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Guideline for disinfection and sterilization in healthcare facilities, 2008
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    "The Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008, presents evidence-based recommendations on the preferred methods for cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of patient-care medical devices and for cleaning and disinfecting the healthcare environment. This document supercedes the relevant sections contained in the 1985 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guideline for Handwashing and Environmental Control. Because maximum effectiveness from disinfection and sterilization results from first cleaning and removing organic and inorganic materials, this document also reviews cleaning methods. The chemical disinfectants discussed for patient-care equipment include alcohols, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, iodophors, ortho-phthalaldehyde, peracetic acid, phenolics, quaternary ammonium compounds, and chlorine. The choice of disinfectant, concentration, and exposure time is based on the risk for infection associated with use of the equipment and other factors discussed in this guideline. The sterilization methods discussed include steam sterilization, ethylene oxide (ETO), hydrogen peroxide gas plasma, and liquid peracetic acid. When properly used, these cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization processes can reduce the risk for infection associated with use of invasive and noninvasive medical and surgical devices. However, for these processes to be effective, health-care workers should adhere strictly to the cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization recommendations in this document and to instructions on product labels. In addition to updated recommendations, new topics addressed in this guideline include 1) inactivation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, bioterrorist agents, emerging pathogens, and bloodborne pathogens; 2) toxicologic, environmental, and occupational concerns associated with disinfection and sterilization practices; 3) disinfection of patient-care equipment used in ambulatory settings and home care; 4) new sterilization processes, such as hydrogen peroxide gas plasma and liquid peracetic acid; and 5) disinfection of complex medical instruments (e.g., endoscopes)." - p. 7

    Environmental Fogging Update [December 2009]

    Clarification Statement: CDC and HICPAC have recommendations in both 2003 Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities and the 2008 Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities that state that the CDC does not support disinfectant fogging. Specifically, the 2003 and 2008 Guidelines state:

    • 2003: “Do not perform disinfectant fogging for routine purposes in patient-care areas. Category IB”

    • 2008: “Do not perform disinfectant fogging in patient-care areas. Category II”

    These recommendations refer to the spraying or fogging of chemicals (e.g., formaldehyde, phenol-based agents, or quaternary ammonium compounds) as a way to decontaminate environmental surfaces or disinfect the air in patient rooms. The recommendation against fogging was based on studies in the 1970’s that reported a lack of microbicidal efficacy (e.g., use of quaternary ammonium compounds in mist applications) but also adverse effects on healthcare workers and others in facilities where these methods were utilized. Furthermore, some of these chemicals are not EPA-registered for use in fogging-type applications.

    These recommendations do not apply to newer technologies involving fogging for room decontamination (e.g., ozone mists, vaporized hydrogen peroxide) that have become available since the 2003 and 2008 recommendations were made. These newer technologies were assessed by CDC and HICPAC in the 2011 Guideline for the Prevention and Control of Norovirus Gastroenteritis Outbreaks in Healthcare Settings, which makes the recommendation:

    “More research is required to clarify the effectiveness and reliability of fogging, UV irradiation, and ozone mists to reduce norovirus environmental contamination. (No recommendation/unresolved issue)”

    The 2003 and 2008 recommendations still apply; however, CDC does not yet make a recommendation regarding these newer technologies. This issue will be revisited as additional evidence becomes available.

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