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Don't Kiss The Blarney Stone!

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Safety

Tagged: , , ,

Published on March 16, 2011 with No Comments

While members of the facilities management profession deal with dirt and germs all the time, how many have actually wondered about the “germiest” places in the world? The Forensic Science Technician, an organization that promotes the teaching of forensic sciences, has compiled a list of the 50 germiest places in the world, some of which are everyday locations, while others are a little less common. The top 10 germiest everyday places include:

  1. Portable toilets
  2. Kitchen sinks
  3. Door handles
  4. Underwear
  5. Purses and handbags
  6. Hotel linens and towels
  7. Computer keyboards
  8. Communal office equipment/workstations
  9. Cell phones; and
  10. Kitchen sponges.

Some of the more uncommon germiest spots around the world include:

  1. The Blarney Stone in Ireland, kissed by thousands of tourists each year
  2. Baku, Azerbaijan, considered the world’s germiest/dirtiest city
  3. Oscar Wilde’s grave in Paris, which tourists traditionally kiss
  4. Airplane bathrooms
  5. Health care facilities and nursing homes
  6. Vacuum cleaner bags
  7. Beds (beds are practically Petri dishes, according to the report)
  8. Murder/suicide scenes
  9. Automatic teller machines; and
  10. Money.

“There is not much our industry can do about cleaning up the Blarney Stone,” says Matt Morrison, communications manager for Kaivac, “but there is a lot we can do to clean and sanitize toilets, door handles, and other surfaces hygienically.”

For high touch surfaces, Morrison encourages cleaning professionals to use cleaning systems that combine microfiber, a window squeegee, and chemical injection technologies. Additionally, he advises using microfiber “smart towels” that can be folded into quadrants, allowing a fresh section to be used for each cleaning task.

“If disinfectants are necessary, use broad spectrum disinfectants, effective against a variety of disease causing germs,” Morrison adds. “However, many of these areas can now be sanitized without chemicals using spray and vac cleaning systems considered ‘sanitizing devices’ based on EPA criteria.

So in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, make sure to use your spray and vac systems before you kiss any Blarney Stones…

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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