Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

February <I>CMM</I>: Sanitary disposal units in women's restrooms

February 26, 2009
The February issue of CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management® magazine is now available online, featuring Ann Germanow''s Tackling Trouble Areas article on sanitary disposal units in women''s restrooms.
Germanow states that building management and cleaning professionals must take responsibility for finding solutions that minimize the risk of contact with blood, bacterial contaminants and bodily fluids.
She notes a fascinating finding comes from Dr. Charles Gerba, University of Arizona Microbiology Department, who has studied restroom contaminants for over 20 years: The No. 1 bacterial hot zone in a female restroom is the sanitary napkin disposal unit.
Gerba discovered an invisible mist that coats the floor and partition walls every time the toilet flushes, contaminating all stall fixtures including the "sanitary" disposal units with microorganisms such as the Hepatitis A virus, E. coli, salmonella, cryptosporidium, staphylococcus and C. diff, all of which can survive for months on sanitary napkin disposal units unless these units are regularly and properly sanitized.
Germanow adds that ideally, building management will eliminate the need for these disposal units by moving to single-use sanitary product disposal bags and making them available in every restroom stall.
Above all, facility management must emphasize hand washing to minimize the risk of disease transmission, she concludes.
Ann Germanow is the co-founder and president of The Scensible Source Company, a supplier of disposal solutions for feminine care products. Germanow''s invention of SCENSIBLES, single-use, scented, biodegradable plastic bags embedded with antimicrobial agents to inhibit odor-causing bacteria, are dispensed from refillable units and are now in use in office buildings, colleges, supermarket restrooms and other public facilities across the country. More info is found at www.scensiblesource.com.
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