Decontamination of dental unit water systems with hydrogen peroxide

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AimsTransmission of microbial pathogens to patients from water in dental units is a concern. To reduce this risk, the decontaminating efficiency of hydrogen peroxide was evaluated.Methods and ResultsThree percent hydrogen peroxide diluted 1: 4 in distilled water (contact time 15 min) was used daily to disinfect the waterlines of a pilot unit previously contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus. The behaviour of the test bacteria was seen to differ over time. Staph. aureus numbers slowly decreased until only low numbers were recovered, after which the levels remained stable. Ps. aeruginosa abatement was more rapid and the density of the bacteria reached a peak when the circuit was empty.ConclusionsStaph. aureus and Ps. aeruginosa treated with hydrogen peroxide fell from 6 to 4 log.Significance and Impact of the StudyTreatment of dental unit waterlines with hydrogen peroxide was seen to be able to keep the number of the bacteria under control, as long as the treatment was repeated daily.

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