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  • Writer's pictureMark Beaven

Why Contact Time is Important in Disinfection

In recent years, agricultural producers have become increasingly aware of the


importance of disinfection to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Disinfecting surfaces has become an essential part of in a farm’s biosecurity program. However, many people are not aware of the critical role that contact time plays in the disinfection process. In this blog, we will explore the importance of contact time in disinfection.

What is Contact Time in Disinfection?


Contact time is the amount of time a disinfectant needs to remain wet and in contact with a surface to kill all the microorganisms on it. The contact time of a disinfectant depends on several factors, such as the type and


concentration of the disinfectant, the temperature and humidity of the environment, and the type and number of microorganisms on the surface.

Why is Contact Time Important in Disinfection?

Effective disinfection requires sufficient contact time to ensure that all the microorganisms on a surface are killed. If the contact time is not sufficient, some microorganisms may survive, leading to the spread of infectious diseases. For example, the Avian Influenza virus can survive on surfaces for several hours to several weeks, depending on the surface material and the environmental conditions. Therefore, it is essential to use a disinfectant with a sufficient contact time to ensure that all the virus particles on a surface are killed.

Another reason why contact time is essential in disinfection is that it affects the efficacy of the disinfectant. Different disinfectants have different contact times, and using a disinfectant for a shorter time than recommended can reduce its efficacy. For example, if a disinfectant requires a contact time of 10 minutes but is only used for 5 minutes, it may not be able to kill all the microorganisms on a surface, leading to the spread of infectious diseases.

How to Ensure Sufficient Contact Time in Disinfection?

To ensure sufficient contact time in disinfection, it is essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the disinfectant being used. The instructions will provide information on the concentration of the disinfectant, the recommended contact time, and any other special instructions for use. It is important to use the disinfectant as instructed to ensure its efficacy. If due to environmental conditions such as temperature, the disinfectant is drying prior to reaching the recommended contact time, a producer may have to reapply the disinfectant.


This is one of the major advantages of Prevail Disinfectant. Using Prevail Concentrate at 1:40, the contact time is 5 minutes. When using Prevail Wipes or RTU, the contact time is only 3 minutes. When you compare that to the other traditional disinfectants that have a 10- or 20-minute contact time, one can easily start to see the advantages of using Prevail.

In the warmer months, typically disinfectants start to dry around the 7-to-8-minute mark, which means that if the producer is using a disinfectant other than Prevail, they should be reapplying to really achieve the results that they are after. This significantly adds to the cost of disinfection. Prevail disinfectant on the other hand has achieved its desired results with its very fast contact time of either 3 or 5 minutes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, contact time is a critical factor in disinfection. Disinfectants with shorter contact times such as Prevail are preferred. It is essential to use a disinfectant with a sufficient contact time to ensure that all the microorganisms on a surface are killed. Failure to use a disinfectant for the recommended contact time can reduce its efficacy and lead to the spread of infectious diseases. By doing so, we can ensure that our environments are safe and healthy for everyone.


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