Hot Tips (Healthy Facilities)
Reduce the Spread of Germs in Restrooms
- By Gloria Potichko
- January 1st, 2017
It’s flu season again. According to
WebMD, from December to January between
five and 20 percent of the U.S. population will
get the flu. While campus administrators can
prepare by encouraging students to get their
flu vaccines and increase their vitamin C and
iron intake, there are still other ways to prevent
flu’s spread — even in places you don’t
typically think about, like the restroom.
Here four ways that can help prevent the
spread of germs in the restroom:
1. Provide paper towels instead of air
One recent study characterizes
hand dryers as “germ-spreading machines,”
blowing germs up to four feet. The CDC tells
us damp hands transfer germs and often,
people don’t wait for their hands to dry
fully when using a hand dryer. On the other
hand, paper towels are able to grab those
extra germs left behind by washing.
2. Offer automated paper towel dispensing
versus the stacked pile on a counter.
Restrooms that use automated towel
dispensing are more hygiene-friendly. The
dispenser fully encloses the towel, ensuring
you only touch the paper towel you will use,
as opposed to countertop towels that often
get dripped on by multiple hands.
3. Make sure toilet paper is enclosed.
Toilet paper with any sort of protective
casing is better than a simple roll, which
is exposed to all the germs from toilet
flushing — especially when the toilet
has no lid.
4. Provide touchless sanitizer.
restrooms often feature many touchpoints, but
the top-notch ones provide touchless sanitizer
dispensing that allows visitors to perform
frequent hand hygiene.
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of College Planning & Management.
Gloria Potichko is the head of marketing communications for GP PRO, a leading global provider of innovative, integrated washroom and food service solutions for commercial facilities. She can be reached at Gloria.Potichko@gapac.com.