jpg

antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Many of us don’t like to think about the germs that surround us every day, but unfortunately with continually evolving and newly identified germs, along with growing concerns over antibiotic resistance to known germs, we have to take new steps to help protect ourselves.  In the United States alone, there are over 2 million people a year that become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics.  The CDC has labeled 18 bacteria as drug-resistant threats at this point.  Utilizing germicidal light as the next layer of defense is a trend that has gained new momentum in recent years as a new solution, even though it's been around for years.  In fact - it’s been over 140 years since Downes & Blunt discovered the antibacterial effects of sunlight.

ultraviolet light for disinfection

In spite of the extensive history and research that has gone into understanding germ-killing power of light and Ultraviolet (UV) light in particular, many of us do not know about or fully understand the capabilities of UV light.  A key aspect of UV light as a germ-killing technology is that microbes are unable to build immunity to it because it targets bacteria and viruses at the DNA and RNA levels.  And while many of the traditional UV systems utilize UV-C light only, Violet Defense has developed a very compact and cost-effective unit which delivers pulsed Xenon light that includes UV-A, UV-B, UV-C, and violet-blue light to maximize the germicidal effects. Download the Violet Defense Guide to Understanding UV Light to learn more about how UV is revolutionizing the way we clean and why UV might be the right solution for you.  

The Violet Defense UV solutions are specifically engineered to add a layer of protection to every day spaces where we encounter these harmful germs.  Even better – our installed options allow the units to run autonomously – giving you the protection you need without requiring your time or labor.  Not only is this a cost-effective solution, but a highly effective one - killing up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including E. coli, Salmonella, MRSA, and norovirus.

For more information, contact Violet Defense today to discuss how our cutting-edge technology can help protect your world every day.

Jessica JonesUV, UV light, Disinfection
6 Benefits of Using UV Light for Disinfection
Benefits of UV Light.jpg

Traditional disinfection methods have been used for centuries – but are they good enough? The truth is that even the most rigorous cleaning with hot water, bleach, and disinfectants can miss harmful germs and bacteria. In the worst-case scenario, those things may cause illness or even death.

On the other hand, UV light disinfection uses ultraviolet technology to kill all germs and bacteria more quickly and is a great supplement for other methods. Some businesses are reluctant to try it, but at Violet Defense, we know that the benefits far outweigh the expense of making the switch. Here are the top six benefits of using UV light for disinfection.

Benefit #1: UV Light Disinfection is Non-Toxic

Arguably, the most important benefit of UV light disinfection is that it’s non-toxic. Unlike harsh chemicals that are sometimes used in cleaning and sanitization products, UV light is environmentally friendly. UV light disinfection is a physical process, not a chemical one.

UV light disinfection is safe for use on food as well as food prep services and non-food items. While human beings can be harmed by excessive UV exposure, proper protection makes this a safe and non-toxic disinfection method for the restaurant, hospitality, and medical industries.

Benefit #2: UV Light Disinfection is an Extremely Effective Form of Disinfection

The next key benefit of disinfecting with UV light is that this method of disinfection can me far more effective than other methods. UV light kills a wide array of harmful organisms.

For example, did you know that UV light destroys molds and spores? Other disinfection methods may not – or they may leave a damp environment where fungi can thrive. Since UV disinfection is a dry method, you can be sure that it will take care of existing mold and prevent its growth in the future.

Benefit #3: UV Light Disinfection Kills Pathogens Without Immunity

If you have followed the news about antibiotic-resistant bacteria, you know that the use of some traditional antimicrobial agents and disinfectants has had dire consequences. The development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a significant problem in the medical community.

Unlike traditional disinfection methods, UV light disinfection is a physical method for killing bacteria.  Therefore, bacteria in question cannot build immunity to it. That’s a huge plus, particularly for hospitals and assisted living facilities.

Benefit #4: UV Light Disinfection Doesn’t Have to be Portable

The next benefit of UV light disinfection is that the technologies we’ve created can stay in place in guest rooms, ready to be used as needed.  The great news is that means you can install our unit and then let it autonomously do the work.

Whether you want to be able to disinfect rooms anytime a room is unoccupied or during a set cycle overnight, our products can help you get the job done without you even having to be there. 

Benefit #5: UV Light Disinfection is Affordable

cost-effective cleaning.jpg

It might surprise you to know that UV disinfection is an affordable sanitization method. People sometimes assume that it’s costly because it uses technology instead of chemicals, but that’s not the case.

A one-time investment in UV light disinfection technology can save you time and money for years because the unique property of our lens means you will not have maintenance costs over the life of the product and since the unit can operate autonomously when installed you don’t have the associated labor costs over time like other methods do.

Benefit #6: UV Light Disinfection is Safe

One of the most common questions we get about UV light disinfection is, “Is it safe to use?” People tend to associate UV exposure with risks such as sunburn, but the key thing to understand is that UV light is safe if used properly.

Our systems have redundant safety systems built in to ensure the product will only turn on when the room is unoccupied.  UV light is less likely to cause harm than the harsh chemicals in cleaning products if you take the appropriate precautions.

UV Light Disinfection Can Help Your Business

The takeaway here is that switching to UV light disinfection can help protect your guests, save your staff time and effort, save you money, and give you additional value-proposition for your customers. Why not try it?

To learn more about how our S.A.G.E. UV line can automatically disinfect a room when you (or a patient or guest) leaves it, click here.

Jessica Jones
5 Surprising Ultraviolet Uses for the Hospitality Industry
Hotel Housekeeping Products

The primary objective of the hospitality industry is to provide welcoming, convenient, and safe places to stay and eat. There’s no question that one of the biggest challenges those in the industry face is keeping ahead of the germs and bacteria guests leave behind.

Did you know that using ultraviolet light to disinfect guest rooms and other areas of your establishment can help ensure guests’ safety – and safeguard your reputation? It’s true. Here are five surprising ultraviolet light uses you may not know about.

#1: Television Remotes and Telephones

The television remotes and telephones in hotel rooms are notoriously germ-laden. Wiping them down with disinfectants may kill some of the bacteria and germs they hold, but it won’t get all of them.

If you’re seeking ultraviolet light uses as a way of justifying investing in new technology, consider that you can place your remotes, phones, and other small items that guests touch – such as alarm clocks – into the direct path of the ultraviolet light.  Germs will be killed anywhere the light touches. The next guest who checks in can be confident that switching on the TV or calling down for room service won’t expose them to harmful germs.

#2: Food Preparation Areas

Keeping kitchens, pantries, and food storage spaces free of bacteria is a battle that never ends. In fact, even the most rigorous cleaning with traditional methods such as soap, water, and bleach can leave harmful bacteria behind.

One of the most revolutionary ultraviolet light uses is cleaning kitchens and food prep areas. Knives, cutting boards, sinks, shelves, and cookware may all be disinfected using ultraviolet light technology. In fact, using ultraviolet light to clean your kitchen or restaurant means never having to worry about inadequate cleaning or sick guests because bacteria can’t build up a resistance to UV light like they can chemical cleaners.

#3: Pillows and Blankets

Guests expect their sheets, pillowcases, and towels to be washed in hot water regularly. However, it isn’t practical for hotels to launder pillows and quilts every time a guest leaves. For that reason, guests’ beds can often harbor dangerous bacteria even if the linens have been freshly washed.

Some businesses use ultraviolet light wands and portable devices, but there are risks associated with using them as well. A user who doesn’t put the wand close enough to a surface or use it for long enough may end up leaving harmful organisms in place. That’s why we’ve focused on creating UV technology that is designed to work autonomously and can reduce the risk of human error resulting in missed germs.

In the end, advising guests that your rooms have been cleaned with ultraviolet technology can give them peace of mind that they otherwise wouldn’t have.

#4: Fitness Centers

It might surprise you to learn that a study found that fitness equipment may have more than 1,000,000 germs per square inch.  Nearly every hotel has a fitness facility for their guests’ enjoyment, but your guests won’t thank you if they end up ill due to using your equipment.

Furthermore, the unpleasant smell that is present in many gyms is not due to sweat, it’s actually due to the bacteria that grows as a result. Using ultraviolet light to disinfect the room can halt the growth of harmful bacteria for good.

#5: Way to Leverage Higher Premiums

You might expect that switching to ultraviolet technology to disinfect your establishment might cost more than what you’re currently doing. However, the opposite may very well be true.

Companies in the hospitality industry spend a lot of money buying sanitary wipes and other sanitation products. Research studies, as well as real life programs with hotels such as Best Western and MGM Grand have shown that incorporating additional disinfection protocols and/or wellness features into your rooms can drive increased guest satisfaction, occupancy rates, and/or higher premiums.

The Bottom Line

Instead of worrying that your cleaning staff might have missed harmful bacteria, consider using ultraviolet technology to disinfect guest and employee areas of your business.

To learn more about how Violet Defense’s S.A.G.E. UV line can clean guest rooms– and keep your hospitality business free of germs– please click here.

Keeping Germs at Bay in Fitness Centers - A New Solution
Germs on Fitness Equipment

risk for bacterial infections in fitness centers

Each year over 55 million members stride into one of over 36,000 health clubs throughout the United States, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association - people who are trying to commit to their own personal health and wellness.  The last thing any of them want is to risk that wellness by contracting a virus or bacterial infection.  

Look at any checklist for how to select a gym - once you get past the usual suspects - location, equipment, cost - you'll no doubt find cleanliness at the top of that list.  Shape Magazine recommends not only checking for means to wipe down equipment, but also to pay attention to to other areas, such as the bathrooms to ensure the facility is keeping up with good hygiene.

However, club owners cannot stop at the dirt that you can see.  That locker room smell is not sweat - it's actually bacteria.  One study published by FitRated.com found, on average, that treadmills, exercise bikes, and free weights all have more than 1 million colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch.  This included bacteria known to cause skin infections, pneumonia, and septicemia.  To put those numbers further in perspective - it's more bacteria than what you typically find on a public toilet seat.  

Another study found that viruses (generally rhinoviruses) were found on 63% of equipment in fitness centers.  This same study found that standard disinfection of the equipment was not actually effectively protecting against virus exposure.

germ killing light for fitness centers

While many fitness facilities offer alcohol wipes or other cleaning methods to keep germs at bay, and should continue to do so, they are not necessarily sufficient to effectively kill the bacteria and germs that place customers at risk.  Violet Defense has patented technology behind its germ-killing lights that have been independently proven to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria, including MRSA.      

Contact Violet Defense today to find out how we can help add another layer of protection to your fitness center.

Raising the Level of Cleanliness & Care in Assisted Living Facilities
Infections Assisted Living Facilities

Senior living has taken on a new meaning for many, with new communities centered on how to create a vibrant, active community for people to live and thrive in as they get older.  But for many, the choice to have to place a loved one into a long-term assisted living facility is difficult.  Depending on the level of care needed - from skilled nursing homes to assisted living facilities, it is important to find a facility that can meet the needs of the individual.

Families making the choice to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility often focus their research on available social activities, friendliness of staff, or the comfort of the space.  However, with the growing concern over hospital-acquired infections and community-acquired infections, the ability for a facility to effectively clean and disinfect on a regular basis to prevent and/or control infections is becoming a more critical factor in that decision.

infections in assisted living facilities

While there is no comprehensive system of collecting all data on outbreaks in long-term care facilities, the CDC indicates that up to 3 million serious infections occur in assisted living facilities each year.  A recent study by Columbia University School of Nursing, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, reported that between 11-59% of nursing home residents are "colonized" with certain types of "superbugs."  In other words, residents have germs on their skin, but have not yet become infected.  This is especially dangerous for a population that is already susceptible to illnesses due to their age and fragile immune systems. 

Efforts are underway to build a more comprehensive approach to addressing this public health issue in assisted living facilities.  Facilities are being educated on strategies, such as improved stewardship over the use of antibiotics, better infection prevention and other control mechanisms.   Prevention efforts include the establishment of policies and standard practices, including hand washing by all personnel and the use of appropriate disinfectants for cleaning. 

ultraviolet light for disinfection

While these methods are critical component of an overall strategy, facilities need additional tools to help protect those entrusted into their care.  Many cleaning methods rely on the diligence of staff to properly follow the instructions on disinfectants to ensure they are killing germs in a space.  Bacteria and viruses can often last for weeks or months on surfaces, if not handled properly.  However, there is now an option that provides an additional layer of defense against these germs. 

Violet Defense Technology has a proven, cutting-edge solution for facilities that is still cost-effective.  The new Surface & Air Germ Elimination (S.A.G.E.) UV line of products uses pulsed xenon technology to effectively kill bacteria, fungi, mold, and viruses in minutes.   The S.A.G.E. UV whole room units are perfect for common spaces and individual rooms. These units can be built in for on-demand cleanings or deployed as a mobile unit to enhance existing cleaning protocols.  For more information, contact Violet Defense to find out how we can help assisted living facilities do more to protect the health and well-being of loved ones entrusted in their care. 

New Solutions Needed for Drug Resistance
antibiotic resistance MRSA

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Several articles were published this week on the latest "superbugs" and the dangers they pose to the public. An antibiotic-resistant bacteria called Klebsiella pneumoniae has taken hold in Houston putting the city at risk for broadly spreading this bacteria which may cause serious infections. A specific strain of this same bacteria in Nevada was found to be resistant to all 26 antibiotics used in the United States. 1

While much of the focus on the growing resistance to antibiotics has been focused on better treatment protocols for doctors and hospitals, we may need to look more broadly at the issue and how to deal with germs before people get sick. First, let's look at how antibiotic resistance actually occurs. As one author put it - "It's basically just Darwin's idea of the survival of the fittest, reduced to a microscopic level. 2"

Bacteria will find a way to resist antibiotics - whether that is changing their structure to resist the antibiotic effects, actually destroying the antibiotic like certain bacteria that can produce enzymes called beta-lactamases that actually destroy penicillin, or by acquiring drug-resistance from other bacteria. While antibiotics will kill many of the bacteria causing an illness, the few bacteria resistant to most, if not all antibiotics will grow and eventually take over.

The increase in antibiotic resistance is largely due to misuse of antibiotics through improper taking of the medication (i.e. stopping a 10-day dose when you start to feel better at day 7) or by taking antibiotics when they are not needed. So what can we do?

Preventing Infections

Preventing infections in the first place is actually the best solution for dealing with the growing resistance to antibiotics. Fewer infections also reduces the number of antibiotics that are used, reducing the chances of developing more antibiotic resistant bacteria and viruses over time.

We all know rule number one of stopping the spread of disease is to wash our hands with soap and water. For many years, antibacterial products were prevalent based on people looking for an additional layer of protection. However, the FDA eventually ruled that products with certain ingredients, such as triclosan, could no longer be marketed as manufacturers had not proven their products to be safe or that they were actually any better than plain soap and water. Some tests have even suggested that chemicals such as these were actually contributing to the antibiotic resistance problem.

Ultraviolet Light for Disinfection

According to the CDC, "Bacteria will inevitably find ways of resisting the antibiotics developed by humans, which is why aggressive action is needed now." One strategy that can be used to help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, is the deployment of proven germ-killing technology that microbes have not demonstrated an ability to build a resistance to since researchers discovered this benefit. Around since the beginning of time, UV can kill all bacteria, including drug-resistant bacteria and there have been no reports of microbes developing resistance to light-based methods. This is because UV light is actually attacking the DNA and RNA of microbes which high doeses of pure energy in the form of photons - hindering its ability to reproduce and ultimately killing the cells when enough UV energy has been delivered.

Violet Defense Technology has solutions that can bring this proven germ-killing light technology to every day spaces, including bathrooms, commercial buildings, doctor's offices, assisted living facilities, and restaurants. Contact us for more information.

1 http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/01/17/510227493/a-superbug-that-resisted-26-antibiotics

2 "How do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?" 30 January 2001. HowStuffWorks.com. 17 May 2017

New Approach to Fighting Noro-viruses
Norovirus

As summer approaches, so does the end of the intensive Norovirus season.  For the past several months, schools, cruise ships, hospitals, and any other location where people are in close proximity have been facing outbreaks of this disease.  According to the CDC, as many as 21 million people contract Norovirus every year.  About half of all outbreaks of food-related illness are caused by Norovirus.  

Unfortunately with no vaccination and a disease that can spread easily, outbreaks often lead to people quarantined on their dream vacation or schools closed for extensive cleaning.    

HOW NOROVIRUS SPREADS

  • Consuming food or drink that is contaminated with Norovirus
  • Touching surfaces or objects with norovirus and then putting hands in your mouth
  • Direct contact with someone else who is infected or sharing food or utensils with them

Unfortunately, the disease tends to spread further due to food handlers who may not wash their hands properly.  Alcohol hand sanitizers are not enough to stop the spread of the virus.  It is recommended that people wash their hands with soap for at least 30 seconds - the bubbles and friction are needed to help remove the virus from your hands effectively.

NOROVIRUS PREVENTION

While hand washing is a critical part of the strategy, it will not take care of the problem on its own.  Noroviruses can survive on surfaces for weeks.  Ask some of the cruise ships that have had back-to-back outbreaks during their sailings and over 10,000 people infected on cruise ships in the past 5 years.

It's time for a new weapon to add to the arsenal to fight the spread of these harmful diseases.  Violet Defense Technology has UV room disinfection solutions that can be incorporated into cruise ships, restaurants, schools, office buildings, and more. With our patented technology, we can kill bacteria, mold, and viruses quickly to help combat the spread of illnesses.  

Contact us to find out more information about how we can help.

 
Protecting children from germs
Jessica Jones
Natural Cleaning Power of Sunlight
Sunshine - Alternate to Clorox Bleach

Spring Cleaning

When spring cleaning time hits, check out any home magazine and you'll see a cadre of the latest tips on how to clean your home faster, deeper, or with less chemicals.  We all want to find fast, inexpensive, but effective ways to clean our spaces, freshen up our linens that have been closed up all winter, or to get rid of the mildew on our gear that's been hidden away in our closet for too long.

You can spend a lot of time soaking and scrubbing those items, or you can take the advice of many sites and take them outside and hang them on a clothesline for a day.  Remember the days when we all put our clothes out to dry and they smelled a little fresher and our whites were a little whiter?

That's because we were using the power of sunlight which has provided us a natural, effective bleaching agent that is gentler than chemical bleaches.  Sunlight has the ability to kill bacteria, mildew, mold, and even viruses.  One of the great things about putting your clothes out on the line was you hung them in the morning, went about your day, and when you came back, they were fresh, clean, and dry.  

Ultraviolet Light for Disinfection

While the days of clothes dried in the sun are gone for most of us - left to the nostalgic memories of childhood - we can still get the germ-killing benefits that sunlight brought us.  Violet Defense Technology has created a technology that can bring the power of sunlight indoors into every day spaces and uses.  With our S.A.G.E. whole room units, leave the room and the germ-killing lights will activate.  When you come back later, you are returning to a room where bacteria, fungi, and mold have been killed.

Contact us for more information or to get a quote on how you can bring the power of sunlight to your indoor world.