ICS Magazine

School Cleaning/Contamination to be Discussed at CIRI

May 29, 2008

Hamilton, OH -May 28, 2008-John Richter, an engineer and researcher with Kaivac, Inc., will be one of the key presenters at the upcoming CleaningIndustry Research Institute’s (CIRI) Symposium, which is scheduled for June9 through June 12, 2008 at the University of Maryland, directly outsideWashington, D.C.

Richter’s presentation will focus on a series of tests that were conductedcomparing different cleaning methods in an educational setting.

The goal of the tests was to see how effective each method was inhygienically cleaning surfaces, such as desktops, floors, high-touch areas,computer keyboards, and computer mice in a school classroom.

Previous studies by Dr. Charles Gerba of Arizona University, Helena Rintala,a Finnish microbiologist, and others have found a direct correlation betweenimproper, ineffective, or lack of cleaning with student absenteeism.

“In fact, Gerba found that students are absent, on average 2.32 times moreand absent longer when cleaning of these areas is not performedhygienically,” says Richter.

Tests Conducted
One test, which was a controlled experiment, compared the cleaningeffectiveness of traditional spray and microfiber cleaning cloth systemswith trowel and squeegee (flat surface cleaning) systems.

Cleaning effectiveness was measured by aerobic bacteria assays as well as byusing an ATP (adenosine triphosphate) hygiene monitoring system. ATP is anenergy molecule found in all living things.  Its presence on a surface orobject is often used as a “red flag” to indicate that contaminants arepresent.

Other tests involved:
  • A comparison of spray/microfiber cloth cleaning with the trowel andsqueegee cleaning system on 24 desktops in an elementary school.
  • Before and after bacteria counts on computer mice after cleaningwith conventional spray/microfiber cloths and disposable wipes.
  • Comparing traditional dust mop floor cleaning systems with dryvacuuming. Cleaning effectiveness was measured by the amount of soil removalin grams per square feet.

“The studies concluded that there are concerns with the traditional cleaningmethods tested as to how effective they are at removing contaminants,” saysRichter. “However, we did find the trowel and squeegee system, disposablewipes, and dry vacuuming [of floors] to leave areas hygienically clean basedon bacteria/ATP counts.”

Along with Richter, other presenters at the conference will include:
  • Dr. Stephanie Dancer, from Scotland, UK, who is a Glasgow, Englandmicrobiologist
  • Rhonda Jones, Scientific and Regulatory Consultant, Columbia City,IN
  • Dr. Charles Gerba, University of Arizona, Tucson
  •   Greg Parrott, Regional Director, Utah Valley Regional MedicalCenter, Provo, UT
  • Mary Swanson, Senior Environmental Scientist, Green Seal,Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Roger Lewis, Department of Community Health, St. LouisUniversity School of Public Health, St. Louis, MO

For more information, visit http://www.ciri-research.org or call toll free,(888) 285-2474.