School backpacks

A new scientific study by Reckitt's Lysol Pro Solutions revealed the risks that can be posed by the everyday objects we carry with us throughout the working day when it comes to accumulating illness-causing germs in business environments. A short video has been released to accompany the findings, which can be viewed here.

The results from the study revealed that objects such as backpacks picked up:

• Hundreds of thousands of germs throughout the day

• As many germs from a desk as from a public bathroom floor

• As many germs from a desk as from a public cafeteria floor

• As many germs as were found on a toilet seat in a previous study

• As many germs as were found on a garbage bin in a previous study

• E. coli and intestinal bacteria that may cause sickness

• A fungal species of yeast (Candida) that may cause sepsis, and wound or tissue infections in immunocompromised people

"Germs are everywhere," says Dr. Igor Ignatovich, senior microbiologist within the Equity, Claims, and Compliance Group at Reckitt. "They move among people and on surfaces, sometimes causing illnesses that could impact our families or impact our daily activities. Items we least suspect can often be culprits for spreading germs, as shown by our study."

In the study, Lysol Pro Solutions' team of microbiologists, led by Dr. Ignatovich, measured the contamination levels on the backpacks of five different volunteers as they moved through business facilities throughout the day. Backpacks were chosen to represent how similar everyday items can be responsible for transmitting germs. The backpacks came into contact with a surface for about two minutes, three times a day for two days. The following surfaces were used: the communal bathroom floor, the work desk, and the cafeteria floor.

"The results demonstrate that using a backpack throughout the day leads to the accumulation of a significant number of germs," continues Dr. Ignatovich. "Like many other items we carry with us each day, these could be significant vectors of germ transmission. Using effective cleaning and disinfecting products to make the right hygiene interventions, at the right time, and in the right places, can help break the chain of transmission and prevent the spread of germs between surfaces in business environments and homes, and to humans directly."

Experts such as Lysol Pro Solutions can provide an understanding of different germs and how they spread via surfaces and objects such as backpacks, so businesses can deploy effective products and protocols that help protect against cold, flu, and a broad range of other common workplace viruses and bacteria.