Oct 30, 2007

MRSA “Super Bug” Not Ozone Resistant

Sanitizing towels, linens, and surfaces with ozonated water has been shown to be extremely effective in the reduction of Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria and its more drug-resistant and harder to treat strain known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is spreading rapidly in the US population.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that in 2005, 94,000 people contracted serious, or invasive, staph infections and 19,000 of them died; rates three times the previous estimates.

Both staph and MRSA can cause more-serious skin infections, or they can lead to pneumonia or infections of the bloodstream, ear, urinary tract, or the lining of the brain. MRSA had nearly always been connected to health care but is now spreading into communities such as schools, athletic facilities, health clubs and hospitality industries at about 15% of MRSA cases in the United States per the CDC report.

CDC recommendations for preventing infections in the general public focus on good hygiene including regular and rigorous hand washing, showering, and not sharing towels, razors and other potentially contaminated items/surfaces with others. CDC advises that you always practice good hygiene, for example in health clubs, use a barrier such as clothing or a towel between your skin and shared equipment. They also recommend wiping down frequently contacted surfaces such as phones, stair banisters, desk tops, key boards, faucets, tubs, sinks, floors, toilets and shower stall surfaces before and after use.

Research and real world application studies conducted by members of the International Ozone Association (IOA), their customers and testing agencies have shown ambient temperature wash of laundry and surfaces with ozonated water to be effective at reducing pathogenic organisms including Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteria and MRSA by up to 99.999999%.

In a 2006 paper presented at the International Ozone Association Conference in Arlington Texas, “Ozone in the Laundry Industry -- Practical Experiences in the United Kingdom”, Cardis, et. al. reported on comparative testing conducted by Microsearch Laboratories (UK) confirming that low temperature ozone wash is extremely effective at inactivating organisms typically found on garments, towels and linens from healthcare facilities. that the paper also included information that “The “superbug” MRSA that is prevalent in hospitals and nursing homes, is quickly eradicated during ozone/cold water washing. This infectious microorganism is not affected by standard techniques of thermal washing with bleaching.”