Finding pathogens and eliminating them is even more critical today than ever. For the most part, with proper custodial training and using the appropriate and most effective cleaning solutions and products, when it comes to eliminating pathogens on surfaces, cleaning professionals have that down.
However, the big issue is finding these pathogens in the first place. 90% of sites that looked clean by visual assessment were found to still contain microbial contamination.1
Research by an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin illustrates this point. They looked at which regions of the school different types of pathogens are more likely to be found. They tested surface areas such as bathroom sinks, doors, even hall passes given to students, parents, teachers, and visitors to the school.
It turned out that the hall passes were very contaminated. Possibly because they were unsuspected of housing large amounts of pathogens, and possibly because they were rarely cleaned.
Further, the study found more than 18,000 colony forming units (CFU) of bacteria on all the test surfaces: hall passes, sinks, and doors, many of which were potentially health-threatening. 2
So how can we find out where pathogens are located on surfaces so we can eliminate them?
Surface assessment tools using imaging technologies such as that provided by OptiSolve® are proving to be a very powerful option. They are designed to pinpoint where pathogens may be located on a surface and in what amounts.
Once we know where they are, we can eradicate them with precision cleaning, keeping people and the facility much healthier.
Antibiotic-resistant diseases are becoming a growing problem around the world. Fortunately, new imaging technologies, effective cleaning products, and up-to-date cleaning methods are helping to ensure the professional cleaning industry is up to the job.
We can now visualize, validate, and verify that cleaning has been performed effectively and the pathogens have been eliminated.
- R.E. Malik, R.E., Cooper, R.A., and Griffith, C.J. (2003). Use of audit tools to evaluate the efficacy of cleaning systems in hospitals. American Journal of Infection Control, 31, pp. 181-187.
- Potential Pathogens in the School Environment, Zhicong Wang Undergraduate, Biology, University of Wisconsin 2007