Key Advice About Disinfectants and Sanitizers: An Interview with Bob Stahurski
The following interview with Nyco President, Bob Stahurski, appeared in the July/August, 2016 issue of Maintenance Sales News, and is reprinted with permission.
When using disinfectants and sanitizers, a key piece of advice sounds simple, but often is ignored, according to Nyco Products President & CEO Bob Stahurski. That advice is: “Read the label.”
“Beyond that, we explain to people it’s important to know what they are trying to eliminate through disinfection, and how this can be accomplished. Proper dilution, application and dwell time must all be understood and followed,” Stahurski said. “These three areas are critical, and where we spend a lot of our time when it comes to distributor and end-user education.”
Training that centers on cross-contamination issues is also essential, according to Stahurski. This is especially true at end-user facilities in the health care, senior care, food processing and K-12 educational segments. “Nyco also provides training modules covering such subjects as bloodborne pathogens as well as pandemic outbreak prevention and recovery,” he added.
Nyco Products Company is a manufacturer of specialty cleaning chemicals and sanitary maintenance brands. Founded in 1920 and family-owned, Stahurski said Nyco enjoys a rich history of producing innovative cleaning products and solutions for a wide range of industries and markets. This includes building and facilities maintenance, janitorial and industrial cleaning, food processing, health care and education.
“With nearly a century of experience in chemical formulating, packaging, private labeling and branding, Nyco manufactures cleaning chemicals for nearly every application,” he said. “Our line of high performance cleaning solutions extends from cleaning for health and safety to heavy-duty industrial equipment and parts washing, and includes over 450 stock and custom formulations.”
Environmental stewardship and a commitment to the sustainability of environment and community are other high priorities at Nyco Products. “We offer a full range of green-certified and environmentally preferable products. Our customer promise is, ‘We build better brands to help your business grow.’ There is a desire for greener and safer-use products,” Stahurski said. “More importantly, however, is that proper product selection and use, when it comes to disinfection, should take precedence. Improper dilution and use are far more harmful to the environment.
“Today, we help distributors, wholesalers and end-users build their own private brands and product lines through our proprietary private label branding program: Building Better Brands®. This is our trademark process, and our differentiator from being just a private label house. A lot of companies have their names on products, but they don’t have a brand strategy, brand promise or brand value in place. Nyco works across four platforms in this area. We start with business strategy, then move to product strategy, brand development and brand building. Beyond these steps, Nyco helps with sales support and provides branded marketing materials, training and education. We also help with promotional programs and assist customers as they build microsites for a particular brand.”
One of several disinfectants provided by Nyco Products is Sani-Spritz Spray, a one-step disinfectant cleaner effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria. It’s also virucidal against HIV-1, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C; is fungicidal; and inhibits the growth of mold and mildew and their odors, when used as directed. “This product has been formulated to aid in the reduction of cross-contamination issues not only in hospitals, but also schools, institutions and industries,” Stahurski said. “It cleans, disinfects and deodorizes in one labor-saving step; meets AOAC efficacy standards for hospital disinfectants; and kills Pandemic 2009 H1N1 Influenza A Virus. Sani-Spritz is one of our broadest spectrum disinfectants.”
Stahurski recommends jan/san distributors take the time necessary to truly understand what their customers’ needs and requirements are when it comes to disinfectants.
“The needs and requirements of health care professionals, for example, are often different compared to those involved with K-12 education,” he said. “There are multiple factors involved for evaluation when selecting the right disinfectant.” This includes:
- Effectiveness — Does the disinfectant in question kill microbes and pathogens that are of top concern at a particular facility?;
- Kill Time — The market trend is to continually develop products with shorter effective kill times. How quickly does a disinfectant product kill a specific pathogen? Is it 30 seconds or 5 minutes? Is the task and cleaning frequency realistic to the required label directions for keeping surfaces visibly wet in order to comply with the required kill time? Just simply spraying and wiping will not achieve an acceptable kill or disinfection;
- Safety — Is the product safe to use for facility occupants and safe for the surfaces it is being applied to? Read the label for any personal protective equipment (PPE) required for the specific disinfectant being applied, and be sure a disinfectant will not damage a specific surface; and,
- Ease of Use — Are the use directions practical for a particular facility? Some products require multiple cleaning steps that may not always be followed. Is the facility occupied or vacant when being cleaned? For health care settings, is the product “patient invasive?”
“Sani-Spritz Spray cleans and disinfects in just one step, making it a top choice for an easy, ready-to-use disinfectant that addresses a broad spectrum of bacteria, viruses, fungi and mildew in hospitals, institutions and industry,” Stahurski said. “Selecting the right products, and developing a standard operational procedure (SOP) to prevent disease and infection outbreak, will eliminate potential negative publicity and high pandemic recovery expense.”
Officials at Nyco Products are seeing an increased demand for disinfectants and sanitizers throughout different market segments, such as senior care, education, hospitality, food service and veterinary care. “Public awareness of microorganisms continues to grow with each new outbreak,” Stahurski said. Nyco Products works closely with members of a partnered supplier community to develop and bring to market disinfectants that effectively kill a broad spectrum of bacteria and viruses. Reduced kill times, greater effectiveness across a larger spectrum of microorganisms and the increased need for neutral pH levels are all driving future product development.
“There are three primary manufacturers of quaternary ammonium compounds (used to make disinfectants) in the supplier community. We found it’s best to form partnerships within this community, helping us pull resources in an effort to develop the most effective disinfectants, with the shortest kill claim times,” Stahurski said.
The U.S. EPA is in the process of changing its testing protocols pertaining to disinfectants.“There are products (in today’s marketplace) that, in the past, were able to pass protocol testing but may no longer be able to do so,” Stahurski said. “A change in testing protocols is good in the long run for safety, health and the environment, but it also has us (at Nyco) focusing on new product development.”
He added that future changes in surface technology could also lead to new products, when it comes to cleaners, disinfectants and sanitizers. “I’m always fascinated with surfaces being engineered to resist microbe survival. I’m also very interested in the cleaning applications for these new surfaces,” Stahurski said.
As for the future of Nyco Products, he added that the company plans to continue experiencing significant growth across all of its market verticals. This includes facility supply, education, government, hospitality, food service, transportation, industrial, manufacturing and long-term care.
“Our customer service team is engaged daily in helping distributors and end-users select the right products, including disinfectants and sanitizers, for their facility needs. Nyco’s website interface, meanwhile, allows customers to make a product selection by entering the specific bacteria or virus they are looking to control,” Stahurski said. “At Nyco, we also believe in helping customers grow their own brands and businesses. We offer specialized services so they can bring their products effectively to market.”
Officials at Nyco Products are focused as well at keeping customers aware of new regulatory requirements, Stahurski added, along with new developments in packaging, marketing and work loading/cleaning design.