Study at a Midwest Child Care Center Indicates Traditional Cleaning Methods Contribute to Harmful Cross-Contamination

ATP Readings Show Non Health-Based After-Hours Cleaning Can Double RLU Levels

Dec 01, 2009, 09:15 ET from Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System

BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A study performed by Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System(SM), a leading franchisor of commercial cleaning businesses, revealed that methods used by outside cleaning contractors could actually do more harm than good to indoor environments.

Conducted at a Midwest early childhood education center, the study measured surface hygiene levels using Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) readings. By measuring the presence of ATP, the universal energy molecule found in all animal, plant, bacterial, yeast and mold cells, Coverall's research team was able to leverage rapid detection capabilities to read the levels of biological contamination on surfaces.

ATP levels are measured in Relative Light Units (RLUs); higher RLU numbers indicate higher levels of contamination. ATP readings of greater than 100 RLUs represent levels of contamination that can pose a health risk.

On the first day of the study, the research team measured an average of more than 200 RLUs at 7:45 PM (after children and staff had left but before the outside cleaners arrived). A 5:15 AM reading the next morning indicated average levels of nearly 400 RLUs, a substantial increase in ATP levels following a facility cleaning by the outside service. These readings indicate that the cleaning service may be contributing to ATP levels through cross-contamination, usually caused by antiquated cleaning methodology and technology.

"With the CDC reporting that the average child contracts at least eight colds a year, the results of this study conclude that there is enormous potential to leverage health-based cleaning techniques in order to reduce this number," said Peter Sheldon, Vice President of Operations for Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System. "We recommended that the day care center put more health measures in place--like wiping table legs, light switches, door handles, sink handles, keyboards and mice with disposable disinfectant wipes."

Conclusions reached by the study's research team indicate that good hygiene practices emphasizing proper surface cleaning of day care environments can lower the level of illness-causing germs and help control the spread of infection in school environments.

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About Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System(SM)

Founded in 1985, Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System is one of the world's leading commercial cleaning franchising companies 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 is revolutionizing the commercial cleaning industry with its science-based cleaning processes and procedures designed to reduce cross-contamination and aid infection control. In addition to general accounts, Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System Franchisees also specialize in cleaning healthcare facilities. For more information, visit

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