Open Blinds for Bacteria Control

Study finds sunlight creates healthier rooms for building residents

October 24, 2018

Facility managers can reduce the amount of bacteria in dust by opening the window blinds and curtains to let the sunshine in, according to a study published in the journal Microbiome.

Researchers at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR, created 11 miniature rooms, each with its own window. The windows were glazed to allow in visible light, ultraviolet (UV) light, or no light at all. The scientist then spread dust collected from nearby homes in each room.

After 90 days, the researchers tested samples of dust from each room. They found that 12 percent of the bacteria within dust found in dark rooms was able to reproduce, compared to 6.8 percent of the bacteria in dust that was exposed to sunlight and 6.1 percent of the bacteria in dust exposed to UV light. The dust found in the dark rooms contained germs associated with respiratory diseases.

The scientists hope information collected from this study, and ones to follow, can help developers design schools, hospitals, and other facilities with access to daylight that can reduce the risk of dust-borne infections.

As dust removal is the best method of removing dust-borne bacteria, learn effective methods of removing dust from hard floors and other surfaces.


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