Janitorial services are a necessity for the success of any business.
Janitorial Services – Filthy Offices and What You Should Know
Office cleanliness is often a subject that only comes up when there is a problem.
Unfortunately, by the time a cleanliness issue is recognized, it may have already escalated to a health problem that could cost your business money through lost customer business and employee sick days.
Even the perception of uncleanliness is enough to cause concern.
Some interesting numbers came out of a 2013 survey, conducted by Cintas, regarding the perception of dirty public restrooms.
Those surveyed would consider a bathroom dirty if:
- 93% – The floor were dirty or sticky.
- 90% – Unflushed toilet.
- 89% – The bathroom smelled bad.
- 88% – The trashcans were overflowing.
- 80% – Paper towels or toilet paper are on the floor.
While the perception of cleanliness and health related issues in public bathrooms is well understood, one area that often goes unnoticed is the public breakroom.
A standard method used to test for germs is to check for Adenosine Triphosphate levels.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a nucleoside triphosphate used in cells as a coenzyme often called the “molecular unit of currency” of intracellular energy transfer.
ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism. It is one of the end products of photophosphorylation, aerobic respiration, and fermentation and used by enzymes and structural proteins in many cellular processes, including biosynthetic reactions, motility, and cell division.
-WikiPedia – Adenosine triphosphate
In a 2012 study published by Kimberly-Clark Professional – The Healthy Workplace Project, with consultation from Dr. Charles Gerba, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Arizona, the following statistics were compiled when testing for Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) counts above 300 per sample.
Percentage of Tested Facilities with ATP Count Above 300:
- 75% of break room sink faucet handles.
- 48% of microwave door handles.
- 27% of keyboards.
- 26% of refrigerator door handles.
- 23% of water fountain buttons.
- 21% of vending machine buttons.
Employee health, specifically the costs of sick leave, cost’s business’s and schools billions of dollars annually.
Bad smells in your office can be a sign of a significant, unidentified health hazard.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
Reducing exposure to chemicals in the workplace is a preventative action that can lead to improved outcomes for both worker health and to the environment.
VOC’s and Air Pollution
The CDC goes on to list several common causes of indoor air pollution, many of which via Volatile Organic Compounds.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a large group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature.
While most people can smell high levels of some VOCs, other VOCs have no odor.
Odor does not indicate the level of risk from inhalation of this group of chemicals.
There are thousands of different VOCs produced and used in our daily lives.
-Minnesota Department of Health – Volatile Organic Compounds in Your Home
Causes of Indoor Air Pollution:
- Bioaerosols from water damage, microbial VOCs (VOCs from fungi).
- Emissions from office equipment (VOCs, ozone).
- Emissions from stored supplies (solvents, toners, ammonia, chlorine).
- Emissions from building carpet, furnishings, and other building components (VOCs including formaldehyde from glues, fabric treatments, stains, and varnishes).
- Emissions from special use areas within the building such as laboratories, print shops, art rooms, smoking lounges, beauty salons, food preparation areas, and others (various chemicals and related odors).
- Emissions from indoor construction activities (VOCs from the use of paint, caulk, adhesives, and other products).
- Elevator motors and other building mechanical systems (solvents and other chemicals).
- Plumbing problems (sewer odors, improper bathroom ventilation).
- Emissions from housekeeping/cleaning activities (ammonia, chlorine, and other cleaning agents such as detergent, dust residual from carpet shampoo, and disinfectants).
- Use of deodorizers and fragrances.
- Emissions from pesticide use inside the building.
- Accidental events such as spills inside the building.
- Emissions from stored trash inside the building.
- Fire damage inside the building (soot, polychlorinated biphenyls from electrical equipment, odors).
For More Information:
Bad smells and poorly cleaned public facilities have a profound impact on a business’s financial position and customer perception.
According to a 2011 survey conducted by The Harris Poll:
- 99% of U.S. adults reported that poor cleanliness would negatively impact their perception of a business.
- 94% of adults would avoid a business if they encountered dirty restrooms.
Professional janitorial services can help maintain your business, customer perception of your business, and the health of your employees.
For more information on how we can help, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790