Thursday, March 11, 2010
Bacteria Laden Soap Dispensers
Clean Link, a Jan San industry ezine just reported that studies found large amounts of bacteria coming from soap in public restrooms. "We were surprised to learn that the soap from one in four bulk dispensers is contaminated with an average of more than three million bacteria, many of which are known to be opportunistic pathogens," said Carrie Zapka, microbiology scientist, GOJO Industries. "Exposure to such high levels of these organisms can be a significant health risk to individuals with compromised immune systems estimated to be at least 20% of the population. In contrast, soap from sealed dispensing systems was free from contamination."
This means that if the soap is dispensed from a sealed bag and replaced each time the soap runs out, the soap is not contaminated. If you are washing your hands and the soap dispenser itself is refilled each time, that soap contains high amounts of bacteria. Look closely at the dispenser. If you see a plastic bag inside, the soap is safe to use. If not then wash your hands using hot water only. Carry a tub (not a bottle because bottles spill) of hand sanitizer in your car. Then use them when you return to your car rather than washing your hands in a public restroom. And here we thought we were combating germs by washing our hands with soap and water. It turns out the soap contains the harmful bacteria in a restroom.