Evaluation of a Domestic Steam Disinfector-Dryer Device for Disinfection of Health Care Workers' Identification Lanyards

Beverley C Millar, John E Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fabric lanyards are commonly worn by health care workers (HCWs) and are known to harbor infectious organisms and contribute to the transmission of infection to HCWs and patients. A diverse range of nosocomial pathogens have been found on lanyards, but there are very few studies describing how to successfully disinfect lanyards to break the chain of transmission. Recently, a steam disinfector-dryer device has come on the market, which performs rapid disinfection against nosocomial pathogens and also dries the contents of the device. It was the aim of this study to evaluate steam disinfection-drying as a method to eliminate pathogens from lanyards.

Thirty-eight strips of new, unused, and autoclaved polyester neck lanyards (4 × 2 cm) were inoculated with 30 (12 Gram-positive + 18 Gram-negative) bacteria and one yeast organism. The inoculated lanyard fabric (five organisms per lanyard strip) was placed into a steam disinfector-dryer device and disinfected for 5 minutes and dried for 30 minutes, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Following disinfection and drying, the presence of viable organisms on lanyard fabric was evaluated using enhanced microbiological broth culture methods for 48 hours. Control lanyard strips were treated with organisms and left at room temperature without undergoing disinfection and drying procedures.

Steam disinfection-drying eradicated all test organisms from treated lanyards, with no culturable organisms detected following disinfection-drying, even when employing enhanced bacteriological culture conditions. All test organisms remained viable on the control lanyards.

Conclusion/Application to Practice:
Steam disinfection-drying offers a simple method of decontaminating lanyards, producing dry lanyards for immediate reuse. Occupational health practitioners and hospitals should consider assessing the feasibility of adopting this method in their settings to aid in breaking the chain of transmission of nosocomial pathogens via contaminated lanyards.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorkplace health & Safety
Early online date09 Jun 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 09 Jun 2021


  • cystic fibrosisn
  • drying
  • lanyard
  • steam disinfection
  • steam disinfector-dryer


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