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Why Enzymes Have Revolutionised The Way We Disinfect

Jul 4, 2008
Disinfectant is used for a surprising amount of uses in the chemical, domestic and scientific spheres. It is normally purchased as tablets or in a powder compound, the mixture usually following a ratio of one percent disinfectant and the rest water. Some forms of disinfectant are extremely powerful without being to chemically harsh, an example would be Virkon. It is useful against foot and mouth disease, avian influenza and even SARS but also has uses in the aquaculture field.

In ponds and large tanks these disinfectant tablets will effectively cleanse the water of bacteria, fungi and microbial spores. Based upon the original work of T.R. Auchencloss it represents what a modern disinfectant is, powerful and yet not harsh to the surrounding environment. stronger disinfectants are used more widely in the disinfecting of livestock and animal enclosures as well as hospitals and other laboratory settings. Being able to control such highly contagious pathogens makes modern disinfectant in either tablets or powder one of the most powerful defences we have to prevent the spreading of disease.

Ultimately it is a safe disinfectant perfect for use in the agricultural sphere, farmers can use the tablets easily as they give a simple way of measuring concentration. In addition, it is often a tiresome and difficult task to empty livestock areas for cleaning, thankfully this type of disinfectant allows farmers to clean livestock areas without having to move animals; it is perfectly safe to use in farm conditions. Even with this level of safety however it manages to kill all known viral strains, fungi, bacteria families and mycoplasma.

The specially formulated disinfectant that is used in the aquaculture industry has had some fundamental changes to ensure that it does not harm fish and other inhabitants. One of the ways it has been made safer for aquaculture use has been through the removal of certain cleaning agents present in agricultural disinfectant. As it is less of an issue to remove dirt from surfaces in aquaculture management it is possible to remove some of the harsher abrasives to ensure that the safety of fish and other creatures is in the primacy.

Aquaculture disinfectant of this variety also has a number of other differences from its cousin used in the agricultural sphere. Instead of tablets it is more common to have the solution mixed from a powder; this is due to the control of dilution being more important in the aquaculture field. In addition, aqua-cultural disinfectant has a stronger colouration than its agricultural counterpart; once again this is so dilution can be controlled more accurately. The dilution is normally measured using a colour chart containing different shades of the distinctive pink disinfectant. By matching the solution to the chart it is possible to accurately measure its strength.

The use of scientifically developed disinfectants has become widespread in the food production industry as a way of cleaning and disinfecting machinery and production areas. Its safety is so certain that governments around the world have deemed it a safe disinfectant to be used in organic food production. That is as long as the maximum exposure level is not met; this level however is predefined and hence those in food production know to avoid it. The reasons behind its safety lie with its method of disinfecting. Rather than harsh and abrasive chemical disinfectants modern formulas rely upon enzymes that actively work towards breaking down viral strains and bacteria.

Today the uses for this disinfectant are far reaching, with some industries recommending it as a matter of course and even some government departments advising its usage it has revolutionised the way we disinfect. Thanks to the enzymes it is now possible to disinfectant without harsh chemical additives making the process easier and safer.
About the Author
Industry expert Thomas Pretty looks into why Virkon tablets and powder is now the disinfectant of choice in a number of spheres
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