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, 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!

Nicole

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!

Nicole

Friday, February 2, 2018

Are you ready for some football?!

My son plays hockey, so I’ve had to become a hockey mom. The truth is even though I’m Canadian, hockey’s not my first choice when it comes to sports. Football on the other hand is a different story! This weekend signifies the end of the season with SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! I don’t get to host a party or partake in our annual tradition of an “all fried food day” since most of our weekend will be spent at the rink for a hockey tournament… You can be assured, I will somehow find a way to watch the game and as a Seahawks fan I am NOT cheering for New England!

What does football and the Super Bowl have to do with infection prevention? Well, you have crowds, you have food and it is influenza season. But influenza, Norovirus, food poisoning or the common cold is not the only infection prevention concern. In 2015, Public Health Officials in Arizona were battling a measles outbreak. The week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, 1000 people were being monitored after being exposed to infected people. Similarly, in 2012, Public Health Officials in Indiana began outbreak management after a couple who had been exposed but were not yet showing symptoms of infection attended the festivities at the Super Bowl Village and put 200,000 at risk of possible exposure.

So what’s in store for this year when we are experiencing one of the worst flu seasons? Well, the organizers are taking things seriously! Staff are wiping down all exhibits multiple times a day with sanitizers and disinfectants, and volunteers with the United Way are disinfecting the virtual reality equipment between each use at their Super Bowl Experience booth. Health Officials are urging Super Bowl visitors to get vaccinated before arriving in Minnesota. Once they arrive, they are being reminded to wash their hands with soap and water more frequently and have hand sanitizer on hand. It’s going to be crowded. There are going to be some sick people, which means there will be germs floating around especially in crowded areas. Aside from getting vaccinated, washing your hands frequently is the other way to avoid getting sick, and after the game is over avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth (unless you’ve washed your hands first).

But what about the food? Well, according to our family motto “if it’s fried, it must be tried”!  But to be safe when it comes to eating safely at a Super Bowl party, avoid eating food that has been left a room temperature for too long. If you’re scarfing down dips or other cold-favoring treats, eat the ones that are served on ice or have been kept cold in the fridge.  Allowing these foods to get warm can lead to unintended consequences….if you know what I mean! The same goes for food that needs to be served hot like chili or other meat products.  Avoid a penalty and keep them warm!

If you’re around Oakville on Sunday you may hear me singing the Eagles fight song:
Fly Eagles Fly! On the road to victory!
Fly Eagles Fly! Score a touchdown!
1, 2, 3! Hit'em low! Hit'em high!
And watch our Eagles Fly! On the road to victory!

Bugging Off!


Nicole