A foot in the door for germaphobes

January 10th, 2014 Category: Educational Establishments Office Cleaning

Do you use toilet roll or your sleeve to open the bathroom door after you’ve washed your hands? If the idea of touching the door with clean hands makes your skin crawl then Mick Janaway could be your knight in shining armour.

According to the Daily Mail, the entrepreneur from Essex has imported a device from America that allows people to open doors with their feet, meaning people’s newly washed hands won’t have to touch bacteria-riddled handles.

Mr Janaway brought the StepNpull over from the US and will launch the device on Monday (January 13th).

The device is a simple metal contraption that can be screwed to the bottom of a door, allowing a person to step on it to pull the door open. Mr Janaway believes that it could prevent the spread of disease and infection.

He came across the StepNpull while in America, after he contracted an infection that nearly cost him an arm. 

In August 2012 he developed an infection from a small cut on his right thumb. It spread up his arm and infected his bloodstream with streptococcus A – a group of bacteria usually found on the surface of the skin and inside the throat.

Mr Janaway told the paper: “I had four life-saving operations to save my arm and life – at one point I even stopped breathing on the operating table.”

If streptococcus A penetrates the skin’s tissue and the body’s organs it can trigger what is known as an invasive infection. This can lead to sepsis – an infection of the blood that causes a high temperature and a rapid heartbeat – which requires hospital treatment.

Mr Janaway said: “It was there in Colorado that my life changed forever with the discovery of StepNpull. The minute I saw it, I was hooked. I just couldn't believe how simple it was and that nobody had done it before.”

According to consultant dermatologist Klaus Misch, we have between 10,000 and 10 million germs on our clean hands! This number doubles when we use the toilet.

Mr Misch is keen for devices like the StepNpull to be installed wherever there is a public toilet. He said: “It’s a truly innovative product and one that could change the world.”