Technical Papers

  1. CDC says this season's flu vaccine has only been 45% effective

    CDC says this season's flu vaccine has only been 45% effective
    According to the CDC’s weekly Morbidity and Mortality report, flu activity remains elevated as of mid-February 2020. In the U.S., annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons aged older than 6 months. Among influenza-positive participants, 37% had received the 2019–20 seasonal influenza vaccine, compared with 55% of influenza-negative participants. Overall, the adjusted VE was 45% against influenza A and B virus types combined, 50% against influenza B/Victoria, and 37% against A(H1N1)pdm09. Vaccine effectiveness was higher among children and adolescents aged 6 months–17 years and lower among adults aged 18–49 years, especially against A(H1N1)pdm09. The full article is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6907a1.htm?s_cid=mm6907a1_w
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  2. Cleanroom Requirements and Classifications

    Cleanroom Requirements and Classifications
    This infographic was created by Technical Safety Services, a cleanroom testing company
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  3. Water Spots on Medical Devices After Washer Cleaning

    Water Spots on Medical Devices After Washer Cleaning
    Q. We are washing stainless medical devices in a washer and are getting water spots. We are using Solujet and Citrajet. What’s causing this problem? A. Water spots typically occur because of two main reasons: the orientation of the parts in the washer is trapping dirty wash water and/or detergent dosing is insufficient. If any items being washed have a shape that can retain dirty wash water, it can sometimes get carried into the next rinse cycle and spread all over all the items being washed. An example of a such a shape would be “U” shapes or cups. Then the parts gets dried and the residue from the dirty wash water leaves water spots. To solve this, load the items in a way to tilt them so they drain completely and do not carry dirty wash water from the wash cycle to the rinse cycle. If this is not an issue, then consider detergent dosing. If you are washing with hard tap water (high in calcium, magnesium and iron), and you are under-dosing the detergent, then there may not be enough chelating agent to tie up the hardness ions. In this case, these ions will precipitate out as metal oxides/hyrdroxides/carbonates that then do not rinse easily and can lead to water spots. Be sure to use at least a 1% Solujet® Low Foaming Phosphate Free Detergent wash solution (10 mL/L) and 1% Citrajet® Low Foaming Acid Cleaner rinse solution (10 mL/L). Also consider using deionized, RO, or distilled water for rinsing, and even washing, which can help completely avoid this problem. Note that high quality water is less important for the wash step.
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  4. High Purity Solvents

    High Purity Solvents

    High Purity Solvents

    High Purity Solvents

    High Purity Solvents

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    When it comes to emergency shower and eyewash equipment, a ten-degree difference could make all the difference. The right water temperature is critical to ensuring medically suitable results for an injured person. Current ANSI Standards (American National Standards Institute) are referenced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) when evaluating facilities and mandate a temperature range defined as “tepid.”

    This is clarified as a 40-degree temperature range for flushing fluids spanning from 60°F to 100°F [16°C to 38°C].


    According the ANSI Z358.1-2014, fifteen minutes is the required length of a drench cycle when using emergency shower and eyewash equipment. It’s a necessary amount of time to ensure the chemicals and contaminants are properly flushed out of the eyes and off the face and body. But water that is too hot or too cold can drive an injured user out of the emergency equipment much too soon, while also risking exposure to additional injury. Providing tepid water to a user helps cool chemical burns, prevents chemical absorption, and encourages the removal of contaminated clothing that can act as a barrier.

    The body’s biological response to hot water is for its pores to open, which could potentially increase absorption of contaminants into the skin. Plus, water that is too hot can scald the soft tissue of the eyes and delicate skin causing further damage. Less often addressed are chemicals that can trigger an aggravated chemical reaction when it comes into contact with water at particularly higher temperatures. Cavviot: Review SDS (Safety Data Sheet) of chemicals that could become more of a hazard by reacting violently to warmer temperatures. These types of chemicals require setting the water temperature to a specific degree to prevent chemical reactions.

    Water that is too cold can lead to hypothermia on top of the original chemical exposure. Studies have also shown that a fifteen-minute exposure to water temperatures in the lower end of the ANSI-mandated temperature range (60°F) can cause cold shock. This is the reaction that the body has upon exposure to cold water, and potential side effects including cardiac arrest. Water at low temperatures is also far more likely to prevent an injured worker from drenching for a decontamination period that would prove medically effective. In addition, some severely hazardous chemicals will not dilute to safe levels unless a longer flush is administered such as strong alkali’s that suggest a 60-minute flush.

    Certain water temperature ranges are more prone to bacterial growth, which can present serious health risks to those exposed. Legionella bacteria growth thrives between 95°F and 115°F, a range that overlaps the current ANSI tepid water range. While the ANSI standard does require a weekly flush to clear all piping sections that lead to the emergency shower and eyewash station, avoiding temperatures that harbor bacteria is a valuable step in limiting potential exposure.Water that is too hot or too cold can drive an injured user out of the emergency equipment much too soon.Legionella bacteria growth thrives between 95°F and 115°F, a range that overlaps the ANSI tepid water range. Water too hot can increase absorption of contaminants into the skin. Water too cold can lead to hypothermia.

    In 1998, the ANSI Standard introduced tepid water as a requirement of emergency shower and eyewash systems. In the 2004 revision, the standard was further clarified, stating that medical recommendations warned against flushing fluids exceeding 100°F, which “have proven to be harmful to the eyes and can enhance chemical interaction with the eyes and skin” (ANSI Z358.1-2004). The standard also stated that “recent information indicates that a temperature of 60°F is suitable for the lower parameter for tepid flushing fluid without causing hypothermia to the equipment user.” However, no source information accompanied these statements.This standard was maintained in the 2014 revision, but more insight into both the biological response to water temperatures at the low end of this temperature range and the ideal growth temperature of legionella bacteria should dictate a change.

    Each piece of emergency equipment must be available to provide proper first aid in the event of an emergency, and a revised water temperature range between 70°F and 95°F can help ensure medically effective results:

    • Help encourage users to use the equipment for the full fifteen-minute flush cycle

    • Protect against cold shock that could lead to cardiac arrest

    • Advocate for the removal of contaminated clothing

    • Avoid temperatures known to harbor specific bacteria growth

    • Prevent scalding of the eyes and skin

    • Reduce the chances of an increased chemical reaction

    A majority of outdoor or extreme climate equipment installations would require additional infrastructure to meet the tepid water range for water delivery. Emergency shower and eyewash manufacturers offer various tempering solutions including Thermostatic Mixing Valves. Setting Thermostatic Mixing Valve temperatures between 80°F and 85°F not only meets current ANSI Standards, but also ensures compliance should future revisions take into account these recommendations. To assist in the appropriate installation and performance of its emergency systems, Haws recommends a much tighter temperature range. Thermostatic Mixing Valves on Haws emergency shower and eyewash systems are set between 80°F and 85°F. It’s a narrow, yet necessary interpretation of ANSI Z358.1, which defines a suitable temperature range as 60°F to 100°F. This defined range fits neatly into a new recommended range of 70°F to 95°F, temperatures that ensure both victim comfort and appropriate equipment use, as well as a reduced risk of bacterial exposure.Studies show that when proper first aid is provided, an average of 7.7 days of hospitalization were necessary, whereas those who did not receive proper first aid required an average of 20.5 days of hospitalization

    Emergency shower and eyewash systems are designed for emergency scenarios, but simply providing them isn’t enough. The equipment needs to perform in accordance with the most current ANSI Z358.1 Standard and work as intended at any time, while providing a comfortable and appropriate temperature water delivery.

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  6. Passivate: Citric Acid Option with Citranox and Citrajet Detergents

    Passivate: Citric Acid Option with Citranox and Citrajet Detergents

    Q. Surface contamination interferes with formation of protective oxide coating on stainless steel thereby leaving it open to corrosion.

    The stainless steel needs passivation. Can Alconox, Inc. help?

    A. Stainless steels are autopassivating in the sense that the protective oxide passive film is formed spontaneously on exposure to air or moisture.

    Surface contamination, may interfere with the formation of the passive film. The cleaning of these contaminants from the stainless steel surface with citric acid detergent will facilitate passivation by allowing the oxygen access to the surface.

    Passivate by immersing the stainless steel in either a 30% solution (300mL/L) of Citranox® Liquid Acid Cleaner and Detergent or Citrajet® Low-Foam Liquid Acid Cleaner/Rinse at any of the following combination of time and temperature: 70-120 deg F (21-49 deg C)/20 min, 120-140 deg F (49-60 deg C)/10 min, or 140-160 deg F (60-71 deg C)/4 minutes.

    Rinse thoroughly immediately after passivation.

    Final rinse should be in clean water with a final reading of less than 200 ppm total solids. Neutralization is not required.

    Air oxidation will complete passivation.

    Note that this process conforms to ASTM A967-01 Standard Specification for Chemical Passivation Treatments of Stainless Steel Parts.

    If desired, Ferritic and Martensitic steels can be treated with 5% sodium dichromate at 150 deg F (65 deg C) for 30 min to accelerate surface oxidation to form passive oxide layer.

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  7. Residue Testing with pH Strips

    Residue Testing with pH Strips

    Q. Can I use pH paper to confirm cleaning and rinsing of labware to comply with lab accreditation requirements?

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  8. Cleaning Denatured Proteins

    Cleaning Denatured Proteins

    Q. We are looking to clean denatured proteins from our medical device along with baked-on desiccated blood that is not removed completely. Manual scraping removes the residual but is not acceptable. Need a cleaner that will dissolve all bio-matter. Cleaning process is to prepare device for autoclave sterilization.

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  9. Closed Solvent Waste Systems for HPLC

    Closed Solvent Waste Systems for HPLC
    Closed Solvent Waste Systems for HPLC

    A Solution for Waste Disposal of Volatile Organic Compounds to Increase Standards of Health

    A major concern in the field of chemical science is the proper care and disposal of hazardous wastes. With high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) machines, solvent wastes must be contained for disposal. However, these liquids are often volatile organic compounds (VOCs), meaning they will easily vaporize in the lab and spread through the air. In order to contain these vapors, which are potential health hazards for people working in the lab, improved waste containment must be implemented. Common lab practices have not been sufficient in containing these vapors.

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  10. Proper Wiper Folding & Surface Cleaning

    Proper Wiper Folding & Surface Cleaning
    Proper Wiper Folding & Surface Cleaning

    A guide to properly fold and use a low-linting wiper for maximum efficiency and effectiveness in a controlled environment.

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