What is contact time and what happens if the surface dries before the stated contact time on a Sani-Cloth® and Sani-Prime®product label?
The contact time listed on the product label is the total amount of time that it takes to inactivate ALL of the microorganisms listed on the product label. This time is typically referred to in minutes, and should be communicated to staff members that are utilizing the disinfectant. In certain geographies and also in settings where temperature, relative humidity, and air changes may vary, it is possible that the surface may not remain visibly wet for the designated contact time. Current EPA guidance requires that the treated environmental surface or equipment remains wet for the contact time stated on product label. Additional wipes may be needed in order to comply with the EPA guidance, however the overall contact time does not change.
While the EPA requires the treated environmental surfaces to remain wet for the stated contact time, leading researchers in infection prevention offer an alternate view. In a commentary published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (March 2018, vol. 39, no. 3, pp 229-331), Dr. W.A. Rutala and Dr. D. J. Weber suggest that contact time and treatment time are mutually exclusive. They suggest that treatment time, irrelevant of wet time, should be followed by healthcare workers for wipes and sprays (except bleach products.) PDI will continue to monitor the science closely and provide their customers with the latest information as federal law permits.