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'Hospital workers at risk from toxic cleaning machines'

15 August 2019

A UK firm has been told to tighten up its safety measures following allegations that one of its cleaning machines caused NHS staff to have nosebleeds and burning eyes.

Hygiene Solutions produces Deprox machines which clean and disinfect sealed and empty hospital wards by pumping hydrogen peroxide vapour into them. 

But some NHS employees have complained of suffering nose bleeds, burning eyes and chest infections after entering a room to operate the machines. 

Following a four-year investigation into the Deprox machines, by the Health and Safety Executive, Hygiene Solutions has now been told to strengthen its safety measures. 

The firm must provide hydrogen peroxide monitoring equipment or ensure that customers are fully aware of the associated risks.

Hygiene Solutions of King’s Lynn, Norfolk insists that “Deprox is a ground-breaking technology that when used correctly has been proven to be safe and effective at reducing infections in hospitals”.

A spokesperson added: "Hygiene Solutions provides operator training, support and advice to hospitals using our technologies as part of our commitment to them and their staff."

The NHS is now said to be using an alternative method of decontamination but it has already spent at least £2.1 million on Deprox machines since 2012, according to figures obtained under FOI requests.