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THE POWER OF UV

Here at Violet Defense, we are passionate about protecting our world from germs. As part of this journey, our blog helps us all to become more “germ aware” about the risks that germs pose to our health and wellness in everyday places, but more importantly how UV light has the power to help us fight this war against harmful bacteria and viruses.

 

 
 
Posts tagged ultraviolet light for disinfection
The Latest Listeria Threat: How UV Can Help
listeria.jpg

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.  

Listeria Blue Bell.PNG

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.  

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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