Publicly Funded UNC Cleaning Study Documents Disinfection with Greater Safety, Fewer Chemicals
As a result of a study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) that compared the (OS1) cleaning system to zone cleaning, the university’s cleaning evaluation committee recommended that the (OS1)® cleaning system be implemented throughout the campus.
The 90-day study, conducted in 2006, examined comparative cleaning and health-related outcomes including aerobic bacteria counts before and after restroom cleaning using the (OS1) system versus a traditional zone cleaning system. Zone cleaning methods were used at Dey Hall and the (OS1) cleaning methods tested at Carroll Hall.
Dr. Michael Berry, a retired UNC professor, former head of the U.S. EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Research Program and a pioneer of research on cleaning effectiveness, along with the UNC environmental health department staff took bacterial swab samples at the beginning for a baseline, at the midpoint, and at the end of the study, to compare the (OS1) cleaned building with the adjacent zone cleaned building. Forty swabs of bacteria were taken from five surfaces in two restrooms on each floor.
Total colony forming units (CFUs) — a measure of bacterial concentration for a given sample — were actually similar after (OS1) cleaning versus after zone cleaning.
However, a major difference between (OS1) and zone cleaning was that while using (OS1), janitors used fewer and safer chemicals, reducing the potential for exposure-related health problems.
(OS1) also produced a consistent sanitary condition in restrooms using a single portioned disinfectant, while zone programs typically used 5 to 8 different cleaning chemicals, adding to cluttered and potentially harmful housekeeping closets and creating more waste.
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