Our Instrument Disinfection Process

Happy Kids with Instruments

This page discusses the process developed by the Research and Development team at B.A.C. Musical Instruments and outlines the steps taken and redundancies implemented with the intent and objective of full eradication of any and all biological and viral contaminants. Our team has consulted with medical and scientific professionals to devise an effective way of properly decontaminating brass and woodwind musical instruments externally and internally for the safety of our customers and employees at no additional cost.

For many years, musicians and educators have had an understanding of the importance of regular maintenance and cleaning for musical instruments. For any individual or institution, there are fundamental mechanical advantages realized when properly maintaining any valuable asset.

From a health perspective, the ‘Official Publication of the American College of Chest Physicians’ discussed in September of 2010 the connection between fungal and bacterial contamination of a wind instrument and a respiratory condition known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis. (AKA Trombone Lung) A further study revealed in September of 2016 and published in the ‘Pulmonary Fibrosis News’ study’s a similar development of this very same condition which resulted in death. In this instance, the condition is now also referred to as ‘Bagpipe Lung’. These instances are attributed primarily to inhaling organic dusts, fungus, or molds. Given the heightened awareness of all pathogens, including viruses, we have identified the need for an effective protocol to not only clean and maintain musical instruments, but to decontaminate brass and woodwind musical instruments externally and internally. In effect, providing a “High Level Disinfection” protocol.

Disinfection Process

Our Step-By-Step High Level Disinfection Process

1. Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation
Instruments will enter our dedicated UVC Room, which has been designed to provide the most efficient distribution of UVC exposure. A standard dosimeter is used to effectively monitor UVC dosage levels.

2. Cases Sprayed with Danolyte for Contaminants
While the instruments are undergoing UVC exposure, the cases will be decontaminated using Danolyte.

3. Instrument Disassembly and Prep for Internal Danolyte Treatment
The instrument is carefully disassembled and inspected for a full Danolyte treatment. The instrument will go through our standard degreasing process to avoid unwanted interruption of the Danolyte treatment

4. Full Danolyte Instrument Treatment
A full electrostatic spraying process or submersion will deliver a full coat of Danolyte high level disinfectant on both the exterior and interior of the instrument.

5. Ultrasonic Chemical Cleaning
The ultrasonic cleaning process uses vibrational agitation in combination with chemicals to remove any and all lime and scale build up on the interior of the instrument.

6. Disinfection and Neutralization of Acids with Antibacterial Soap
A water flush is needed after the chemical cleaning process to neutralize and wash out any chemicals left on the surfaces of the instrument.

7. Dry Heat Application
This process is multifaceted. First, the surfaces of the instrument are dried so that any and all water molecules are eliminated. This process helps reduce the reintroduction of contaminants that would be left in droplets of water. A microscopic patina is also created that inhibits dezincification and unwanted oxidation.

8. Necessary Repairs (as requested by customer)
The instrument will receive mechanical adjustments and treatments to ensure optimum functionality.

9. Instrument Reassembly
Technicians will carefully provide final assembly of the instrument. The instrument will receive proper lubrication and polish, as well as cork, felt, and spring replacements as needed

10. NO TOUCH Sanitization
Each instrument is carefully sealed in a UV compatible plastic bag to receive a final contact-free dose of UVC in our dedicated UVC Room. This should ensure the eradication of all contaminants on the instrument surface a final time after final assembly and polish.

11. Pack and Ship
This is the final step in the process where each instrument is carefully wrapped securely with shipping protectant and put in a shipping box for transport.

The Machine

B.A.C. Musical Instruments uses a hospital grade UVC Germicidal machine manufactured by American Ultraviolet Company. These machines are constructed in the USA of the highest build quality and meet EPA standards. The UVC Germicidal machine was originally designed as a Germicidal UVC solution with the goal of targeting infections in hospital patient rooms, surgical suites or in any other critical areas where pathogens must be eliminated.

The UVC machine deploys ultraviolet light in the range of 200 nm to 300 nm, which is then absorbed by DNA, RNA and proteins. This process ruptures the cell walls of microorganisms (bacteria), effectively killing them. Additionally, the absorption of thymine dimers by DNA and RNA causes inactivation of any and all viruses that are subject to direct exposure of UV Radiation as a result of destruction of the virus’ nucleic acid (via the Center for Disease Control and Prevention).

For more information about the UVC machine, Vist the American Ultraviolet website.

FAQs

What is a High-Level Disinfectant?
High-Level Disinfection (HLD) process kills all vegetative microorganisms, mycobacteria, lipid and nonlipid viruses, fungal spores, and bacterial spores.

Why are there so many steps in the process?
The goal of the step by step process was to create redundancies to ensure the highest possible eradication of any contaminants that could be present on the horn. Additionally, the No Touch process was added to ensure complete cleanliness and safety for the customers as well as the employees.

What is the difference between your UV process and others?
There are five (5) well-known bands of UV “light” known; the lower band overlapping into the X-Ray band. Most concerns lie in the usage of three of these bands:

1. The “near" ultraviolet, which lies between 320nm and 400nm, is also known as blacklight or longwave ultraviolet (UVA).

2. The "middle" ultraviolet, which lies between 280nm and 320nm, is known as erythemal or suntan ultraviolet (UVB).

3. The band which lies between 200nm and 300nm, is known as germicidal or shortwave ultraviolet (UVC).
Germicidal/Shortwave Germicidal ultraviolet destroys only microorganisms that are not visible to the naked eye. All types of microorganisms known to man, including bacteria, viruses and mold spores can be killed by germicidal ultraviolet rays. (credit: American Ultraviolet Company, member of Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA))

What is Danolyte?
Danolyte has been approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a high-level disinfectant for use against biological and viral contaminants. One hundred times more effective than bleach, this powerful and effective disinfectant is a category 4 solution, meaning it is a nontoxic solution that is safe for both humans and pets. Danolyte does not contain alcohol, and is derived from naturally occurring salt minerals and water.

Why use heat?
Dry heat chambers are used to fully dry the instrument interior and exterior. According to the World Health Organization, temperatures of 140°F to 150°F (60°C to 65.5°C) are enough to kill most viruses. If the instrument is not in condition to take this high of a temperature, a lower temperature can be set for a longer period of time.

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