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Are sanitary bin liner consumables keeping users protected?
Award-winning biosciences company Genesis Biosciences is asking for more in-depth scientific data to support claims made for 'antimicrobial' consumables used within sanitary bin services.
With on-site liner exchange services, sanitary waste bin liners are often complemented with an antimicrobial consumable which acts as a disinfectant to protect users until the bin liner is replaced again.
Other manufacturers combine these two elements with a liner with claimed antimicrobial properties offering a potential cost saving.
To be recognised as effective, an antimicrobial consumable needs to reduce pathogenic organisms sufficiently to reduce the risk to human health. However, there are a number of antimicrobial bin liner consumables being sold on the market that lack credible scientific data to support their claims, raising serious concerns about end-user protection in washroom facilities.
Dr Phil Caunt, research and development specialist at Genesis Biosciences, says: "We believe that every antimicrobial supplier should be able to provide a full set of scientifically verified data. This creates transparency within the market and assures buyers that end users will be protected. To prove its products' disinfectant credentials we believe that every supplier should follow the principles of the EN 14885 testing standard."
The BS EN 14885:2015 standard - 'Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics. Application of European Standard for chemical disinfectants and antiseptics' - outlines that all disinfectants should be tested using a three-phase method, where each successive phase is harder to pass as it simulates in-use conditions more closely.
By following this three-phase testing process, Genesis Biosciences can prove with absolute certainty that its antimicrobial consumables can provide protection to washroom users in representative end use conditions and the company is now calling on other antimicrobial suppliers to prove their claims.
Dr Caunt says: "Many manufacturers in the washroom hygiene sector in particular rely on data from a single, unrepresentative test method which does not reflect the performance of the product in the actual application.
"If manufacturers cannot validate their disinfectant claims with thorough testing results there should be immediate doubt as to the efficacy of the product.
"In the liner sector in particular, manufacturers appear to rely on laboratory data created for the anti- microbial additive used in the liner, with no data for the liner itself and no information on bacteria reduction in bins or waste. In other words, the data collected isn't from actual field conditions.
"Ultimately, an antimicrobial product that doesn't actually work puts end-users at risk so there needs to be greater scrutiny on manufacturers of antimicrobial consumables. Poor hygiene standards lead to illness, absenteeism and are unacceptable in terms of corporate social responsibility, so it's important that bin liner consumables achieve the same standards of scientifically verified protection.
"Quite simply, if suppliers cannot provide sufficient data then there should be big questions against the antimicrobial claims."
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21st July 2016