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State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation - page 22 / 104

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as autoclaving, is a reliable method used in hospitals for killing microorganisms. Heat- ing objects with a flame or applying dry heat to them is also effective in destroying most microorganisms.

Irradiation

Irradiation with ultraviolet light, x-rays, or gamma rays effectively destroys microorganisms, but requires highly specialized and potentially hazardous equip- ment that trained personnel must operate. Irradiation is confined to small areas for safety purposes.

Chemical Control

Applying antimicrobial pesticides is usually a successful and inexpensive way to control many types of microorganisms. Additionally, combining pesticide appli- cations with certain non chemical methods typically results in control that is more effective. For example, to control molds, steps can be taken to reduce or eliminate moisture to supplement applications of antimicrobials.

Manufacturers provide pesticides in various formulations, such as liquids, soluble powders, wettable powders, emulsifi- able concentrates, or gases. Most require dilution with solvents such as water. For some, application methods include spraying, washing, or fumigation. Disinfecting water involves applying antimicrobial pesticides to the water contained in pools, spas, water cooling towers, or water mains. Some pesticides are avail- able in pressurized aerosol containers and applied by spraying onto contaminated surfaces. Manufacturers package gases, such as sulfur dioxide and chlorine, in pressurized steel cylinders.

CONTROLLING MICROBIAL ORGANISMS

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