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Education / Online Exclusives

Cleaning Schools For Healthy Results

May 08, 2013
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The connections between healthy school environments and student performance and attendance are well documented.

In fact, research of infection control measures in educational facilities spans over centuries.

However, as testing and more detailed (and accurate) information has been pushed to the forefront, it has become clear that a professional cleaner can play an important role in keeping educational facilities safe and helping to keep risk at a minimum.

The Risks Involved

In its coverage titled, “Toxic America,” information news leader CNN cited five health risk dangers associated with educational facilities.   

According to CNN’s article, “Are schools making kids sick,” the five areas of focus included:

  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Idling buses
  • Heating/air conditioning units (HVAC)
  • Certified green cleaning products.

Since, according to reputable studies, the indoor air tends to be more polluted compared to outdoor air, building ventilation is critical.

But, as more buildings look to become energy efficient, more of this contaminated air circulates around a school and puts children with comprised immune systems at risk.

Furthermore, mold, as mentioned in CNN’s article, is believed to ignite allergic reactions, increasing student absenteeism.

Professional Cleaner As Health Advisor

Industry studies support that certain areas of schools, such as desks and restroom areas, present considerable cross-contamination risks.

Targeting these areas with appropriate cleaning measures, such as proper disinfection and color-coded programs, can help minimize risk.

Additionally, implementing modern tools and procedures can enhance a cleaning operation’s ability to fight cross-contamination.

Using microfiber mops and cloths, as examples, and dual-bucket containers can be useful.

Also, no-touch “all in one” cleaning equipment that uses water pressure and keeps cleaners at safe distances will help improve results and keep school cleaning professionals productive and healthy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Infectious diseases account for millions of school days lost each year for kindergarten through 12th-grade public school students in the United States.”

CDC offers statistics to consider, including:

  • 40 percent of children aged 5–17 years missed three or more school days in the past year because of illness or injury
  • Nearly 22 million school days are lost each year due to colds alone
  • 38 million school days are lost each year due to the influenza virus.

To read more from CDC on this topic, visit this link: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/infectious/.

Professional cleaners, who are responsible for cleaning and maintaining school environments, must help decision-makers understand that an investment in custodial tools and training is an investment in our future. 

Recent Articles by Rich DiPaolo, editorial director

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