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Preparing Supplies for Pandemics

Pandemics and wide-ranging outbreaks claim millions of lives, economic meltdowns, affect public health, and disrupt societies. It is not enough to wait for the pandemic to start spreading before taking precautions against large scale outbreaks.  It would help if you got prepared by creating a foundation against the spread.

Effective preparedness of pandemic supplies and complemented efforts will strengthen systems and prevent further spread. In this article, you will learn the key measures to put in place before and during a pandemic.

What to do before a Pandemic

First of all, don’t panic. The sound of the word pandemic may be scary, but it doesn’t mean it cannot be contained. It is good to be prepared to avoid short notice rush.  Here are some things you could do before a pandemic occurs.

  • Make plans of what measures you will take in case your family members are affected.
  • Store up additional stock both foodstuff and health care prevention products
  • Stock up essential drugs as prescribed
  • Create easy access to details of your medical records and personal health

Health Care Plans to Consider During a Pandemic

When there is an outbreak in your community, you need to take measures to limit the spread of germs by practicing good hygiene. It will help prevent infection.  As much as you may want to avoid contact with the infected people, it would be best if you had practical measures. Below are the health care items that you will need.

Health Pandemic Supplies

Disinfectant Cleaners

Disinfectant Cleaners, Wipes, and Sprays

Disinfection is the use of chemicals to kill germs on surfaces.  It protects against infection during a pandemic, which lowers the risks of spreading the virus. It can be used at home, in the hospital, and even in a market place. 

You need to be patient when disinfecting surfaces because some disinfectants take time to penetrate the surface for effective results. The concentration and temperatures of the disinfectants are different, depending on the type you are using. You need to study the manufactures recommendations before using the chemicals carefully.

Protective Gloves

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Disposable Gloves in Latex, Nitrile, Vinyl, and Poly

You need to wear gloves during a pandemic to avoid contact with bodily fluids, blood, excretions, or contaminated surfaces. Your gloves need to be clean all the time. Change them after every task on every patient. You may change gloves more than two times on one patient, depending on how long the treatment takes. It is because some gloves may contain a high concentration of microorganisms.

Two major factors to consider when choosing gloves are; barrier protection and allergen content. Maximize its effectiveness by choosing reliable and experienced glove manufacture. You will be sure of the good quality of the gloves and constant availability.

Cleaning Supplies

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All-Purpose Cleaning Supplies and Wipes

Cleaning supplies help in the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities, which lowers the risk of spreading germs during a pandemic. There need to be practical routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces to avoid spread. Some of the cleaning supplies you need are;

  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Abrasive cleaners
  • Liquid detergents
  • Wipes

Face Masks

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Disposable Face Shields, Reusable Cotton Face Masks

Using face masks in public reduces the spread of infection. They minimize the excretion of respiratory droplets from infected people. Consider using face masks in congested places such as the market, public transport, etc.

Two types of face masks include, medical and non-medical. Prioritize the use of medical masks because it reduces the risks of transmission to zero, as compared to non-medical ones.

Disposable Gowns

Disposable Isolation Gowns

Gowns are used by hospital patients. They give easy access to the medical staff for the part of the body to be treated. Types of hospital gowns you need include;

  • Open Back gowns
  • Tie closure gowns
  •  IV gowns
  • Dignity Gowns
  • Snap closure
  • Disposable gowns

 Respirators

Dust Masks and Respirators

A respirator is a protective tool designed to protect people from inhaling hazardous air. The device covers the mouth and face, and in most cases, they cover the whole face of the entire head.  Types of respirators include;

  • Air purifying
  • Airline respirators
  • Hoods or helmets
  • Tight-fitting half masks
  • Breathing apparatus

A quote from Helene Munson says, “Behind the mask beats a loving heart, willing to save others.”

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Cleanroom Cleanroom Wipes Lab Supplies Microbiology Microfiber Wipes Non-Woven Wipes Tips Wipes

Clean Optical Surfaces with Microfiber

Great care goes into the manufacturing and finishing of optical surfaces, and there are many challenges that can compromise finished product integrity. These optical devices include multiple applications, from consumer to industrial, in a variety of industries such as; automotive, electronic displays, sensors, mirrors, eye-glasses, solar cells, and more.

Typically, there are several process steps involved in the making of optical surfaces, including deposition of thin films, lamination of multiple layers, integration into device, and packaging. Virtually, any damage or defect results in total loss. Many types of contaminant may be present (manufacturing residue, fiber, oils, etc.), and most common materials would damage the exposed surface upon contact.

Microfiber Wipes

TekniPure has developed a family of microfiber wipe substrates ideally suited for these critical cleaning applications; as non-woven, woven, and knit. These products feature outstanding cleanliness and fiber retention with maximum surface area for effective scratch free cleaning of optical surfaces.

Mixed Weave Microfiber

Non-woven microfiber provides an exceptional barrier and cellulose free cleaning material for exposed optics at an economical cost. However, the best material for cleaning critical optics is our mixed weave microfiber wiper. The random textured surface is constructed extremely tight, yet is soft, and therefore provides excellent “pick-up” force, safe for use on any optical. This mixed weave microfiber wiper fabric provides safe handling, best cleaning yields, and peace of mind for management.

Our mixed weave microfiber wipers are available in many sizes and configurations, cleanroom laundered, pre-saturated, and with sealed edges or borders for maximum fiber retention. Use Teknipure microfiber wipes and swabs in any controlled environment (ISO 3-7) and watch your cleaning yields improve. We are the premier source for Knit, Woven, and Non-woven microfiber critical cleaning products.
For more information about these Teknipure products or to request a sample, visit www.Teknipure.com or call 844-309-2376.

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Diagnostics Swabs Disinfectants Disposable Gloves Food Service Wipes How To Janitorial Lab Supplies Media Transport Swabs Microbiology Safety Sanitizers Swabs

Listeria – The Risks Involved

Listeria is a type of bacteria that causes listeriosis, a serious illness with a fatality rate of 20%. Most cases involve hospitalization. Children, elderly, and adults with weakened immune systems are most susceptible. Healthy adults may avoid listeriosis, but are still susceptible to gastroenteritis. Vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea are the most common symptoms. If the bacteria spreads beyond the gut, a fever may arise. Some doctors may mistakenly diagnose patients with “stomach flu,” although listeria is not related to influenza. A bacterial culture verifies listeriosis.

Listeria Risks

Listeria is common in the food services industry. It is impossible to prevent this bacteria from entering your setting. It survives extreme cold, acidic, and oxygen deprived environments. Refrigeration and freezing do not prevent listeria growth. In fact, listeria continues to grow in the cold. Because of its durability, the only way to prevent listeria contamination is through proper training and procedures. Cleaning and sanitizing equipment is not enough. Listeria can survive in HVAC systems, floors, crevices, or hard to reach places. Without sufficient procedures, your company may be liable for any lapses that cause a listeria outbreak. Fines, fees, and litigation will increase costs on top of product recalls and reputation damage.

Cleaning and Sanitizing to Prevent Listeria

Safety is the first priority for the food industry. Cleaning and Sanitizing (C&S) are the key components to fulfill your responsibility. Cleaning involves removing all surface level contaminants such as food, oil, and dirt. Bacteria cling to these contaminants and block chemicals from reaching the surface. All work surfaces require cleaning including walls, drains, and floors.

All machinery should be broken down into its base components in order to properly sanitize each element. Bacteria festers in hard to reach places. Once a significant amount of bacteria congregate in one area, it forms a biofilm that can prevent proper sanitization.

Biofilms

It is common for drains to contain biofilms. Because they are overlooked and cleaned less often, it can be ground zero for a listeria outbreak in your facility. If a drain contains a biofilm, then cleaning and sanitizing will not be sufficient. The bacteria will spread onto the floor through the drain onto employee boots and clothes. If a pressurized washer is used to clean drains, then the blast will spread listeria through the air onto equipment. If drains flood, production should be ceased immediately. Slot drain systems prevent bacteria from festering. Otherwise, frequent cleaning is the best way to prevent biofilms and listeria.

Detergents

Solvents, detergents, acids, and abrasive cleaners are the most common cleaners used.

Detergents are useful for lifting most soil from the surface. For grease, solvent cleaners can be used even when grease has burned onto the surface. Acid cleaners are used on mineral deposits such as hard water. Abrasive cleaners remove significant soil accumulations, generally in small areas. Because of its abrasive qualities, its use should be limited to surfaces unable to be cleaned by a detergent.

Surfaces must be cleaned of all organic material. Bacteria feeds off organic material and prevents proper sanitization.

Cleaners do not remove all microorganisms and bacteria. Sanitizers must be used in conjunction with cleaners.

Sanitizing

Sanitizing proceeds cleaning. It involves applying chemicals or heat to a cleaned surface. Although sanitization does not sterilize an environment, it is sufficient for most settings. Heat is useful because listeria cannot survive past 149 degrees fahrenheit or 60 degrees celsius. Properly cooked food will not contain listeria if it is heated past 149 degrees. Dishwashers reach this temperature and thus too are effective means to sanitize.

Chemicals are used for food-contact surfaces. Chlorine, iodine, and  quaternary ammonium compounds are all approved for food-contact surfaces.

Chlorine

Chlorine is the most common sanitizer. It is effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses along with all spores. Salmonella, cryptosporidium, and giardia are all resistant to chlorine. In instances involving chlorine resistant microorganisms, quaternary ammonium compounds work effectively. Chlorine is not effective against biofilms and is toxic when inhaled and when in contact with skin. There is a positive residual effect that keeps the surface free of bacteria for a limited time.

Iodine

Iodine is an acid sanitizer. It is effective against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and tuberculosis. Iodine has a slight resistance to listeria, meaning longer exposure times are necessary. To remove a listeria infested biofilm with iodine, soak the film. Because iodine is an acid, be careful when it comes into contact with other sanitizers. Chlorine mixed with an acid produces a deadly, toxic gas. If exposed, immediately remove everyone from the environment. Iodine is also extremely corrosive and causes chemical burns on the skin.

Proper protection is required when cleaning with acids like iodine.

Quaternary

Quaternary ammonium cleaner is effective against vegetative bacteria. Vegetative bacteria is bacteria that is not growing. QA is effective against biofilms and does not require soaking time like iodine. Like chlorine, QA provides residual activity keeping the surface sanitized for a limited time. It works against hard water although QA itself is not corrosive.

Sanitizers

Sanitizers react differently depending on the surface. Plastic, glass, metal, and wood may require different chemicals to properly sanitize. For food environments, this may not be as important. It is critical to understand the microorganisms that thrive in your environment to prepare proper sanitization procedures. For example, if you have a biofilm with listeria, then your iodine sanitizer may not be enough if the film is not soaked for an adequate time. In that case, QA could be used. Send environmental samples to labs in order to sanitize properly.

Sampling For Lab Tests

Listeria is unique in that contaminated foods appear and taste normal. Because of this, environmental monitoring should be a part of every facility procedures, along with a cleaning and sanitizing program. Swab sample collection will keep your facility safe. Samples will identify listeria and other pathogens.

Once you know what pathogens live in your environment, you will be able to use the right sanitizers to protect your customers.

Environmental sampling kits are designed to increase sample count through their large, foam-tipped swabs. In all kits, a swab is secured to the screw-cap in leak-resistant tubes. To test, remove the swab and wipe the sample area while rotating the swab. Return the swab to the tube and secure the cap. Laboratory analysis should be completed within 4 hours. Samples can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours at 35-39 degrees fahrenheit or 2-4 degrees celsius.

To prevent sample sanitizer contamination, sampling swabs come pre-moistened with neutralizing solutions. Neutralizing solutions can interact with microorganisms, potentially harming the pathogens you hope to test. To prevent this, your swab needs to be tailored to your environment. Contact our customer service if you need advice on which swab is best for you.

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Can Liners Lab Supplies Medical Biohazard Waste Can Liners Medical Exam Gloves Microbiology Safety Tips

Biohazard Waste Bags – What Goes In Which Bag?

BioHazard Waste Bags are an important part of medical and healthcare. Be safe, medical procedures also generate significant amounts of waste, which can pose a threat to humans.

Whereever you work, a dental office, veterinary practice, laboratory, or a hospital, it is imperative to take necessary precautions when disposing of medical waste.  

For this, health care facilities must understand the classification of medical biohazard waste bags, as well as the appropriate ways of using different hazardous trash bags.

Not all waste can be handled in the same manner.   

What Is Medical Waste?

First, it is important to understand what qualifies as medical waste. It comprises all materials that may be infectious or toxic.

Medical bio-hazard waste is any waste that is generated during research, testing, sampling or treatment of animals and humans.

Use BioHazard Waste Bags for any waste that is generated during research, testing, sampling or treatment of animals and humans.
Identifying and segregating biohazard waste is a key part to healthcare waste management. Infectious Waste Bags are a critical piece in the handling, treatment, and disposal of medical waste.

It can contain numerous types of contaminants, including body fluids and blood. Some examples are: bandages, petri dishes, glassware, used needles, scalpels, gloves, and leftover organic material on tissues and swabs.

Reasons for Strict Hazardous Waste Bags Rules

Medical waste poses if not handled properly can cause grave harm to our society.Items that might be contaminated with bodily fluids can result in the spread of disease.

Items like scalpels and needles are sharp and may carry pathogens and lead to spreading infections and illness.

You must properly dispose of these items and materials.

Hazardous waste may also include chemicals such as: heavy metals, disinfectants, solvents, and mercury.

These have high potential to cause organ damage, poisoning, and birth defects. More so, waste with radiation can lead to the enhanced risk of cancer, or cause burns.

In comparison to household waste, the disposal and collection of medical waste is rather costly.

Minimize medical waste generation to reduce costs.

Improper disposal of medical waste can result in increased health risks, including:

  • Used syringes on the seashores
  • Infectious blood being dumped in numerous landfills, thereby damaging the soil
  • Pathogens contaminating air, water, and drinking supplies
  • Animals and humans getting deadly diseases when accidentally making contact with medical waste
  • Sharp objects resulting in injuries, not to mention the spread of infections

Since millions of surgeries are performed every day, it is the cleaning staff’s duty to thoroughly clean out operation theaters after every operation. And dispose of medical waste properly, and sanitize the area.

The challenging part is the staff has to decide what waste belongs in which type of hazardous trash bag category.

Red and Yellow: What Items Go in Which Bio-hazard Can Liner?

All waste items that have been generated from immunization, treatment, or diagnosis of animals and human beings must be regarded as medical waste.

Non-medical waste that has been contaminated with bio-hazardous material, is also considered to be medical waste.

These waste items have different ways of disposal, which is why there are different categories of medical waste bags.

The two most common types of hazardous trash bags are red plastic bags and yellow plastic bags.

Red Hazardous Waste Bags

Red biohazard waste bags are utilized to gather anatomic waste and bodily fluids.

These bags can be used for the disposal of:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Blood-soaked cloths and drapes
  • specimen swabs
  • medical apparatus
  • any item that has been contaminated visibly with bodily fluids or blood

Bodily fluids include saliva with blood (dental procedure), amniotic fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, pleural fluid, synovial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, vaginal secretions, and semen.

Red Infectious BioHazard Waste Bags Liner, 15 Gal., 24x32, 250/case
Red Medical Waste Bags

Anything that has a visible amount of blood or other bodily fluid, even if it is difficult to determine what fluid it is, must be disposed of in red plastic bags. Any unfixed human organ or human tissue must also be disposed of in this bag.

Yellow Infectious Waste Liners

Yellow medical waste bags are utilized for disposing of clinical wastes, which include nappies, pads, aprons, soiled gloves, tissues, dressings, and swabs.

These bags must also be utilized for collecting fluid bags and IV lines, which are utilized for pharmaceutical medicines, syringe bodies, and disposable metallic parts.

It is important to note that yellow plastic bags must only be utilized for disposing of infectious and clinical waste, which contains pharmaceutical medicines and chemicals.

Avoid getting rid of placental waste, non-infectious waste, domestic waste, anatomical waste and pathological waste in these bags.

Red and Yellow BioHazard Waste Bags and Can Liners
Use Bio-Hazard Can Liners for Effective and safe healthcare waste management.

This shows how important it is for medical facilities to dispose of any waste that contains potentially contaminated by-products of medical treatment, research, or other medical activity. Whether it is from research laboratories, veterinary clinics, dentists, physician’s offices, or even funeral homes.

All types of medical waste must be disposed of in the right hazardous trash bags. Segregating medical waste allows medical staff to handle the waste easily and send the right items to the right disposal. Moreover, this is a great environmental practice that prevents the spread of diseases.

Bio-Hazard trash can liners and waste receptacles keep infectious waste separated from your other trash.

Also Consider Biohazard Specimen Transport Bags

When you need to take a biohazard sample from point A to point B, you need specialized pouches to do the job right.

Great for labs to keep staff, documents, and specimens safe during transport to testing.

Specimen Transport Bags, 100/pack
Zip-Style Biohazard Specimen Transport Bags for samples of swabs, urine, and other biohazard material that you need to safely transport.

If you are looking for such medical waste bags, then visit us Harmony as a distributor of lab and safety supplies that has been in the business for 15 years.


More useful information for healthcare professionals and more:

Do you know the difference between nitrile gloves and latex gloves?

Latex vs Nitrile Gloves | What’s the Difference?
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Foam Swabs Lab Supplies Microbiology Swabs

Foam Swabs 101: Everything You Need to Know About Foam Tipped Applicators

Foam swabs are a better solution for critical industries like cleanroom, medical device assembly, PCB assembly, and electronic manufacturing. Most people view swabs as common cotton fiber wrapped on a stick.

However, while cotton is commonly used, Foam applicator swabs are also used by technicians to perform meticulous tasks like repair, precision cleaning, and assembly.

Made of polyurethane foam, these swabs are open-celled foam that contains 100 pores per every square inch.

The pore-and-open-cell structure makes the foam swab extremely effective in trapping particles. Additionally, they thermally bonded, non-abrasive, and durable.

You can also use them with most cleaning compounds and organic compounds. Available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, which means there is swab for every cleaning application.

More Cleaning Power

Excellent Cleaning Capabilities

Foam swabs have great cleaning properties than cotton swabs. The foam swabs have ESD-safe handles that are thermally bonded and help prevent separation during use.

Another advantage of thermal bonding is that it eliminates the usage of contaminating adhesives, sprays, and coatings. Foam is free from amides, silicones, and DOP, which makes them compatible with most cleaning solvents.

Some foam applicators are even compatible with acetone.

Puritan Foam Swab, Round Tip, 5″, Polypropylene Shaft

Gentle for Delicate Surfaces

From cleaning printed circuit boards (PCB) assemblies to delicate CD’s, these swabs are soft and have low abrasion to protect delicate components.

PurSwab ESD Foam Pointed Tip Swab, 3″, Polypropylene Shaft

Uses of Foam Tipped Applicators

There are several areas in various environments that need to be cleaned regularly. However, most places are delicate or hard to reach, and most cleaning tools are either too large or cumbersome for the job.

Most people and businesses turn to foam tipped swabs for effective and precise cleaning.

Foam swabs are soft and non-abrasive, which makes them safe for use even in the most sensitive areas. This type of swabs also features thermal bonding, which helps prevent contamination.

They are not only soft for gentle cleaning, but also sturdy to avoid flexing, folding, and bending during regular use. You can also use them when they are wet or dry.

Puritan Foam Swab, Mini-Paddle Tip, 3″, Polypropylene Shaft

Removing Contaminants in Manufacturing Environments

If you produce pharmaceuticals, it’s important that your manufacturing environment remains free of any contaminants. Biological contaminants such as pathogens are often introduced by operators.

Fungi and mold may also develop or introduced during processing. Other contaminants include debris that may be introduced when handling some components like metal, fiber, glass pieces, lubricants, and plastic particles.

The best way to keep your pharmaceutical manufacturing environment clean is by using single-use foam tipped swabs.

Because they are only used once, you won’t have to worry about transferring contaminants to other surfaces.

Thanks to their low lint and super-absorbency properties, the swabs will clean all surfaces and equipment of industrial and biological contaminants without causing further issues.

Cleaning swabs for Printer cleaning and maintenance

Clog build up can damage your printer or ruin your work. However, you can use foam swabs to clean the capping stations, wiper blades, and printer heads during routine maintenance.

Unlike cotton swabs, soft foam tip swabs will leave no residue. Plus, they contain no contaminating adhesives.

Use the right foam printer cleaning swabs to maintain your equipment for clean and crisp images and avoid ink splotching and poor performance.

CleanTex Large Paddle Tip Foam Swab, Polypropylene Shaft, 100/bag

Precision cleaning with foam cleanroom swabs

While cotton swabs are more economical, when it comes to more precision cleaning, foam swabs are ideal, especially where lint should be avoided.

You can easily pair these swabs with disinfectants and cleaning fluids for unique applications.

Additionally, these swabs come in different sizes; they can be as small as 1.7mm with handles as short as 50mm or as long as 2.5 meters.

Tekniswab Conical Tip Foam Swab, 3″, Polypropylene Shaft, 500/bag

Foam gun cleaning swabs

Are you a gun enthusiast? You will want to keep your gun clean. Foam tip swabs are engineered to clean the action areas of your gun.

These swabs are lint-free and non-abrasive, washable and somewhat reusable during the same cleaning session.

Additionally, they are made in different sizes to make it easy to clean the rails, crowns, slides, trigger assemblies, and other hard to reach areas. These swabs have bendable handles that won’t easily break or splinter.

Puritan Cylindrical Tip Foam Swab, 2.7″, Polypropylene Shaft

Where to buy?

Are you in the market for the best swab that can help you reach those hard-to-reach areas? Depending on the area you want to clean, there are many different sizes and shapes available at Harmony.

Choose from Chemtonics, CleanTex, Coventry, Puritan Medical Products and Teknipure.

To start cleaning today, visit Foam Swabs at Harmony and see the broad assortment for your particular use.

foam swabs