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Since 2007 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has replaced some uses of the usual alkaline (pH >11), water-diluted bleach by dilute “amended” or “pH-adjusted” bleach, acidified to near-neutralilty (pH ~7) with white vinegar. As a sporicidal dis

Since 2007 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has replaced some uses of the usual alkaline (pH >11), water-diluted bleach by dilute “amended” or “pH-adjusted” bleach, acidified to near-neutralilty (pH ~7) with white vinegar. As a sporicidal dis

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Edward (E. Barry) commented on Better Personal Protective Equipment + Pipe dream Cure talk

See my comments about your "immersion" suggestion, on your other posting in the research section. -- ebskolnick

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Edward (E. Barry) commented on Better/Safer/CoolerProtective Equipment

Lisa, I have some comments on your point, "before the workers take off the protective suits, they should totally immerse their bodies in bleach or chlorine... For however many minutes it takes to kill Ebola, they should stay immersed."

Firstly, note that instead of immersion, Medicin Sans Frontieres has implemented a standard practice of manual spray-disinfection of a healthcare worker's PPE by a "buddy" before its removal, according to the NGO's illustrative poster available at URL: "https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/edbd3865-4698-4f4e-bf04-a45ecdaff57e.pdf", as linked to the OpenIDEO's "Fighting Ebola Challenge" Brief at URL: "https://openideo.com/challenge/fighting-ebola/brief.html".

Secondly, please see my own OpenIDEO "Research" phase contribution at URL: "https://openideo.com/challenge/fighting-ebola/research/the-epa-has-adopted-a-better-bleach-innovation-of-acid-neutralized-ph-adjusted-bleach-replacing-the-usual-alkaline-water-dilutions-for-facility-surface-and-ppe-disinfections-during-anthrax-incidents-and-decon-exercises-why-not-then-for-ebola".

In it, I advocate innovative replacement of the customary use of water-diluted, alkaline chlorine bleach, by a "better bleach" formulation, i.e., by acid-neutralized, "pH-adjusted" bleach, as has been done and studied for some years by US EPA for sporicidal (not virocidal) PPE-disinfection and facility surface-decontamination purposes, as an anthrax-bioterrorism response-preparedness and "anthrax incident" recovery technique.

Because pH-adjusted bleach would have a vastly greater fraction of its "free available chlorine" in the form of potently-germicidal hypochlorous acid (HClO), than does customarily water-diluted, strongly-alkaline chlorine bleach, it would notionally act much faster, and effectively in much higher dilutions (lower concentrations) than does alkaline bleach, as an Ebola virus-inactivating disinfectant, specifically.

If this is so -- and it needs scientific study to demonstrate its safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness under "real world" conditions of widespread applications to the global Ebola response -- then it might mean that manually-sprayed applications of disinfectant for a very short contact-time (e.g., notionally, for less than a minute) followed promptly by a water rinse, might reliably do the job of complete Ebola-virus inactivation, thereby eliminating any need for the much more costly and risky "immersion" procedure, which you suggest. -- ebskolnick

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Edward (E. Barry) commented on Ebola is simply a virus and can be treated through safe handling

Cameron, I agree that "If there was some way to clean [personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles, or "suits"] without risking infection, a huge amount of money could be saved..." To that end, please see my own OpenIDEO "Research" phase contribution at URL: "https://openideo.com/challenge/fighting-ebola/research/the-epa-has-adopted-a-better-bleach-innovation-of-acid-neutralized-ph-adjusted-bleach-replacing-the-usual-alkaline-water-dilutions-for-facility-surface-and-ppe-disinfections-during-anthrax-incidents-and-decon-exercises-why-not-then-for-ebola".

In it, I advocate innovative replacement of the customary use of water-diluted, alkaline chlorine bleach, by a "better bleach" formulation, i.e., by acid-neutralized, "pH-adjusted" bleach, as has been done and studied for some years by US EPA for sporicidal (not virocidal) PPE-disinfection and facility surface-decontamination purposes, as an anthrax-bioterrorism response-preparedness and "anthrax incident" recovery technique.

Because pH-adjusted bleach would have a vastly greater fraction of its "free available chlorine" in the form of potently-germicidal hypochlorous acid (HClO), than does customarily water-diluted, strongly-alkaline chlorine bleach, it would notionally act much faster, and effectively in much higher dilutions (lower concentrations) than does alkaline bleach, as an Ebola virus-inactivating disinfectant, specifically.

If this is so -- and it needs scientific study to demonstrate its safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness under "real world" conditions of widespread applications to the global Ebola response -- then it could well offer an answer to what you are looking for, i.e., for a way to reliably disinfect (inactivate) Ebola virus contamination of PPE surfaces, without damaging the equipment, so that it can be reused repeatedly instead of being discarded as hazardous waste, after only one use.

One caveat: conceptually, while highly-diluted pH-adjusted bleach might serve well as a reliable Ebola virus inactivator, it might not be as effective against other, more resistant microbial pathogens present in spattered body fluids, etc. So additional cleaning steps would be advisable, before re-using equipment disinfected by dilute pH=adjusted bleach, in order to protect healthcare workers from other kinds of infectious diseases (as well as from the toxic effects of exposures to any lingering disinfectant residues). -- ebskolnick