Levels of clean for the crime scene cleanup industry. A topic by Amdecon.
Quoted from the CDC:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, recognizes several levels of clean. They are sterilization, high-level disinfection, intermediate-level disinfection, and low-level disinfection.
Sterilization means the use of a physical or chemical procedure to destroy all microbial life, including highly resistant bacterial endospores. The major sterilizing agents used in hospitals are: moist heat by steam autoclaving, ethylene oxide gas, and dry heat; however, there are a variety of chemical germicides (sterilants) that have been used for purposes of reprocessing reusable heat-sensitive medical devices and appear to be effective when used appropriately and according to manufacturer’s instructions. These chemicals are rarely used for sterilization, but appear to be effective for high-level disinfection of medical devices that come into contact with mucous membranes during use.
Never say that you are sterilizing something because you are not. You are disinfecting. Disinfection means the use of a chemical procedure that eliminates virtually all recognized pathogenic microorganisms but not necessarily all microbial forms (for example, bacterial endospores) on inanimate objects.
There are three levels of disinfection: high, intermediate, and low.
High-level disinfection kills all organisms, except high levels of bacterial spores, and is effected with a chemical germicide that has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration to be marketed as a sterilant.
Intermediate-level disinfection kills mycobacteria, most viruses, and bacteria with a chemical germicide registered as a tuberculocide by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Low-level disinfection kills some viruses and bacteria with a chemical germicide registered as a hospital disinfectant by the EPA.
The EPA requires antimicrobial pesticides to be registered. Pesticides can list (on the label) only the microorganisms that they have been proven effective against.
- Class A—Antimicrobial products, EPA-registered as sterilants
- Class B—EPA-registered, tuberculocide products effective against mycobacterium ssp
- Class C—EPA-registered, antimicrobial products effective against HIV-1 virus
- Class D—EPA-registered, antimicrobial products effective against HIV-1 and HBV
- Class E—EPA-registered, antimicrobial products effective against Mycobacterium ssp, HIV-1 and HBV
- Class F—EPA-registered, antimicrobial products effective against HCV
- Class G—EPA-registered, antimicrobial products for medical waste treatment