Green cleaning services offer a unique and healthy solution to address the challenge of superbugs plaguing our lives.
Green Cleaning Services and Superbugs in Schools and the Workplace
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a list of 12 antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, classifying each according to their level of resistance, as follows:
- Acinetobacter Baumannii – A carbapenem-resistant (CRE; typically considered the last line of defense for antibiotic treatment) bacteria, noted for its ability to survive on artificial surfaces, specifically in hospitals, likely due to its biofilm construction. While not typically a problem for healthy individuals, it can be deadly in those with compromised immune systems, making it extremely dangerous during post-surgery recovery.
- Pseudomonas Aeruginosa – A highly adaptable and opportunistic CRE bacteria that can survive on almost any surface, as well as low-oxygen environments, most commonly occurring in patients with cystic fibrosis and traumatic burns, as well as ventilation-associated pneumonia and sepsis syndromes.
- Enterobacteriaceae – A CRE and ESBL-producing (capable of breaking down antibiotics, such as penicillin) opportunistic bacteria noted for its cause of secondary infections and wounds in the respiratory and urinary tracts, as well as circulatory system, specifically meningitis, pneumonia, and abdominal sepsis.
- Enterococcus Faecium – A vancomycin-resistant (resistant to many forms of antibiotics) bacteria, commonly associated with secondary meningitis and endocarditis infections, and a leading cause of device-associated infections in hospitals.
- Staphylococcus Aureus – A common methicillin-resistant (narrow spectrum antibiotic), vancomycin-intermediate (typically associated with underlying health issues or previous MRSA infections) and resistant bacteria, and is commonly associated with skin and respiratory infections, sinusitis, and food poisoning.
- Helicobacter Pylori – A clarithromycin-resistant (an antibiotic used to treat skin and respiratory infections) bacteria that lives in your stomach and intestines, which can cause ulcers that can eventually lead to stomach cancer.
- Campylobacter – A fluoroquinolone-resistant (an antibiotic that has fallen out of favor due to complications and risks) bacteria most commonly found in poultry, and passed to humans after consuming infected chicken, and associated with foodborne illness, recurring diarrhea in children, and can spread to the blood in individuals with AIDS compromised immune systems.
- Salmonellae – A very common fluoroquinolone-resistant bacteria found in contaminated food and water, which typically causes typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and food poisoning.
- Neisseria Gonorrhoeae – A cephalosporin-resistant and fluoroquinolone-resistant sexually transmitted bacterial infection that causes gonorrhea.
- Streptococcus Pneumoniae – A penicillin-non-susceptible bacteria identified as the primary cause of community acquired pneumonia and meningitis in children and the elderly, septicemia in AIDS compromised patients, as well as bronchitis, rhinitis, acute sinusitis, conjunctivitis, meningitis, sepsis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, endocarditis, peritonitis, pericarditis, cellulitis, and brain abscess.
- Haemophilus Influenzae – An opportunistic ampicillin-resistant bacteria that was mistakenly identified as the cause of influenza until 1933. The bacteria typically remains dormant in the host until excessive tissue inflammation from allergies, a weakened immune system, or viral infection presents an opportunity for it to infect the host. While the bacteria has seen a reduction in perceived threat levels, it remains one of the main causes of lower respiratory infections in infants, as well as ear infections, sinusitis, and conjunctivitis, and is associated with pneumonia infections.
- Shigella – A fluoroquinolone-resistant commonly associated with diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and tenesmus.
Green Cleaning Tips
Antibiotic resistant bacteria are typically resistant to commercial disinfectants; the overuse of which is both dangerous and potentially linked to the rise of said bacteria.
The cost of disinfecting OR’s and surgery centers often forces building managers to make decisions regarding disinfection practices that place patient and occupant lives at risk unnecessarily.
Cost-effective disinfecting solutions, such as electrostatic cleaning appliances, UV lighting, and other non-touch practices can help.
The two most important practices to implement are:
- Color-coded microfiber to avoid cross-contamination between surfaces, and;
- Improved hand hygiene all around, using regular soap, warm water, and clean paper towels.
Placing non-alcoholic liquid hand sanitizers at regular intervals throughout the facility has also been shown to decrease instances of person-to-person or surface-to-person contamination and infection.
References & Resources
The increase in antibiotic superbugs is due in part to the over-application of commercial disinfectants and cleaning products.
A combination of green cleaning services and advanced cleaning tools and practices is necessary to cost-effectively combat the rise in preventable illness and death, especially in hospitals and surgery centers.
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of green cleaning services to address the increasing challenge of superbugs in health care, schools, and businesses, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253