Italian Higher Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore della Sanita')


This a translation of an extract from a report by the Italian Higher Institute of Health. 

The document presents an overview concerning “sanitization” intended as cleaning and disinfection in non healthcare settings taking into account scientific evidence of COVID-19 virus persistence on different surfaces and efficacy of cleaning and disinfection products for indoor environments.

The document also considers the environmental impact and human health risk associated with the use of the products. It includes indications about textile disinfection treatment (to be carried out in indoor environments for clothing used in fitting or dressing rooms, upholstered furniture, curtains).

A glossary for terms used in the disinfection field, clarifying differences between terms such as disinfectant, sanitizing, environmental sanitizer and detergent for surfaces is also included.

UV-C radiation has the ability to modify the DNA or RNA of microorganisms, preventing them from reproducing and therefore being harmful. For this reason it is used in various applications, such as the disinfection of food, water and air. In vitro studies have clearly shown that UV-C light is able to inactivate 99.99% of the influenza virus in aerosols. The virucidal and bactericidal action of UV-C rays has been demonstrated in studies on the MHV-A59 virus, a mouse analogue of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV- 1. The application to droplets containing MERS-CoV has resulted in undetectable levels of the MERS-CoV virus after only 5 minutes of exposure to the UV-C emitter (a percentage reduction greater than 99.99%) and were also effective in sterilizing blood samples.

The study by Bedell et al. describes the experiments concerning the efficacy studies of a rapid, efficient and automated method of surface disinfection based on UV-C radiation, potentially able to prevent the spread of viruses in healthcare facilities.

Gruppo di Lavoro ISS Biocidi COVID-19. Raccomandazioni ad interim sulla sanificazione di strutture non sanitarie nell’attuale emergenza COVID-19: superfici, ambienti interni e abbigliamento. Versione del 15 maggio 2020. Roma: Istituto Superiore di Sanità; 2020. (Rapporto ISS COVID-19 n. 25/2020)

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