Germs stick to hands washed with contaminated soap
January 7, 2009
AKRON, OH — An independent laboratory study shows that hands washed with contaminated soap transfer germs and bacteria from the soap to other surfaces, according to a press release.
The soap in contaminated dispensers contains potential disease-causing organisms including Klebsiella pneumoniae, which could cause respiratory infections, and Serratia marcescens, which could cause infections of all sorts, the release stated.
Nicole Koharik, marketing manager for
GOJO Industries, said: “Bulk hand soap dispensers are susceptible to contamination and can contain unsafe levels of bacteria. There is no protocol for cleaning and sanitizing these refillable dispensers. Even when someone attempts to clean a bulk soap dispenser, it is time-consuming and impractical. Facilities managers cannot trust that bulk soap dispensers are free of bacterial contamination.”
To test the transfer of bacteria, participants washed their hands with soaps of different contamination levels and were then tested for contamination using a method specified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the release noted.
The results showed that participants who washed their hands with uncontaminated soap had none of the contaminating bacteria on their hands after washing; those who washed their hands with the tainted soap, had bacteria present on their hands after washing, especially when there was a high level of soap contamination, the release added.
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