Do not touch the TV remote it is dirty

Published On: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 5:35 AM
By: John Roberts
Hotel TV remote
A study of pollution levels in the rooms of the hotel run by the University of Houston, presented at the American Society for Microbiology, reported that two of the most contaminated items were the television remote controls and switches to lamps.

Heavily polluted areas were more likely to be dirty, such as toilet seats and bathroom sinks, the study said.

Of greater concern, the study showed some of the highest levels of contamination found in the elements of the carts of the cleaners, such as sponges and mops. If these items are contaminated, it can lead to cross contamination of the rooms, making very dirty hotels.

The researchers took samples of 18 surfaces in each hotel room, checked the levels of total bacteria and fecal bacteria in each. Fecal bacteria were found in 81 percent of all surfaces.
Among the cleanest surfaces in hotel rooms were headboards, curtain rods and door handles to the bathroom.

There are no regulatory limits for contamination of the elements of hotel rooms, according to the study, but the findings suggest possible health risks to people with compromised immune systems.
The report of collaboration between the University of Houston, Purdue University and the University
of South Carolina, inspected nine hotel rooms, three each in Texas, Indiana and South Carolina.

While Katie Kirsch a University of Houston graduate who recently presented the study, admitted she had a small sample size, she hoped would lead to a body of research that eventually develop "environmental practices more effective and efficient."

Being able to identify elements that would be high risk would allow managers to spend more time cleaning what is contaminated, making cleanup efforts more valuable and hotel rooms safer, Kirsch said.