Could the Concrete in Your Hospital, Medical Centre or Aged-Care Facility Be Contaminated?

Concrete is an extremely porous medium allowing bacteria to breed in microscopic air pockets that can spread harmful bacteria such as E.Coli, Listeria, Salmonella and Golden Staph.

If bacteria is growing unchecked under floor coverings or on exposed concrete, it will lead to bad odours and potentially lethal environments, particularly in high risk areas such as hospitals, medical centres and aged-care facilities.

While many believe concrete is an impervious substrate - architects, engineers and builders know it can:

• Trap odours that are impossible to remove permanently with current technology

• Host bacterial contaminants affecting environmental health and safety

• Trap unsightly stains caused by oils, petrol and chemicals

• Allow moisture to penetrate and rust reinforcing steel, thereby causing concrete cancer.

Built-in Protection

By applying a product during a concrete pour (or prior to occupation) to seal the concrete, architects, engineers and builders can give clients peace of mind by protecting the building structure against:

• Rusting of reinforcing steel that erodes concrete

• Reduced air quality through release of micro-bacterial pollutants into the environment from unsealed concrete that can potentially affect the occupational health and safety of a building's inhabitants (particularly relevant in high risk environments such as hospitals, medical centres and aged-care facilities)

• Unsightly staining of concrete in car parks or heavy-use areas.

Protecting the Environment

If concrete isn't treated during construction, it will allow contaminants and moisture to penetrate. This causes internal degradation of steel reinforcing thereby reducing a building's life. Microbial spores can grow within the matrix of the concrete and on its surface, therefore impacting on a healthy work and living environment.

The following are ways to minimise harmful bacteria from breeding in concrete:

1. Clean concrete with a product able to penetrate concrete to a minimum depth of 100mm to kill bacteria and odour.

2. Seal concrete with a biocide active to a minimum depth of 100mm with a kill rate of 99.99% to ensure a bacterial barrier.

3. Ensure the product used is government registered with no VOC/VOS, which means it's safe to use during application, resulting in less down-time for busy centres.

4. After concrete is treated, regular cleaning of floor coverings is all that is needed to control bacteria.

Unfortunately, most concrete sealing products aim to fix the problem at a surface level and don't penetrate to the depth required to kill bacteria. These products often emit toxic chemicals and odours which cause more problems for at-risk environments including hospitals and aged-care facilities. It's very important to only use products that are scientifically researched and tested and have government registration to ensure peace of mind.

In today's commercial environments, concrete is the primary product for floor and walling systems. Ensuring concrete's longevity and usability remain at an optimal level throughout its life span is environmentally responsible in today's health conscious society. That's why more architects and builders are recommending that hospitals, medical centres and aged-care facilities protect themselves from potential health risks. Killing bacteria in concrete with an effective concrete treatment provides a major defence against bacterial infection and offensive odours (off gassing).

Deflecta Stablilizer Antimicrobial is the only Australian Government certified and registered product (Registration No: APVMA: 60195/48699) able to penetrate concrete, remain active to a depth of 100mm, kill bacteria and seal concrete against further ingress of waste liquids.

Deflecta products are backed by scientific research and government registration. Architects and builders Australia-wide recommend their use in high-risk environments.