Antibiotic resistant bacteria present a growing problem, especially for people in hospitals where the routine use of disinfectants and antibiotics promote antibiotic resistant bacterial populations. A new technology developed in cooperation with Queens University and recently granted a Canadian patent promises to end the cycle, effectively killing bacteria by using biomimicry.
It has been estimated that 100,000 people die each year following infections acquired during a hospital stay, at a cost of $30 billion annually. Dr. Dick Zoutman of Queens University and Dr. Michael Shannon of Medizone International collaborated in the development of the new disinfection technology, which they will market under the name AsepticSure.
A promotional video demonstrates the AsepticSure process. AsepticSure claims effectiveness against a wide range of bacteria, which is believable because the technology relies on very basic principles, disrupting bacterial cells with a potent combination of a proprietary ozone mixed with hydrogen peroxide vapors. Because the technology utilizes vapor-gas phase chemistry, it is more effective than chemicals applied by wiping down surfaces, getting at bugs in cracks and crevices unreached by the wipe down.
Dr. Zoutman explains that the chemistry was inspired by the method the body uses to fight infection. Antibodies generate a small amount of ozone and hydrogen peroxide, which turns out to be a highly fatal combination. Says Dr. Zoutman, “It works well for Mother Nature and is working very well for us.”
The disinfection machine is the size of a hospital meal cart, and can be pushed into the room targeted for disinfection. The room is sealed off, and the machine activates a cartridge of the chemicals, filling the room with the chemical combination. After the maximum concentration is reached, the gas dissipates, leaving the room clean and fresh smelling.
Although the identity of the ozone is not disclosed, ozone and hydrogen peroxide typically earn recognition as environmentally friendly chemistry, because both ozone and peroxide decay quickly to harmless compounds, leaving no chlorine nor complex molecules that retain their biocidal toxicity for long periods in the environment because they cannot be broken down quickly.
And as an added bonus, the system is effective against bedbugs. Because the vapors creep into the spaces in mattresses, hotels have shown interest in employing the technology to fight a growing problem in the tourism industry. It will be an interesting technology to watch.
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