Updates from the Leading Association for the Cleaning Industry Worldwide
Symposia can be yawn-inducing affairs, but sometimes you find yourself attending one that truly engages you — occasionally even one that has the crowd buzzing during breaks in the program. Such was the case June 9-12 in Adelphi, MD, at the Cleaning Industry Research Institute’s (CIRI) second annual Cleaning Science Conference & Symposium.
Some 125 industry representatives — including a number of leading manufacturers, distributors, building service contractors, and consultants — gathered at the University of Maryland’s Inn and Conference Center to participate in this year’s event, which was co-sponsored by ISSA, the Restoration Industry Association, Penguin Care, and Cleaning & Maintenance Management magazine.
The theme of the program this year was Cleaning & Health … Making the Connection, and by all accounts, at the end of the two-and-a-half days of informative presentations and lively panel discussions, that connection had been solidly made.
Presentations began the morning of June 10 with a keynote address by renowned microbiologist Dr. Stephanie Dancer, editor of The Journal of Hospital Infection and a member of the department of microbiology at Hairmyres Hospital in Scotland. In her talk, Floor Wars: Defense Against Dark Corners, Dancer took a close look at pathogens in hospitals — including MRSA, C. difficile, and norovirus — and how best to improve hospital hygiene. Her conclusions? That there is a clear link between hospital-acquired infections and inadequate cleaning; that the most important areas for cleaning in hospitals are hand-touch sites; that there exists far too great a reliance on antibiotics; and that some method for measuring cleanliness is desperately needed.
CIRI & ISSA
Concerning that last point, CIRI and ISSA took some time in between presentations on June 10 to elaborate on their recently announced partnership for the development of science-based cleaning standards that would eventually lead to the creation of certification programs. The first initiative this partnership is scheduled to undertake is the funding of a series of independent research initiatives that will ultimately lead to a clean standard for K-12 schools.
ISSA anticipates a threefold process to the development of this standard: first, the identification of a methodology or device that will be used to measure whether something is clean; second, a quantitative unit of measure that indicates what is and what is not clean and sanitary; and third, certification programs based on those standards.
The Future Of Cleaning
By the time the symposium finished up on June 12, no fewer than 14 eye-opening presentations had been given, by some of the leading scientific experts in their fields. Highlights included Dr. Charles Gerba’s Assessment of Risks From Pathogens in Vacuum Cleaners, Dr. Eugene Cole’s Measurement of Cleaning Effectiveness 2008, Dr. Tee Guidotti’s Elements of a Strategic Plan and Assessment for Value Added [Healthy] Cleaning Services, Richard E. Whittaker and Joseph Bshero's A Comprehensive Process to Objectively Measure Soil Accumulation in Carpet Using Colorimetric Analysis, and John Richter’s A Comparative Study of Various Cleaning Methods to Improve Hygiene in Elementary Schools.
This is no longer your father’s cleaning industry.
The Cleanliness/Learning Link
A recent national study of college students suggests a correlation between the cleanliness of a school’s facilities and students’ academic achievement. Entitled Cleanliness and Learning in Higher Education, the independent study was conducted through the Center for Facilities Research (CFaR) at APPA — the association promoting leadership in educational facilities — and co-sponsored by ISSA.
“These findings provide a vital tool for facility service providers to reinforce the benefits of cleaning; there’s also a great deal of public-relations power in that message if an institution can use its cleaning program to inform students and their families what it is doing to protect the well-being of its population,” said ISSA Executive Director John Garfinkel.
The study was conducted by Jeffery Campbell, Ph.D., chair of the facilities-management program at Brigham Young University, along with Alan Bigger, director of facilities at Earlham College, Richmond, IN, and APPA president. The survey provided to students was based on the five levels of clean identified in APPA’s Custodial Staffing Guidelines for Educational Facilities, the basis for ISSA’s popular InfoClean workloading software for educational facilities.
EPA To Focus On Green Claims For Disinfectants, Sanitizers
ISSA has been appointed to serve on a pesticide work group that will focus on the possibility of establishing a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy that would allow claims of environmental preferability, including the possible use of eco-labels, in conjunction with the marketing of disinfectants, sanitizers, and other pesticide products.
“ISSA is delighted that the agency recognizes that its current policy that precludes ‘green’ claims or the use of eco-labels in connection with EPA-registered products is out of synch with the needs of today’s marketplace,” said ISSA Director of Legislative Affairs Bill Balek, who was appointed to serve on the work group July 18.
ISSA and industry representatives also met with EPA antimicrobial-division officials on Thursday, July 17, to discuss the need to establish a policy that would allow suppliers and purchasers to readily identify those disinfectants and sanitizers with a preferred environmental and safety and health profile.
Frank Sanders, director of the EPA’s antimicrobial division acknowledged that the agency’s policy is out of step with the needs of institutional purchasers to be able to easily identify — with a reasonable level of assurance — disinfectants and sanitizers with reduced risks. On the other hand, Sanders indicated that current regulations preclude the agency from allowing claims of environmental preferability in regard to EPA-registered products. Consequently, Sanders stated that the pesticide work group on eco-labels was the appropriate vehicle to devise a reasonable solution.
The pesticide work group on eco-labeling is comprised of representatives from industry, state and local governments, various federal agencies including EPA and the FTC, and environmental and public health organizations. The work group’s first meeting is tentatively scheduled for late August / early September with a follow up meeting set for sometime in October.
8-11, ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2008. Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV.
14-16, Four Pillars of the Sales Profession, featuring Don Buttrey. Dayton, OH.
Welcome New ISSA Members!
Cleaning Management Contractor Corp.
Cleaning Solution Services, Inc.
Cleanway Industries, Inc.
Innovative Cleaners, Inc.
Jani-King of Milwaukee
Landrum's Cleaning, LLC
Metro Health Hospital
North Star Cleaning Service
Professional Maintenance Co.
Sodexo MS Canada
Spring Arbor University
St. Johnland Nursing Center
STG Industrial Maintenance
Victor Valley Union High School District
Individual ISP Members
Sherry Sidwell, Community Hospital
Johnnie I. Jones,
Western Michigan University
All information in "ISSA Reports" is furnished by ISSA. ©2008. All rights reserved.
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