Zoo News: June 2022

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Welcome to the June edition of Zoo News. This time around we finally have some news about the new standard for plasma sterilizers, an informative piece about the difference between macerators and bedpan washer-disinfectors and information on upcoming events including dates for the planned Study Days for the rest of the year. Get in early as the last Study Day sold out quickly.


New Standard for Plasma Sterilizers

20220530 100350[6]The final draft has been released of a new standard (ISO 22441) for the development, validation and routine monitoring and control of a low temperature plasma sterilization process. The Standard – Sterilization of health care products — Low temperature vaporized hydrogen peroxide — Requirements for the development, validation and routine control of a sterilization process for medical devices – was developed for manufacturers of sterilization equipment, medical devices to be sterilized and organisations responsible for sterilizing medical devices.

This is long overdue – finally, a Standard will be available specifically for the validation of your Low temperature vaporized hydrogen peroxide units, also referred to as Plasma Sterilizers. Atherton has a team of Compliance Officers with the know-how and equipment to perform the validation on all brands of Plasma Sterilizers. If you would like more information or to arrange a valuation please call us on 1300 580 870 or have a chat with any of our Compliance Officers.


Washing vs macerator

Washing Vs Macerator

What is the most efficient and cost-effective way to manage waste disposal in a hospital or care environment?

Anyone responsible for infection control in hospitals will be familiar with the choice between using single-use bedpans, disposed of in a macerator, or reusable plastic and metal bedpans, processed in a washer-disinfector. Two very different approaches to a common task in any hospital.

As suggested, macerators sluice the single-use bedpan or urine bottle and their contents using a combination of blades and water. The resulting pulp is then disposed of through the drainage system. In contrast, washer-disinfectors enable the reuse of plastic and metal bed pans by cleaning and disinfecting them using a combination of water, temperature and chemicals.

On face value, there is a lot to recommend the simple “use and dispose” process provided by macerators. They make quick work of a used bedpan or urinal bottle and leave nothing to manage afterwards. But with advancements in washer-disinfector efficiency and effectiveness, and taking into account the bigger picture, including costs and environmental impact, macerators may not be the sensible option they seem.

Waste product produced

The most obvious difference between a macerating machine and a washer-disinfector is the pulping of utensils and waste, as opposed to the cleaning and disinfecting of reusable items. While disposing of bedpans, slipper pans and urinal bottles could feel more efficient in the moment, they actually create a lot of waste as a by-product. Macerators do not recycle the waste created when they dispose of used containers, they pulp them and dispose of the refuse in the sewer. The environmental impact of this is extensive – for example, If a ward used 20 disposable bedpans a day (at approximately 150g each) that adds more than a ton (1,095kgs) of additional waste per year, pumped into the sewer system. In addition costs and potential plumbing issues can rise significantly if incontinence pads, nappies or other similar items get into the macerator by mistake, causing blockages and disruption to services.

In comparison, washer-disinfectors add no significant load to the sewage system and are environmentally friendly creating no additional waste.


As with all decisions in a Hospital, budget is an important factor in the decision to macerate or wash and disinfect.

Initial costs would suggest that disposable pulp pans and bottles would save money as they are generally between $0.54 and $0.79 each, however as indicated in the table below, with reusable bedpans and urinal bottles being relatively cost-effective the savings for washer-disinfectors add up and surpass the disposable kind quickly.

This also doesn’t take into account the ongoing costs and potential for breakdown or plumbing blockage that can be caused by macerators over their lifetime.


Duck Table


Duck 2 – Atherton’s latest Washer Disinfector for Human Waste Containers.

The Duck 2 Open2

The new Duck 2, the second generation of Atherton’s popular Duck series of washer-disinfectors, makes the management and processing of bedpans, slipper pans and urinal bottles easier and more efficient than previous models. Larger and able to fit a higher volume of containers and pans, the Duck 2 ensures the efficient and environmentally friendly disposal of more pans than ever before.

The door to the washing chamber is opened automatically when a bedpan is held in front of it courtesy of a motion sensor. The soiled pan and/or bottle are then placed in the retaining rack assembly which can accommodate four urine bottles per cycle, two bedpans, slipper pans, or commode pans. The door closes automatically when the start button is pressed.

Water consumption has been drastically reduced with the introduction of an “Eco Cycle” – achieved by improving the spray cleaning system which requires less water. With power consumption at just 0.33 kWh per cycle, the Duck 2 is the most energy-efficient unit available. Detailed records of the cycle can be sent as an email providing a simple yet secure method of storing historical data.




Atherton Study Days



  • Wednesday, 20th July
  • Wednesday, 21st September
  • Wednesday, 16th November


Seats are now available to sign up for the remaining Atherton Study Days for 2022. These in-house training sessions offer an opportunity for new and experienced CSSD staff to learn about steam and low-temperature sterilisation, mechanical decontamination and validation while getting hands-on with the equipment. The day also includes a tour of the facilities where our world-class sterilizers are manufactured.

Dates: 20th July, 21st September and 16th November

Location: Atherton Head Office, 372-376 Darebin Road, Alphington. Victoria

Numbers are limited so don’t miss out. To book call Customer Service on 1300 580 870 or salesandservice@atherton.net to reserve a place.

Tea and coffee along with a light lunch will be provided. Closed shoes must be worn for the factory tour.


10th Annual ABSANZ Biosafety and Biocontainment Conference

June 27 – July 1, 2022
Adelaide Convention Centre. North Terrace, Adelaide, SA

Atherton is thrilled to have the opportunity to reconnect with the biosafety and biosecurity community across Australia and New Zealand at ABSANZ’s Annual Conference after the uncertainty of recent years. Come and visit us at the Atherton stand to talk to us about our exciting Life Science range of ultrasonic cleaners, washer-disinfectors, steam sterilisers and water and steam systems. For more information on the conference visit the website here.



Atherton Study Days


20th July
21st September
16th November

Location: Atherton Head Office, 372-376 Darebin Road, Alphington. Victoria


10th Annual ABSANZ Biosafety and Biocontainment Conference

June 27 – July 1, 2022
Adelaide Convention Centre. North Terrace, Adelaide, SA

Find out more

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