1. What does Thermo Fisher Scientific mean when it says it has evaluated cleaning agents?

Testing conducted on cleaning agent(s) listed in Thermo Fisher Scientific instrument product user manuals has demonstrated the cleaning agent does not damage our products after repeated cleanings. Commonly used decontamination agents prescribed by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Laboratory Biosafety Manual also include:

Sodium hypochlorite: Sodium hypochlorite (1:10 dilution of domestic bleach) that gives 5g/l concentration is a general all-purpose disinfectant. However, it should be prepared fresh each time. Avoid mixing bleach with acid as this would release toxic chlorine gas.

Alcohols: 70% ethanol or 70% isopropronaol are active against vegetative bacteria, fungi and lipid-containing viruses but not against spores. Their actions on non-lipid viruses are variable. Alcohols are flammable and must not be used near open flames.

Hydrogen peroxide: A strong oxidant and can be potent broad-spectrum germicides. However, a 3-6% solution of hydrogen peroxide alone is relatively slow and limited as germicides. Hydrogen peroxide can be corrosive and affect skins and mucous membranes. Safety precautions should be exercised when dealing with the chemical.

Source: http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/biosafety

2. What would happen if I use a cleaning agent that has not been evaluated or has not passed material compatibility testing?

The Thermo Fisher Scientific list of cleaning agents identifies which agents have been evaluated for cleaning compatibility with the materials used in our products. Cleaning agents that have not been evaluated or have not passed material compatibility testing could have an unknown or harmful impact if used on device surfaces. Impacts may include degrading cosmetic or functional performance, damaging device surfaces or labels, causing immediate equipment failure or even causing longer term latent failures.

3. Has Thermo Fisher Scientific evaluated cleaning agents for effectiveness for SARS-CoV-2?

Thermo Fisher Scientific has not tested any cleaning agents for disinfecting effectiveness against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. In March of 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published list of disinfectants and required contact times that claim to be effective for use against SARS-CoV-2. The complete list is available at: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

4. Where are additional global reference sites for the cleaning and disinfection for SARS-CoV-2?

5. What if the supply of disinfectants that the EPA has identified as being effective against SARS-CoV-2 has been exhausted?

Your product user manual includes the cleaning agents that Thermo Fisher Scientific has evaluated for material compatibility for your device. We recommend you also consult the user manual for cleaning instructions.

There are also additional references available, for example the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides surface cleaning instructions for use during this SARS-CoV-2 crisis: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html

6. How long does the novel coronavirus survive on surfaces?

Please refer to the latest publications from scientific bodies regarding this data given that new information is emerging often. For example, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and WHO have published some information on survivability of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces.

7. Special instructions, Hazard Group 3 or 4

Instruments located in Biosafety Level/Containment Level 3 or 4 laboratories must be decontaminated, by the customer, using an internationally approved sterilization procedure. The customer must then move the instrument to either a Containment Level 1 or 2 laboratory for service.

  1. Thermo Fisher Scientific employees are not permitted to enter Biosafety Level/Containment Level 3 or 4 without the prior consent of Thermo Fisher Scientific Management and Environmental Health and Safety.
  2. It may not be possible for Thermo Fisher Scientific to service or transport these instruments.

8. Is there any additional PPE for infection control that I should consider?

The WHO provides PPE safety data on their 3rd edition Laboratory Biosafety Manual, available at: https://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/biosafety/Biosafety7.pdf

The CDC has also published some Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations that can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html

Additional resources are available from the Canadian Biosafety and Biosecurity site, available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/biosafety-biosecurity.html