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Last edited 29 Nov 2019
Sterile touch points
Some work environments give little consideration to employee health and cross infection; absenteeism and 'presenteeism' (sickness at work) which cost companies millions of pounds in lost productivity every year. It is claimed that 80% of colds, flu and sickness are caused by cross-contamination: surfaces that are contaminated in the workplace which help spread infection. This can include door handles, stair rails, lift control buttons, digital entry points, taps, keyboards, toilets etc.
Bacterium can double within 20 to 30 minutes, meaning that one bacterium turns into two, then two become four, leading eventually to the formation of millions of cells. Office environment temperatures and ventilation systems are ideal for growing and spreading bacteria, viral and fungal spores.
One solution is quite simple and environmentally friendly in application. All potential cross-contamination touch points in buildings can be coated with an invisible eco-varnish that eliminates bacterial adhesion, preventing their multiplication. These sterile touch points are not contaminated by air or infected individuals.
The ability to eradicate all dangerous gram negative and gram positive bacteria will depend on the degree of hydrophobic functionality of the microbiota barrier varnish, enabling the right surface tension to exist. The more hydrophobic bacteria cells adhere more strongly to hydrophobic surfaces, while hydrophilic cells strongly adhere to hydrophilic surfaces.
Coatings are easy to apply and last from six months to years, depending on surface abrasion.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Deleterious materials.
- Designing to reduce the chemical, biological and radiological vulnerability of new buildings (IP 7/15).
- Hazardous substances.
- Health and safety.
- Method statement.
- Occupational health.
- Personal protective equipment.
- Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990.
- Risk assessment.
- Volatile organic compounds.
- Workplace exposure limits.
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