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Infection Control

Touch Points

September 19, 2010
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Touch points; hot spots; high-risk areas; high-traffic areas; susceptible surfaces; and so on.

There are many ways to describe the places that pose the most risk to users and building occupants inside a facility.

So what do you know about these areas?

If you are an avid reader of CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management® magazine, you should know plenty.

During my time in this industry, which spans about nine years, I''ve read and written numerous articles on hot spot cleaning and high-risk areas.

However, it wasn''t until a few years ago, as a result of research, that these areas really became exposed.

Too Much Science — Hardly

The end result of scientific research and field testing has brought about an onslaught of technology, innovation and criticism.

Additionally, knowledge has been brought to the forefront, such as this month''s cover story that starts on page 10.

Dr. Jay Glasel puts microbial contamination under a microscope.

He reveals common bacterial risks, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella, and the estimated amount of time these threats remain active and ready to attack the human immune system.

So, why is this important to cleaning?

Despite some cleaners'' thinking — customers are often misled as well — the main goal of cleaning is to remove unwanted matter and protect the built environment, including its living surroundings, such as people.

Too Much Cleaning?

Some concerns about all of this knowledge centers around removing species from the environment that are considered "good" or important to the environment.

This is a fair argument. But, I predict that the future of the industry will become more scientific and outside-the-box technology will continue to flood the market to target "bad" contamination.

You will be sure to see some of these new tools at the upcoming ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America trade show.

Your costs to do business will likely increase and the remedy is to stop selling your customers on price alone.

For in-house operations, your challenge is to convince management and bean counters to spend freely when needed.

Don''t make the mistake of ignoring it, use science as leverage.

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