male and female sign for restroom on blue background

This cold and flu season has been one of the most dangerous the country and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have seen in almost a decade. This is due to mutations of flu strains and the fact that they are causing secondary infections such as pneumonia and sepsis in an extremely fast time frame.

Generally, the flu can cause extreme illness in vulnerable populations such as the young, the elderly and the infirmed. This year is an exception as healthy people ranging from teens to young 60s are losing their lives due to the flu and related illnesses. This is a major public health issue for everyone, especially facility cleaning managers.

Restrooms Harbor Bacteria

Cleaning managers in all types of facilities believe restrooms are the most difficult spaces to clean, keep clean and to maintain at levels that satisfy building occupants. This is because the spaces are high-traffic areas where people can spend a lot of time.
Often, people don’t stay home when they are sick, so restrooms provide a place to go to get themselves together, cough, blow their nose or serve as a emergency stop due to illness. This can make restrooms a place where soils and germs build up between routine cleanings. And it results in public health exposure challenges that must be addressed.

If blood, vomit, feces, urine, spit or phlegm are seen on surfaces of a restroom, extreme caution should be taken as it will be unknown what may be hidden in the soil. Possible germs or microbes in these or any types of soils in a restroom could contain salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria, cold and flu virus, norovirus, Hepatitis A, B or C, HIV, C.diff or many others that can cause severe illness.

When fighting these restroom threats, it is important that managers and workers know the difference between cleaning and removing soils and germs, versus killing then removing them. These are two different processes that use different chemicals to accomplish a task. Each also has inherently different effects on the facility, workers and overall public health.

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Removing Soils From Public Restrooms