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Study: Bacteria on Elevator Buttons
According to a study the amount of bacteria in an elevator is about 40 times higher than on a public toilet seat. Research carried out showed that the level of bacteria on elevator buttons averaged 313 colony forming units (CFU’s) per square centimetre compared to 8 CFU’s on the average toilet seat. Among the common bacteria likely to be found are E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin‐resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Nicholas Moon, PhD, director of technical and regulatory affairs at Microban Europe, for which the research was carried out, explains, "In a busy building, an elevator button can be touched by dozens of different people who will have come into contact with all kinds of bacteria evey hour. Even if the buttons are cleaned regularly, the potential for the build‐up of bacteria is high. It is easy to see that in some environments, perhaps especially airports and hotels where there are thousands of people from different places regularly touching lift buttos, that they could be a major potential point for cross‐contamination and the spread of disease."
Microban’s research was conducted by the University of Arizona by collecting samples from hotels, restaurants, banks, offices and airports. The buttons were swabbed with Spongesicle containing 10ml of neutralizing buffer. The estimated surface swabbed on each button was 7.06 square centimeters. Agar plates were incubated for five days at 30 degrees centigrade and bacteria colonies were then counted. Microban’s laboratoties hold ISO 9001 accreditation.
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