Welcome to Professional and Technical Services (PTS) – experts in chemical disinfection for infection prevention. Our goal is to educate and provide you the latest resources related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces, medical devices and hands. As specialists in disinfectant chemistries, microbiology, environmental cleaning and disinfection, facility assessments and policy and procedure creation we are dedicated to helping any person or facility who uses chemical disinfectants.

Our expertise is utilized by Infection Preventionists, Public Health Experts, First Responders, Dentists, Physicians, Nurses, Veterinarians, Aestheticians, Environmental Services professionals and janitorial product distributors to develop more sustainable cleaning and disinfection practices in North America.

Our commitment to providing chemical disinfectant education is more than business, it is a passion.

Friday, March 23, 2018

When best laid plans get ruined…

I recently read a social post “I’m a perfectionist with a procrastinator complex. Someday I’m going to be awesome!”. I really wish I was witty enough to come up with these types of sayings, but am so thankful that someone is and that someone is just like me! I like to be organized. I like to be perfect and without a doubt I love to procrastinate. I tell myself I work better under pressure...

This week I was organized. I knew exactly what the topic of this week’s blog was going to be. I knew it on Monday. Tuesday, I could have written the blog but decided to wait until Thursday as that’s when I usually write it. Well….last night was spent in the hospital with my son.  Nothing too serious and readily handled with a nebulizer treatment and prednisone.  He’s back at school today with a note to the teacher apologizing if he’s a bit hyper. If you’ve not experienced a child (or me for that matter) on prednisone, it can be akin to someone drinking a can (or two) of Red Bull or any other energy drink.

So while I had a great blog topic (UVC disinfection of the soles of shoes), last night I had fun doing a mini-audit of infection prevention practices. There were a few breaches as one would unfortunately expect around PPE use and hand hygiene. I may have loitered in the hall surreptitiously observing the environmental staff going about their duties and am happy to say they were very thorough in their cleaning processes!  Kudos to them! 

I may also consider the disinfection of shoe soles in a different light (pun intended) after watching where my son walked and where the bottoms of his shoes ended up! You’ll just have to wait until next week to read about it!

Bugging Off!


Friday, March 16, 2018

#TBT but on a Fri-Yay: V-logging anyone?

Blogging is all about inspiration. Some weeks I have a topic and it speaks to me, while other weeks the topic and I just don’t jive.  This week I had the perfect topic considering I landed back home after a week away on a combo work and vacation trip with enough time to get most of the laundry done, pack up and jump back on a plane.  It was about the dirtiest things in airports. That topic is going to have to wait.

Today I was searching for something and I came across one of the videos I did a few years back for ISSA.  The video is a condensed version of a 45 minute presentation.  The presentation “How cleaning can control infection…..and costs” discusses just how much infectious diseases such as influenza cost society each year.  I briefly provide an explanation of how cleanliness not only saves lives, but can save money and share four scientific best practices that can be used to strengthen your argument, when you are trying to convince others that decontamination is not a cost, but an investment.

The reason I’m sharing the video is that I’ve recently toyed with adding V-logs (video blogs) to Talk Clean To Me. The reason I haven’t is like most people I hate watching myself. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to be self-critical.  I notice if my mouth moves funny, my necklace is crooked, I think I look old – you name it I’ve likely thought it.  Here’s the video – go ahead, critique away!

If you like the video and the idea of an occasional Vlog let me know!  If there’s enough interest I’ll start putting some together…but only if I shoot my good side!

Bugging Off!


Friday, March 2, 2018

#FF Spring in like a Lion

If you live in an area where winter equates to cold and snow, there really is nothing better than seeing your first robin and hearing the twittering of birds in the morning.  Spring is a time of renewal and growth. It’s a time to watch nature come alive with budding trees and blooming flowers, but it’s also a time when we tend to shake off the winter blahs. We feel alive and want to refresh our lives. Your refresh may come in the shape of purging closets to make way for your spring/summer wardrobe, a spring tune up for your car and removal of winter tires, hitting the gym to lose the extra pounds that somehow showed up or waking up your brain with a little education.

As noted in past blogs, the Teleclass Education by Webber Training is an international lecture series on topics related to infection prevention and control. The objective is to bring the best possible education to the widest possible audience with the fewest possible barriers when trying to access it.  Here's the list of teleclasses that may help you clear out the winter cobwebs!

Title of Teleclass
Jan 18th
Using the right model to calculate the financial implications of Clostridium difficile infection
Dr. Mairead Skally, Ireland
Jan 24th
Global infection prevention and control priorities 2018-2022: A call for action
Prof. Benedetta Allegranzi, Switzerland
Jan 25th
Practical approaches for monitoring cleaning in healthcare facilities
Prof. Curtis Donskey, USA
Feb 8th
Patients are your partners – why and how this partnership works
Judy Birdsell, Kim Neudorf, Ioana Popescu, Canada
Feb 15th
Refugee Health: A new perspective for infection prevention and control
Prof. Ruth Carrico, USA
Feb 21st
Improving the knowledge and receptiveness of medical students towards hand hygiene: Exploring new approaches
Dr. Rajneesh Kaur, Australia
Feb 22nd
Root cause analysis to support infection control in healthcare premises
Dr. Anne-Gaëlle Venier, France
Feb 28th
Why leadership matters for effective infection prevention and control
Julie Storr, Switzerland
March 8th
Infection prevention in nursing homes and palliative care
Prof. Patricia Stone, USA
March 14th
Climate change and the impact on infectious diseases
Prof. Mark Birch, New Zealand
March 15th
Clostridium difficile asymptomatic carriers: The hidden part of the iceberg
Dr. Yves Longtin, Canada
March 22nd
Challenges and facilitators to nurse-driven antibiotic stewardship: Results from a multisite qualitative study
Prof. Eileen J. Carter, USA

For more information on Webber Training, including a full list of the upcoming Infection Prevention and Control Teleclasses, please visit www.webbertraining.com

I hope many of you will take the opportunity to listen to these teleclasses and share them with your colleagues!  And don’t worry if the date you see above has passed!  All teleclasses are recorded and available to listen to at your leisure!

Bugging Off!


Friday, February 23, 2018

Priority status for priority diseases

I travel a fair bit. Enough to have priority status to skip lines, get upgrades and free drinks in lounges. It sounds glamorous, but travel for work takes its toll.  The perks you earn from all the travel basically balance out the hours of being stuck at airports due to delayed flights and nights away from home. Priority is status. It means you’re special. It means you’re treated differently or regarded to as being more important. For example, when boarding planes, the passengers are organized into zones. Zone 1 are the really special people who get to board first, Zone 2 are pretty special and by the time you get to Zone 4 or 5…well, you’re not so special.

The same can be said about diseases. There are the really special ones, the pretty special ones and the run of the mill ones that we’re not too concerned with. At the beginning of February, Disease Experts reviewed the numerous known diseases and identified those that based on the potential to cause a public health emergency and the fact there are no drugs or vaccines to cure and/or mitigate transition, urgently need our focus.  The “Zone 1” diseases identified were: Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus disease, Lassa fever, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Nipah and henipaviral diseases, Rift Valley fever (RVF), Zika and Disease X.

CCHF, Ebola, Marburg and Lassa are all haemorrhagic fevers that while limited to areas where animals that carry them live are of concern, not only because of transmission from person to person, but also because of the potential use in bioterrorism.  In relation to MERS-CoV and SARS, I will admit I have a bit of a soft spot for as it was during the 2003 SARS Outbreak that hit Toronto that I began my career in infection prevention. The most interesting disease of this group for me is Disease X.  Disease X does not exist.  It represents the knowledge that at any time a serious international epidemic could be caused by a currently unknown pathogen.  I suppose back in 2003, SARS would have been considered Disease X.  We did not know what we were dealing with. We simply knew that we were dealing with something that caused severe respiratory distress, was killing people and was showing up in cities around the globe.

There are of course additional diseases of interest.  These would be the Zone 2 and Zone 3 diseases. We need to mindful and not forget about them.  We need to ensure research is on-going to understand their attributes, develop better diagnostic tools and of course develop ways to treat these diseases and/or vaccines to prevent the transmission.

The long and the short is that while the current priority diseases listed in WHO’s Blueprint priority diseases are viruses, any type of pathogen can land on this list. The experts also discussed the importance and value of a One Health approach as many of our priority list diseases are zoonotic in nature. While we need to develop measures to protect human health, we cannot forget or underestimate the importance of considering animal health measures. These measures can help prevent and control animal diseases to minimize spill-over to humans and of course, protect our food supplies.

Bugging Off!


Friday, February 16, 2018

Post Valentine’s Day Incubation

I’ll admit, I can be a bit of a sap. I love my husband to the moon and back. Just looking at my son makes my heart melt. I love all my family members dearly and absolutely adore my parents and my father-in-law. I may not always show it, but I do. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, however, I don’t think that you need expensive dinners, gifts or flowers to show that you love someone. I’m a card girl. This year, the card I got from my husband was simple “My wife, my love. Then, now, and always, you’re the one for me.”  Yep. I’m a sap. To quote one of my favorite movies, Jerry Maguire,You had me at hello.

Valentine’s Day, love and infection control go hand in hand. Kissing and cuddling are among the most common signs of love. Kissing your loved ones is as natural and common as taking a breath, but did you know that our mouths are home to more microorganisms then I care to think about? While it’s true that some microorganisms are beneficial to our health, there are many disease producing germs such as Streptococcus mutans (a pathogen that causes pneumonia and sinusitis), herpes simplex virus (cold sores or canker sores), cold and flu virus, and of course “kissing disease” (mononucleosis) that may also reside there.

If our mouths are not bad enough, there are also surfaces and even food for us to contend with. If you went out for dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day you may have come into contact with germs left behind from the people who ate at the table prior to you, your server and even the people who prepped and cooked your meal. We had takeout…sushi. We love it, but I admit, eating raw fish can sometimes be a bit like playing Russian roulette.

You may think that Valentine’s Day is over for another year and for some, you may be in the clear. For others, you may need to wait another 24hr or so hours.  Why? Well, the incubation period for some of the more common diseases you make catch over Valentine’s Day range from 12 hours to 5 days. Mono on the other hand takes 4 – 7 weeks!  I hope you don’t have plans for the weekend.  Some of you may be coming down with the flu, a cold or norovirus. My brother and his family are coming for the weekend. I hear my brother has a man cold…  But he’s family and I love him.

You can be assured I will be washing my hands and wiping the surfaces in my house down this weekend. I’m heading on vacation in a couple of weeks and I do not plan on being sick for it!

Bugging Off!


Friday, February 9, 2018

Colon Infection Control

Contrary to my nickname “Niki the Nibbler”, I’m not ashamed to say I like to eat. I just don’t like feeling full and I really don’t like to have to buy new clothes because I’ve over indulged. I can certainly say that I’ve tried my fair share of diets…most unsuccessful or at best very short term success.  The truth is eating healthy, not over indulging EVERY day and moderate exercise is the best way to live a happy and healthy life.

In recent years there has been a craze for colon cleansing (a more pleasant way of saying eliminating poop). If you’ve ever looked into it, there are a number of different “therapies” (colonics, enemas, oral supplements, etc.) that claim to remove toxins from the colon and intestinal tract by removing any accumulations of poop. It’s been touted as a safe way to rid your body of the bad stuff and you may lose some weight or at least feel less bloated. Based on how colon cleansing has been positioned, many truly believe that it’s a way to enhance your well-being. The truth is you may be doing more harm than good including increasing your risk of contracting blood borne infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B or C.

Without getting into the nitty gritty of infection transmission, we likely all recall our high school health classes on sexually transmitted diseases. One such way is of course contact between mucous membranes (such as the anus, colon etc) and infected body fluids. Because of the idea that “Colon Cleansing” has health benefits, it’s not that hard to find a place to go. BUT, did you know that these places are not regulated?  By regulated, I mean that they do not have a college or regulating body to dictate what infection prevention and control measures need to be put in place to ensure infections are not transmitted?  This means they also generally fly under the radar of Public Health and are not subject to the same audits restaurants, spas, salons or tattoo parlors are!

You may be asking, why this topic? Well, a Public Health Unit in Ontario investigated two locations after receiving complaints from the public. It was found that the cleaning agents being used in at least one of the cases would have been completely inadequate to eliminate hepatitis C, hepatitis B, or HIV should they be present on the instruments used to perform the colonics. The long and the short is that there would be quite a significant risk for transmission of infectious diseases. While there have not been any confirmed cases of disease transmission, the two locations have been closed and anyone who used their services are being advised to undergo testing.

If you think this is an isolated incidence, think again. As far back as 1978 there have been outbreaks associated with colonics including 36 cases of amebiasis in western Colorado. According to the Mayo Clinic, bacterial infections are possible with colon cleansing if the equipment is contaminated. Their advice is to make sure that the equipment is disposable, sterile and has never been used before.  I would happen to agree to that particularly if there is no regulation, no clear infection control guidelines to be followed and auditing of facilities is not necessarily completed by Public Health. My hopes however, is this recent situation will put these facilities under some scrutiny as the procedure is definitely a risk for infection transmission. 

You can be assured, I will be keeping to my healthy eating and moderate exercise regime!

Bugging Off!