With the global outbreak of the pandemic coronavirus disease (Covid-19), hygiene and infection control measures are being taken more seriously, says Ideal Standard, which has a range of solution products aimed at bacterial infection control.
These include mixers, such as its Ceraplus 2 and Markwik 21+, and Contour 21+ basins and water closets.
The global leading manufacturer of high-quality bathroom solutions is familiar with the challenges faced in the healthcare sector, having worked with leading scientists and specialists to develop products that minimise the risks posed by hospital acquired infections (HAIs) and prevent the spread of germs.
Frederick Trzcinski, Marketing and Innovation Director – Mena, says: “Our dedication to innovation, commitment to product development and belief in sustainable design is manifested in products whose scope, style and technical performance is unrivalled and provide the highest levels of infection control. “
Elaborating on the products, Trzcinski says Ideal Standard’s new Ceraplus 2 range of mixers meets all relevant hygiene criteria in the healthcare sector, especially with regard to drinking water hygiene. It offers superior safety, excellent product quality plus economical water and energy consumption.
“The key feature of the Ceraplus 2 thermostat is the significant reduction of transferred heat. The thermal uncoupling of water-bearing parts from the fitting body significantly aggravates the living conditions of Legionella and Pseudomonas on the cold water side. Highly insulating Teflon elements combined with backflow preventers on both the hot water and cold water sides are the reasons for this effectiveness. Ceraplus 2 is built with spouts that self-drain completely after water is drawn, minimising the growth of bacteria,” he explains.
The Markwik 21+ range of mixers includes both sequential single lever and proximity sensor designs, providing hands-free operation and preventing the transfer of bacteria.
“The fittings are designed to have a very low static water volume, and feature material and simplified internal designs to reduce the risk of bacterial build-up. The range is almost entirely free of polymers, and contains more glass, brass and antimicrobial copper components, minimising the likelihood of Pseudomonas infection and other growths,” Trzcinski states.
Hot and cold water sides are used throughout the Markwik 21+’s design to maximise antimicrobial effect. A manual thermal flush feature allows hot water to be re-directed through the cold water piping, preventing the deposition of bacteria.
An integral thermostat enables water to be mixed closer to the point of discharge – eliminating the cold water ‘dead leg’ and minimising warm water areas, both of which can harbour germs. Auto-flush technology ensures the electronic fittings that are not used regularly are flushed through with water every 24 hours, also preventing the formation of bacteria.
All Markwik 21+ mixers are fully compatible with Pall Medical sterilising water filters, adding an extra barrier against infection.
Turning to the wash basin, Trzcinski says the Contour 21+ clinical basin is designed to minimise splashing and with back outlets that help reduce the risk of aerosolisation of bacteria. Developed from computational-fluid-dynamics (CFD) experts at UK’s Sheffield Hallam University, Contour 21+ basin features advanced drainage. Its simple waste assembly ensures water drains instantly and vertically, through a smooth pipe system, free of steps or hanging points. The outer surfaces feature thinner, more angular rims, steeper slopes and a smaller back area – all designed to avoid water pooling and facilitate easy cleaning, he adds.
“Research shows a high level of splashing occurs when taps run into clinical basins, spreading bacteria and viruses into the air, onto the face, clothing and the surrounding area, such as hospital rooms,” he elaborates. “This splashing and spreading of germs can reach up to 2 m in distance. Ideal Standard has designed the unique HydroFin – an innovative fin to the base of the Contour 21+, which is moulded into the ceramic and cuts splashing by over 90 per cent.
The range also includes integral SmartGuard antimicrobial additive technology. This effective antimicrobial protection contains ionic silver that reduces the threat of cross-contamination and helps keep surfaces clean and hygienic across their lifetime.”
The Contour 21+ and Markwik 21+ ranges fit seamlessly together, providing a fully integrated tap and basin system that offers the optimum in clinical hygiene.
Meanwhile, Contour21+ WCs, which feature rimless design and antimicrobial surfaces, help create the most hygienic healthcare environments possible.
“Traditional WC rims provide an ideal habitat for bacteria. The design of Contour 21+ WCs removes this haven for pathogens whilst making the units easier and quicker to clean,” he adds.