Hotel rooms can be full of bacteria and other pollutants

No matter how diligent hotels are with their cleaning regimen – the lack of cleaning standards and other factors allow many surfaces to be contaminated, researchers say.

Scientists from the University of Houston examined surfaces of hotel rooms and found television remotes to be the most contaminated with bacteria. Also, items on the housekeeping cart can potentially lead to cross-contamination between rooms, they say.

Most hotels and guests judge a room’s cleanliness by how clean it looks, but this is an ineffective method of measuring levels of sanitation.

Contaminated surfaces can spread infections during outbreaks in hotels, and immunocompromised individuals may be specifically at risk, the researchers warn.

As expected, other highly contaminated surfaces included the toilet and bathroom sink as well as the bedside lamp switch.

Source: The American Society for Microbiology

Other pollutants in hotel rooms

Mold – Typical causes for mold in hotels are deficient air conditioning systems and air and water leaks in the building walls. Most hotel rooms have little fresh air exchange and let mold and bacteria thrive in an environment of vinyl wall paper and shower steam.

Pesticides – It may be bed bugs or other insects or pests that have invaded a hotel – but the use of pesticides can be quite dangerous to hotel guests as well, since they often contain toxic chemicals.

Chemicals – Building materials, furniture, textiles, carpets and other substances in hotel rooms may off-gas chemicals and volatile organic compounds that can be irritants and known health hazards. Other chemical pollutants come from cleaning products and personal care products as well as air fresheners.

Allergens – The hotel’s mattress, pillow, rug, drapery and upholstered furniture can all easily collect dust, mites and bodily secretions — all of which can cause reactions in allergy sufferers.

Tobacco smoke – Smoking is banned in many hotels, but certain rooms may be designated as smoke rooms (and certain guests may light up, anyway). Stale tobacco smoke is difficult to eradicate and can leave behind harmful chemicals and toxins.

Air cleaners for hotels

Using non-toxic materials and products whenever possible, implementing a strict cleaning regimen and making sure there is adequate ventilation can all help to improve indoor air quality in hotels – but the right air cleaner will provide cleaner and healthier air around the clock.

The best air cleaners for hotels feature a combination of activated carbon, HEPA and a UV lamps to remove odors, chemicals, gases, particles, dust, mold spores, bacteria and viruses from the air. They should be easy to use, quiet and equipped with long-lasting filters.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and the best air cleaners for your hotel, motel, inn or hospitality business.

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