News roundup: 3 reasons why hygiene should be at the forefront of your business policy

March 1st, 2016 Category: Commercial

Cleaning a toilet can be an unpleasant task at the best of times, but one enterprising firm has invented a new type of loo doesn’t need cleaning.

Airline manufacturer Boeing has found a way to use ultraviolet light to kill 99.99 per cent of germs in the toilet, disinfect all surfaces within three seconds after every use and thus slow down the spread of infectious diseases.

George Hamlin, an aviation consultant said the self-cleaning device could also reduce the maintenance bills of airlines if it doesn't contain many moving parts.

Boeing said that the ultraviolet rays it uses does not cause harm to humans and is activated only when the toilet is not in use.

The toilet works by flooding high contact surfaces such as the seat, bowl, sink and countertops with ultraviolet rays.

Jeanne Yu, director of environmental performance for Boeing's commercial airplanes division, said: “We're trying to alleviate the anxiety we all face when using a restroom that gets a workout during a flight.

“Some of the touchless features are already in use on some Boeing airplanes today. But combining that with the new UV sanitizing will give passengers even more protection from germs and make for an even better flying experience."

The system can lift and clean the toilet bowl and seat by itself to expose all surfaces during the cleaning cycle.

Other inventions by the manufacturer include a hands-free tap, soap dispenser, bin flap, toilet lid, door latch and hand dryer.

Toilet bus demand

A new toilet bus has been doing the rounds at Milan festival in recent times, it has been reported.

The bus is said to be the first of its kind in Europe and was refitted at a cost of €75,000 (£59,492) and features generous water tanks and five cubicles with properly flushing toilets.

It was used to make up for the lack of available facilities at the fashion week festival. The bus has now been booked for more than 70 outdoor events in 2016 alone. 

Germs on the subway

A new study has helped to uncover the unpalatable amount of germs on the New York subway.

The germs have been linked with respiratory problems and skin infections. In fact, the problem is said to be so prevalent that even grabbing the handrail could be equivalent to shaking hands with 10,000 people.

Five US city subway systems have been tested and the New York subway is said to be the worst.

The study, published by Travelmath, revealed that there were typically around two million colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch on New York subway handrails. 

This makes them altogether 900 times dirtier than the average aeroplane tray table.

Hand hygiene

Hand care product sales in the US have been driven up by the growing awareness of hand hygiene in the US, new research has suggested.

The report entitled ‘Industrial and Institutional Hand Care: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities’ has been published by global market research and management consulting firm Kline. It revealed that sales of professional use hand care products have overtaken other professional cleaning chemicals, such as floor care and hard surface cleaners.

Indeed, the sales figures have risen to 3.6 per cent in 2015 to nearly $1.5 billion (£1.04 billion) at the end-user level.

The hospital industry shows the most demand of all end-use segments for hand care products. 

This is predominantly down to the fact that hospitals need to prevent the spread of germs.

In terms of product type, the research also showed that foam hand soap is among the most popular, while instant hand sanitisers continue to gain market share and growth of more than five per cent.

On the other hand, however, bar soaps are less popular and are very quickly losing their market share.

The research also showed that sales of hand care products are projected to continue to increase at a compound annual growth rate of under four per cent until 2020.

The majority of this growth will be driven by foam hand soaps and instant hand sanitisers, as well as the industrial and institutional wipes segment.

By Janine Griffiths