Efficacy vs effectiveness – delivering real world results with OXONOX

October 24, 2022

Look at any cleaning product and it will claim to kill over 99% of bacteria. Sometimes it even tells you the log reduction. But what exactly does this mean and just how accurate are these claims?

When scientists are determining how effective a cleaning product is, they will gather samples in of microbes and count each bacterium. They then add the cleaning product, allow it to get to work, and re-count the bacteria to calculate the reduction rate. This sits hand in hand with a kill rate percentage.

So, for example, a product that has a 3 log reduction rate states it will kill 99.9% of bacteria. This means that from 1 million bacteria, it leaves behind 10,000 surviving microorganisms. Any claim of a 6-log reduction rate will kill 99.9999%, leaving just one microbe. So, the higher the log reduction or kill rate, the more effective a cleaning product is. As one microorganism can proliferate into literally millions in a few hours, starting off with, and maintaining, as little as possible is a very poistive option.

However, what many people do not realise is that, when it comes to efficacy percentages, these are all calculated on laboratory-based results. Of course, in controlled bio-secure and sterile conditions, many of these products do deliver the claimed kill rate. But what happens when they are used outside the lab, in the real world?

Quite often, when these products are used in the field, up against numerous variables, these percentage rates plummet, rendering the products significantly less effective. With very few of them also providing residual protection, treated surfaces are left open to reinfection at any time.

What businesses need are products that provide continuous, effective long-term protection against potentially high amounts of microorganisms that could cause contamination.

The solution

Our two controlled plasma sterilisation solutions – OXONOX AirLift and OXONOX AirStair - have demonstrated that they provide round-the-clock protection against viruses and bacteria. They reduce the real-world microbiological load continually by 90%+*, both in the air and on surfaces, outside of laboratory conditions, as well as typically 99.99% up to 99.999% in actual laboratory tests. 

This statistic is key as it demonstrates the products’ effectiveness in real world environments, as opposed to sterile laboratory settings.


OXONOX AirLift significantly reduces the risk of infection transmission in lifts, providing round-the-clock protection against bacteria and viruses by diluting the area with ultra-cleansed air.

AirLift uses controlled plasma technology to fill the enclosed area with totally germ-free air at a rate of 92 cubic metres, or roughly 20-30 air changes, per hour. This enhanced ventilation reduces the microbiological load in the lift space by over 90%*, according to UKAS accredited independent testing. It is effectively like having a window open in a lift, circulating germ-free air at a regular flow of 92 cubic metres per hour.


Designed for escalators and moving walkways, AirStair sits underneath the escalator, automatically and permanently sterilising handrails with up to a 99.999% kill rate.

It works all day, every day, by directing controlled plasma onto the handrail, continually killing germs with each revolution. The high-energy bioactive plasma particles permeate and penetrate surfaces for complete coverage, reaching places that disinfectants and UV light cannot. Most importantly, if a handrail were to be infected during the day, the affected area would be treated by plasma, reducing the microbiological load and, hence, lowering the risk, in the very next revolution. This reduces the risk of anyone else being infected by the handrail, and, vitally, helps stop what could be insignificant loads of bacteria from proliferating into loads large enough to be infectious, making the situation even worse.

To find out more about OXONOX’s continuous sterilisation solutions, click here.

*Independent effectiveness testing conducted by ALS Global, www.alsglobal.com

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