BOCA RATON, Fla., March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- During the cold and flu season, about one-third of the surfaces people touch at work are contaminated with disease-causing germs, according to the world's leading expert on infectious disease, Dr. Charles Gerba. But few businesses or institutions use cleaning strategies that reduce germs and create a healthier environment.
Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System®, a leading franchisor of commercial cleaning companies, maintains an official partnership with Dr. Gerba that focuses on increasing public awareness about the most effective cleaning methods for infection control.
Studies done by Dr. Gerba, a University of Arizona Microbiologist, have changed society's view of microbes and everyday objects. Some surprising data:
- An average desktop harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. (The place where you rest your hand most on your desk often contains about 10,000,000 bacteria. Public toilet seats, on the other hand, are far less germy because of regular cleaning.)
- Phones were the germiest place in offices surveyed; followed by desktops, the water fountain handle, microwave door handle, and keyboards. (Toilet seats and photocopier surfaces were the least contaminated sites sampled in offices.)
- In schools, the most germ-laden places are desktops; computer keyboards, mice, and touchpads; pencil sharpeners, water fountains and restrooms. (The most contaminated surfaces were found in kindergarten through grade 5 areas.)
- Of the professions studied, school teachers had the most germs in their offices -- by 20 times.
- More germs were found at daycare centers than any other business or educational environment.
- Proper cleaning techniques can reduce bacteria by up to 99.9 percent and absenteeism in schools by 50 percent.
"Hygiene has had more impact on human health and mortality than all the antibiotics or vaccines ever made," said Dr. Gerba, adding that 90 percent of common infections have been eliminated through proper hygiene practices.
Coverall's Program of proper hygienic methods includes nightly cleaning of surfaces using hospital-grade disinfectants; uses of Coverall's Color-Coding for Health® system, with color-coded, microfiber cloths to avoid the spread of germs from one surface to another; and incorporates backpack vacuums with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration to eliminate airborne germs and improve overall indoor air quality. Coverall also encourages proper hand washing to stem the spread of germs and advises using antibacterial wipes during work hours to eliminate pathogens on surfaces such as desktops.
Dr. Gerba believes the future of healthy cleaning may include self-sanitizing surfaces in high-touch areas and disinfectants that work for as long as 48 hours. Until then, Coverall and Dr. Gerba are dedicated to disseminating information needed for the public to make good decisions about infection prevention.
"Dr. Gerba's extensive knowledge about germs and how to stop diseases from spreading has helped Coverall educate the public, especially business managers and others who may not know the importance of using proven cleaning methods in work, healthcare, and school environments to control diseases," said Peter Sheldon, Vice President of Operations of Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System®.
About Dr. Gerba
Widely known as "Dr. Germ," the world's leading expert on infectious disease has, over the past 20 years, conducted research and development of new disinfectants and methods for detection of bacteria and viruses and microbial risk assessment. Dr. Gerba has authored more than 400 articles and several textbooks on environmental microbiology. He has been featured as an infection control expert in The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, ABC News and in a variety of other national magazines and newspapers.
About Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System®
Founded in 1985, Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System® is one of the world's leading franchisors of commercial cleaning businesses with a worldwide network of more than 90 Support Centers and 9,000 franchisees. Franchisees currently service nearly 50,000 customers in over 90 metropolitan areas. Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System® Program is revolutionizing the commercial cleaning industry with its science-focused cleaning processes and procedures designed to reduce cross-contamination and aid infection control. For more information, visit www.coverall.com.