Cincinnati Researchers: Hospitals Cleaned with Unapproved Chemicals

On June 9th, 2012 By 

hospital beds cleaned with unapproved chemicalsCleaning hospital beds still involves unapproved chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that mattresses in hospitals are not cleaned up to the standards.

Students at the Cincinnati’s Xavier University carried out a research which was presented on June 4 at an APIC annual meeting.

The research reveals some alarming findings: 84 % of the hospitals researched use ammonia when attending to beds. EPA approves their use on hard surfaces and does not allow them to be applied on soft mattresses.

6 % of yhe hospitals in question expose patients to dangerous disinfectant residues as they rinse detergents as bed manufacturers recommend when washing.

113 hospitals were contacted while conducting the research. They were asked to give details in cleaning procedures, cleaning detergents used, mixing and removing them. Phenol (used in 4 % of the hospitals), bleach (10 %), quaternary ammonia compounds (84 %) and hydrogen peroxide (1 %) are used in most hospitals.

Only 23% of the hospitals clean the mattress and then proceed with disinfection. Some 9 % rinse the disinfectant, which is quite alarming.

According to Dr. Edmond Hooker, associate professor in Health Services Administration, “hospitals are not getting beds clean ” and even expose patients to harmful residues.

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