|Environmental surfaces such as floors, walls and related objects are not associated with transmission of
infections to patients or health-care workers and therefore, extraordinary
attempts to disinfect these surfaces are not necessary. Cleaning to
remove gross filth and contamination is sufficient.
Environmental surfaces such as adjustment knobs, handles, buttons, instrument trays and carts and lights though never coming in direct contact with clients may frequently become contaminated with client material by being touched, often repeatedly and so require cleaning and disinfection.
p628 Disinfection, Sterilization and Preservation, Block
"CDC's Guideline for Handwashing and Hospital Environmental Control...(Exs. 6-188;6-153)...Specifically, CDC states that while extraordinary attempts to disinfect or sterilize environmental surfaces such as walls and floors are rarely indicated, routine cleaning and removal of soil are recommended." Summary p.79
In general, environmental surfaces such as floors and
walls are not hazardous. Remote surfaces are unlikely to present a problem
unless they accumulate dust that can harbor organisms
Environmental sites may become contaminated from
infected or colonized patients rather than the other way around. Routine
surveillance cultures of the hospital environment, therefore, are
unjustified, and environmental cultures made during outbreaks should be
interpreted with care.
"The record...contains evidence that the hepatitis B virus can survive for at least one week dried at room temperatures on environmental surfaces...Transmission of HBV infection as a result of exposure to contaminated environmental surfaces has been documented ...(in) hemodialysis units. OSHA Section 9 - IX Summary p.3
Regulations requiring certain types of walls, ceilings and floors to decrease infection rates are an unsupported expense, a waste of taxpayer money spent in enforcement and inspection, have no foundation in fact, and are based on misunderstanding the role environmental surfaces such as floors and walls play in infection control.