Cleaning and Disinfection Strategies for Spills

There is no evidence that bloodborne pathogens such as HBV, HCV, HIV and OPIM have been transmitted from a housekeeping surface such as floors, walls, or countertops. Nonetheless, cleaning and disinfection of contaminated areas are sound infection prevention practices.1,2 In patient-care areas, manage small spills by removing visible organic matter with absorbent material such as disposable paper towels; discard it into a leak-proof properly labeled container; and then, disinfect the area.1,2

Household bleach, 1:10 v/v dilution, is effective (“unregistered use”) depending on the amount of organic material; however, OSHA regulations require the use of an EPA-List D low-level disinfectant (i.e., hospital disinfectant with HIV and HBV claims); or an EPA-List E intermediate-level disinfectant (i.e., hospital disinfectant with tuberculocidal, HIV, and HBV claims); or an EPA-List B intermediate-level disinfectant (i.e., hospital disinfectant with tuberculocidal claim).1,6 PPE used during the cleaning and decontamination procedures should be appropriate for the task.5