Ultra-pure sterilant eyed for expanded biotech, pharmaceutical use



LITTLE FALLS, N.J.—A widely used water purification sterilant has been granted expanded Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval, from liquid form to fogging, providing new and more effective means to quell contamination in critical biotech and pharmaceutical processes.

Minncare Cold Sterilant, developed by Cantel Medical Corp. subsidiary Minntech Corp. (, has been primarily used to disinfect ultra-pure water production and distribution systems in such applications as kidney dialysis, pharmaceutical manufacturing and microelectronics. With the EPA's recent blessing, however, Minncare can now be used in a "dry fog" state to quickly decontaminate critical surfaces.

According to Minntech president and CEO Roy Malkin, fogging tests in Europe and Japan have indicated that, when used at specific combinations of concentration and droplet size, Minncare Cold Sterilant "can provide significant benefits over aldehyde-based fogging systems. In particular, Minncare fogging applications in biotechnology and pharmaceutical manufacturing cleanrooms are quite rapid and can minimize downtime."

The sterilant is a peracetic acid solution that stops organism growth by oxidizing microbial cell proteins and enzyme systems, and removes biofilms. Unlike aldehyde-based solutions, the Minncare sterilant does not emit toxic vapors. Biodegradable, it poses no threat to municipal waste treatment plants.

The EPA's approval for fogging applications may also expand Minncare's use beyond the biotech and pharm cleanrooms. Minntech's parent company, Cantel Medical Corp., is a provider of infection prevention and control products, including specialized medical device reprocessing systems, specialty packaging for shipping infectious and biological substances, and hollow fiber membrane filtration and separation technologies for both medical and non-medical applications.

"Today, the contamination of surfaces with airborne pathogens has become an area of increasing concern, and we believe that the utilization of Minncare in its dry fog state provides a safe and effective alternative for a variety of applications," notes Malkin.