ROSWELL, Ga. (UPI) — Students who practice proper hygiene in the classroom can reduce their risk of germ transmission by as much as 76 percent, a U.S. study suggests.
Kimberly-Clark Professional, which produces paper products and cleaning solutions, tested surface contamination on some of the most frequently touched objects in six elementary schools.
Hygienists performed adenosine triphosphate testing to determine baseline contamination levels. Participating schools then implemented a customized educational program for kindergarten through fifth grade that teaches students how to “wash, wipe and sanitize.”
The schools were provided with classroom stations stocked with kid-friendly hygiene products such as hand sanitizers, alcohol and bleach-free surface wipes and anti-viral facial tissue.
When students were provided with the tools and knowledge to break the chain of germ transmission in the classroom, contamination levels fell from as high as 838 to as low as 243, Kimberly-Clark Professional said. An ATP reading of 300 or more is considered to pose a high risk for illness transmission.
After seven months, contamination levels were reduced on average by:
— 76 percent on bathroom stall door locks.
— 71 percent on desks.
— 53 percent on door handles.
— 45 percent on cafeteria tables.
— 41 percent on computer mice.
— 34 percent on water fountain buttons.
One of the most significant reductions in contamination was on classroom desks – surfaces that the students were personally responsible for wiping down on a daily basis, the study said.