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Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2019 Jan 31;8:24. doi: 10.1186/s13756-019-0467-9. eCollection 2019.

Assessment of early onset surface damage from accelerated disinfection protocol.

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1School of Materials Engineering, Purdue University, 701 W. Stadium Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA.
2Department of Food Science, Purdue University, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA.
3Diversey Inc, Charlotte, NC 28273 USA.
4Environmental & Ecological Engineering, Purdue University, 701 W. Stadium Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA.



The objective of this study was to evaluate the extent and potential mechanisms of early onset surface damage from simulated wiping typical of six-months of routine disinfection and to assess the subsequent microbial risk of surfaces damaged by disinfectants.


Eight common material surfaces were exposed to three disinfectants and a neutral cleaner (neutral cleaner, quaternary ammonium, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite) in accelerated aging tests to simulate a long-term disinfection routine. Materials were also immersed in dilute and concentrated chemical solutions to induce surface damage. Surfaces were chemically and physically characterized to determine extent of surface damage. Bactericidal efficacy testing was performed on the Quat-based disinfectant using a modified version of EPA standard operating procedure MB-25-02.


The wiping protocol increased surface roughness for some material surfaces due to mechanical abrasion of the wiping cloth. The increased roughness did not correlate with changes in bactericidal efficacy. Chemical damage was observed for some surface-disinfectant combinations. The greatest observed effects from disinfectant exposure was in changes in wettability or water contact angle.


Early onset surface damage was observed in chemical and physical characterization methods. These high-throughput material measurement methods were effective at assessing nanoscale disinfectant-surface compatibility which may go undetected though routine macroscale testing.


Contact angle; Disinfectant; Material testing; Roughness; Surface damage

Conflict of interest statement

Not applicable.Not applicable.The authors declare that they have no competing interests.Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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