How effective cleaning measures create hygiene and safety - part four

20th of May 2020
How effective cleaning measures create hygiene and safety - part four

The risk of infection is reduced considerably in a clean, well-kept environment that is regularly cleaned. Disinfection measures are also only effective if dirt has been removed from floors, surfaces, etc, beforehand. In this new series, Kärcher has been offering an overview of which cleaning technologies are available to fight pathogens such as the new coronavirus and how they work.

In part four, cleaning is not just a pretty face.

Many people are aware that cleaning increases our sense of wellbeing, makes our surroundings look better and maintains the value of buildings or machines. The fact that it is also a significant component in the battle against pathogens is shown in the number of high-performance technologies which deprive the harmful microorganisms of living conditions, thus ensuring safety and hygiene.

Deep cleaning is proven to remove over 90 per cent of the microorganisms and germs from surfaces. It is worthwhile to invest in appropriate machines and the necessary know-how and expertise in order to curb the spread of diseases.

Virus, bacteria or fungus: the world of potential pathogens

Viruses such as the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are around 20 to 300 nanometres. In some instances they survive a long time in the air and are contagious. In order to survive on a permanent basis, they must penetrate into animal, plant or human cells and use these living cells as host cells. Not all viruses cause diseases - the immune system often responds quickly enough.

Bacteria are significantly bigger than viruses at 0.1 to 700 micrometres and as a single-cell organism are able to support themselves. They can survive a very long time in the environment or in the body and are very adaptable. Only one percent of all bacteria cause illnesses or diseases - in this case antibiotics are used to treat the illness or disease.

Fungi exist in nature and in the body, and only a few of them cause illnesses or diseases. Yeast fungi, for example, belong to our skin flora and only penetrate into the body when the natural skin barrier is damaged or the immune system is weakened. Then fungi cause so-called mycoses, which generally affect skin, nails or mucous membranes. What can every individual do?

Tips for at home and out and about

Personal hygiene always helps to avoid illnesses and diseases and at the moment is very important. Within your own four walls the following measures help to protect you and others:

• Observe proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, keep at least one metre between you and others and sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm
• If members of your household fall ill, adopt spatial separation measures where possible
• Let air into rooms or use an air purifier
• If you fall ill, work from home and do not make unnecessary journeys
• In the case of corona infections, avoid contact with risk groups

These rules also apply when you are out and about. In addition, you should adopt the following measures for your own safety:

• Observe 1.5 to 2 metre distance to other people
• Avoid shaking hands or hugging
• Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces such as the steering wheel in the car, door handles, mobile phones, etc
• Avoid non-essential trips (holidays), the use of public transport, as well as large events.

Clean, germ-free air is extremely important in the working world, for instance in offices, public or medical facilities. Poor air quality can generally lead to health problems, diminished performance capability and lost work time among employees. But infectious germs can also be spread in the air. Depending on the version, air purifiers can provide a remedy by fighting germs in the air and cleaning the room air.

There are models available on the market which use the electrostatic charging of minute particles such as viruses, bacteria or allergens in order to capture and destroy them without any harmful residues. A prefilter for larger particles, as well as a three-stage filter against odours, ensure that up to 99.98 percent of all undesired pollutants are removed in rooms up to 100 square metres. The clean air is particularly pleasant for allergy sufferers or asthmatics, the risk of disease transmission is reduced.

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  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited