News: Coronavirus can survive up to 28 days on surfaces

Sydney, October 2020. According to a newly published Australian study, the coronavirus can survive much longer on smooth surfaces than previously assumed. The Australian science authority Csiro (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) describes the results in the journal “Virology Journal”: the virus can survive for up to 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass, stainless steel and vinyl.

Infectious for 28 days

Under ideal laboratory conditions (20 degrees Celsius), the virus can survive up to one month on smooth surfaces such as cell phones, plastic banknotes, and ATMs. In a controlled environment, the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found before. The study was conducted in the dark, as research has already shown that sunlight quickly kills the coronavirus. Furthermore, the study showed that the coronavirus adheres less well to porous surfaces (such as cotton) than to smooth surfaces (such as glass).

Covid-19 extremely robust

In earlier studies, the virus could be found for up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Other studies confirmed nine days. Now it turns out that the virus is extremely robust. Similar experiments for the case of influenza A (for comparison) have shown that this virus survived for 17 days on surfaces. The study shows how vigorous the coronavirus is.

Long lifespan on glass

An important finding is the lifespan of the viruses on the material glass. For the simple reason that e.g. ATMs, self-service checkouts in supermarkets and check-in machines at airports have glass surfaces that are often touched by different people throughout the day.  There is a possibility that these surfaces may not be cleaned regularly or thoroughly.

Coronavirus and surfaces

Covid-19 spreads by droplet infection. However, the virus can also spread via hands and surfaces that are touched frequently. Das Ärzteblatt, a German medical journal, explained in February what kind of surfaces that can be in hospitals: e.g. door handles, but also bells, bedside tables, bedsteads and other objects in the direct vicinity of patients.

Infection prevention

Therefore, it is important to frequently wash your hands and clean all surfaces thoroughly. Additionally, antimicrobial surface coatings such as the ActiveCoat service can help in preventing infections. The coating actively reduces the bacterial load on frequently used surfaces, particularly smooth surfaces such as those identified as potentially dangerous to health in the Australian study. Smear infections from surfaces that have previously been contaminated cannot be ruled out.


Surface-Wood

The Application Process of ActiveCoat

The Alternative to Disinfection:

Following, we would like to exhibit how our antimicrobial surface coating is applied to achieve more hygiene in our everyday life. There are a couple of things that need to be taken care of before the application takes place: e.g. some safety precautions are necessary, and the right application mode is important to ensure that the antimicrobial coating is invisible on all the surfaces and materials.

Berlin, September 2020. Before we or our trained team can apply the antimicrobial surface coating on highly used surfaces that are risk-bearing concerning smear infections, those surfaces need to be cleaned thoroughly. Here are some possible questions that might come up before and after:  How are the surfaces cleaned best? What surfaces might be dangerous and facilitate a smear infection? How is ActiveCoat applied and what needs to be done before and during the application? How and with what cleaning products can I clean and disinfect the coated surfaces without restricting the functionality? How long does ActiveCoat last and guarantee high hygiene standards?

All the above questions, and most likely some others too, will be answered in this blog post. If you would like to make sure that the surface coating is effective, then you might want to read our last blogpost about a study carried out in an orthopaedic practice. There we discussed the positive hygienic effects of the antimicrobial coating, verified in a real-life test.

What surfaces should be coated?

We recommend coating all surfaces that are touched countless times a day, by many different people.

In an office space, those surfaces can, for example, be light switches, the buttons in lifts (if there are any – otherwise how about coffee machines guys? 😊), door handles, keyboards, tables, and chairs. In a car-sharing vehicle, e.g. the steering wheel, gear stick, rear-view mirror and handbrake could be coated. Lobby and spa areas should be coated in hotels, just like room keys, remote controls, phones, and water tabs (Don’t we all know the fear that those objects are never disinfected enough?). We can apply the antimicrobial coating to the equipment in gyms, but also to doctor’s waiting rooms where all patients sit and the examination room into which they go after. Especially those last two locations need to be hygienically clean as one can imagine easily.

How are the surfaces prepared?

All surfaces that are to be coated with ActiveCoat, need to be cleaned thoroughly beforehand. No dust or dirt residues should be on the material (in- and visible). On a dirty surface, the spray application will not last and work efficiently.

How are the surfaces coated?

We spray the coating solution onto the surfaces. The spraying is carried out with electrostatic spraying devices, in even movements. To guarantee that the colour- and odourless coating is invisible on the treated surfaces, it needs to be applied very thinly. During and after the spray application of the antimicrobial coating, existing windows should be kept open. This ensures an optimal drying process which can be completed within 15 minutes. The length of time may vary depending on the material.

Who applies the surface coating?

The spraying process is carried out by our trained team. We offer training courses at our headquarter in Berlin and enable further education of others. Appropriate protective clothing is important for the application of the surface coating: protective mask and safety glasses are necessary.

What materials can be coated?

There is almost no material that cannot be coated; however, silk, brass and copper belong to that small group. For some other materials like (artificial) leather, the solution must be diluted before spraying a surface; the training courses in Berlin will cover this topic, too. Materials like plastic, metal, ceramic, stone, wood, and textiles (with limitations) can be sprayed trouble-free.

This means that neither the coating of toilet flushes and stair railings nor the couch and cushions is a problem.

How long does the surface coating last?

The durability of the coating depends on the kind of surface we apply it to. Our standard is between 6 to 12 months. We can assume that door handles and buttons in lifts are touched more often than a hotel reception desk someone might lean on, at least with the current distancing rules in order. Also, a lift in a hospital is used more often than a lift in the small family-owned hotel around the corner. The effectiveness, therefore, depends on the situation and location. In general, it can be said that after 500 cleaning cycles with conventional cleaning agents and manual wiping over 80% of the coating is still present and adds to more hygiene and safety – without additional disinfection.

How do I clean the treated surfaces?

The coated surfaces can be easily cleaned with all standard cleaning agents. The PH value should range between 4-8, otherwise, the coating (but also most materials you want to clean) will be attacked. Additional disinfection is not necessary per se, but in times of a pandemic, we do recommend a combination of antimicrobial coating with ActiveCoat, cleaning and disinfecting to achieve the highest possible infection prevention.

How does the surface coating work?

The antimicrobial surface coating is hydrophilic and attracts viruses and bacteria. These adhere to the coating where their cell membranes are attacked. The attack stops the exponential growth of the germs and after a while, the cells are killed. For more information, feel free to read the summary of our ActiveCoat service.

If you have any further questions regarding our service, infection prevention or hygiene, please do not hesitate to contact us or leave us a comment. Maybe your question is also listed in our FAQs? Have a look there.

Now to the really important question: Who would you like to protect with our antimicrobial surface coating – employees, guests, visitors? Contact us, together we will identify the critical areas in your office, hotel, or restaurant, and find individual solutions for all situations.


Waiting Room

Long-lasting antimicrobial surface coating for hygienically clean surfaces

A coating that kills viruses and bacteria? The effects of antimicrobial surface coatings seem almost too good to be true. For that reason, we decided to share with you the interesting results of a study carried out in an orthopaedic medical practice room. You will see that those effects do occur and that antiviral and antibacterial surface coatings, like our coating service ActiveCoat by the European Health Group, effectively work in achieving more surface hygiene.

Hygiene in Practice Rooms

Everybody comprehends the importance of consistent and thorough cleaning and disinfection processes in medical practice rooms. Obviously, this is the place where a lot of people (i.e. patients) meet and many different germs can spread. That is why in those places, surface hygiene is of utmost importance.  In the aforementioned study (see the end of the text for our source), it was shown that incorrect cleaning processes and wrong handling of cleaning and disinfection products resulted in a much less hygienic outcome than would be healthy or desirable. Apparently, there is quite some room for improvement in this field. Something that can help achieve even better surface hygiene is an antimicrobial surface coating.

The bacterial load of highly used surfaces was reduced effectively and significantly with our coating service ActiveCoat, providing a self-cleaning, antimicrobial surface coating.

Direct Comparison considering Effectiveness

In a classic A-B test, an orthopaedic practice was observed for two weeks. Each day, at the same times, smear tests were carried out at the same places of highly used surfaces to check for their bacterial load. During the first week of the tests, no antiviral and antibacterial TiTANO® surface coating had been applied. Following, the ActiveCoat service took place before the second week of tests. The cleaning and practice staff were not informed about the tests, ensuring that the cleaning and disinfection routines were not altered in any way. Accordingly, a direct comparison of the two situations is possible. The study showed the effectiveness of the antimicrobial surface coating against viruses and bacteria.

Surface Coating with the ActiveCoat Service

Surfaces that were deemed critical were coated in the medical practice room: those that are highly used (e.g. screens, door handles, and waiting rooms) and those that usually come into close contact with the patients (e.g. chairs, treatment area). The coating process was carried out on a Saturday, before the second week of smear tests occurred, using an electrostatic spraying process. The company HECOSOL that provides the European Health Group with the clear liquid, based their technology on water-soluble titanium dioxide and silver ions. Here, you can find more information on our coating service ActiveCoat.

Results of the ActiveCoat Service

The smear tests and contact samples were collected daily for a total of two weeks, before and after the practising hours, and additionally after the daily cleaning routine. Based on the tests, the bacterial loads of several surfaces were determined. During the second week of the tests, after the application of the antiviral and antibacterial surface coating on highly used surfaces, tests were continued in the same manner:  same times and spots in the practice room.

The study demonstrated that with the antiviral and antibacterial coating the detected bacterial counts were
reduced by about 60%.

Thus, an effective reduction of the bacterial load was verified, and better surface hygiene achieved. It is proven correct that an antimicrobial surface coating of highly used surfaces is helpful, effective, and practical in the prevention of (smear) infections.

Infection Prevention by Combining Surface Coatings, Cleaning and Disinfection Processes

We would like to point out the importance of combining thorough cleaning, careful disinfection, and the application of an antiviral and antibacterial surface coating to achieve the most effective infection prevention, especially in times of a pandemic.

The coating service ActiveCoat supports the efforts against smear infections forcefully. It is ideal for public transport, hotels, and restaurants, in schools and gyms, at airports and train stations, as well as in hospitals and medical practice rooms. The procedure is very functional, as an application is possible later than the moment of production. The coating can be applied to all materials and works on every surface, independent from light and temperature conditions.

Source:

Buhl S., Käs S., Brückner R., Bulitta R. Untersuchung der Wirksamkeit antimikrobieller Oberflächen in der Infektionsprävention. HygMed 2018; 43 (10): D83-D92.