High-touch surfaces are public spots that large amounts of people touch, grab, or hold each day, such as door handles, elevator buttons, keypads, and stair railings. For escalator handrails specifically, CNN reported in 2011 that these handrails are one of the germiest places in malls. Unclean escalators are a concern for workplaces, hospitals, stadiums, airports, metro stations, and more as well. Given the high volume of people who come into contact with such surfaces and the ease with which bacteria can spread by touch, it is essential to keep areas clean by sanitizing them often.
How Does Bacteria Spread to High-Touch Surfaces?
Imagine if one person sneezes into their hand and then grabs a handrail. That’s all it takes for the surface to become contaminated. When another individual grabs the same handrail, those bacteria can easily transfer to them, with that person at risk of becoming sick.
While person-to-person infections have a higher transmission rate, surface-to-person transmission is also a common source of illness or contamination. The periods of time during which viruses and bacteria can survive on skin or surfaces vary depending on the type, but pathogens transferred to our hands can often be infectious for an hour or more. When hands transfer them to nonporous surfaces like stainless steel, many bacteria remain infectious for approximately 24 hours.
Although surfaces such as an escalator handrail may look shiny and clean, they can easily harbor all kinds of harmful pathogens that can pass on to the next person who grabs ahold of it. In 2018, Outpatient Surgery Magazine reported that the Ferreira et al., 2011, study determined that of 80% of high-touch surfaces that study participants felt looked clean, only 19% of them were truly clean on a microbiological level.
What Bacteria Are Commonly Found on High-Touch Surfaces?
Without proper sanitization, high-touch surfaces like handrails can harbor all kinds of harmful contaminants. Some of the various bacteria on escalator handrails include:
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This bacteria is particularly dangerous since it can last on an unsanitized hard surface for days or even weeks, a longer period of time than most other bacteria. MRSA transfers most often by touch or contact rather than being airborne, often requiring a cut or other wound on the skin to infiltrate the body. Once someone is infected, MRSA is a difficult staph infection to treat, since it is resistant to many antibiotics, and it can cause painful abscesses or other skin infections to develop.
- E. coli. E. coli is another harmful bacteria found on high-touch surfaces, and it can last anywhere from 1.5 hours to several months. This bacteria, also known as Escherichia coli, can cause unpleasant stomach upset and lead to dehydration or, in severe cases, kidney failure. Many times, contaminated food and water spread E. coli, but it can also transfer via hard, high-touch surfaces like escalator handrails and elevator buttons when you have touched a surface carrying the bacteria and then touch your mouth.
To sanitize high-touch surfaces like handrails, it is essential to have an effective escalator clean-down procedure.
Clearwin Escalator Handrail Sanitizer With UV-C Technology
The Clearwin Handrail Sanitizer, a UV-C light surface sanitizer, effectively removes as much as 99.9% of harmful bacteria like MRSA and E. coli from high-touch surfaces like escalator handrails. Users simply attach the lightweight and adjustable unit, which consists of two side panels and a simple front plate with low-voltage generator power, to the handrail. This low-maintenance unit uses 10 sanitizing lamps that provide continuous UV-C rays with a wavelength of 260 to 270 nm to destroy bacteria for 10,000 operational hours. UV-C rays are a particular type of UV light with optimal bacteria removal properties, breaking up the DNA and RNA structures in the bacterial cells to destroy them.
Conventional methods of cleaning require containers of disinfecting cloths which are costly, time-consuming to use, and contribute to landfills. Traditional escalator handrail cleaner cloths can also cause cross-contamination among surfaces, and they leave the area sticky or damp, which is the perfect breeding ground for new bacteria to form. The automated Clearwin Escalator Handrail Sanitizer, on the other hand, is efficient, effective, and waste-free.
Partner With ClearwinUS for Sanitized Escalator Handrails
Cleaning is not the same as sanitizing, just as sanitizing is not the same as cleaning. While maintenance teams can wipe down the escalator handrails every hour, as soon as a hand with bacteria touches it, the bacteria is transferred to the handrail. Only continuous sanitizing of high-touch surfaces is the ideal way to keep patrons healthy. The patented, innovative Clearwin Escalator Handrail Sanitizer provides a solution to an otherwise tedious cleaning process, making it easy to keep surfaces sanitized with minimal cost or effort from the installer.
To learn more about our product and how it can impact your business and keep surfaces contamination-free with efficient UV-C light, contact us today.