Building managers, especially in healthcare, education, and the foodservice industry, are learning quite a bit about hidden pathogens as a result of new imaging technologies.
For instance, in one test of a light switch, these technologies indicated that the tip of the light switch was free of contamination. However, the directly under the switch there was contamination. With this knowledge, cleaning professionals began cleaning all areas of the light switch, taking one more step in protecting building user’s health.
Information like this has evolved into what is now being referred to as the “3Ds” of cleaning. Brad Evans, CEO of Optisolve, which provides imaging and imaging-related services, says, “the 3Ds address the three key challenges building managers and cleaning professionals must take to help ensure building users stay healthy.”
According to Evans, the 3Ds refer to the following:
Detection. The first step in keeping building users healthy is finding precisely where health-risking pathogens may be located. “This means going beyond just testing the point of a light switch or a faucet handle; we must investigate the entire area surrounding these touchable items when looking for pathogens.”
Disinfect. Once located, these surfaces must be cleaned first, then disinfected. “Imaging technologies cannot determine which pathogens are present. As a result, ‘broad range’ or ‘broad-spectrum’ disinfectants that [can] kill a variety of pathogens should always be used.”
Discuss. If pathogens are located on one window ledge, for instance, in a school classroom, this information must be brought to the attention of school administrators and all cleaning professionals in the facility.
“Unfortunately, administrators and cleaning professionals often believe the problem is confined to that specific area,” explains Evans. “In most cases, it is not. If one area is contaminated, we often find the same problem in similar areas throughout the facility.”
One of the crucial keys to keeping building occupants healthy is more effective cleaning, adds Evans. “The 3Ds are a significant step forward in making that happen.”