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Engelse vertaling van Hygiene Plumeaus (Feather duster hygiene)

Despite the fact that feather dusters do not qualify for interior cleaning or other cleaning applications, feather dusters are still regularly used for this purpose, also in the health service. While cleaning with a feather duster, dirt and the micro-organisms will collet in the feather duster. Due to mechanical action, it is conceivable that at a certain point during the cleaning process, the collected dust will partly be dislodged into the ambient air and onto cleaned surfaces due to mechanical action. Because the dislodged dirt will also release the micro-organisms from one location to another, the feather duster could actually be a source of contamination in this way.

Given the relation regarding potential risks of infection, it is relevant to investigate the degree of contamination of feather dusters used in health care to ascertain the extent in which pathogens are spread through the air and onto cleaned surfaces and the potential health risks this poses for residents and cleaners.

The objective of the research was twofold: on the one hand it served to provide insight into the degree of contamination carried by the feather dusters used in daily practice and on the other hand, to quantify the degree in which the used feather dusters release the already present micro organisms back into the air and onto cleaned surfaces during use.

Determining viable pathogen release into ambient air

Used feather dusters were collected from seven hospitals. Some of the feather dusters were subsequently used in a cleaning activity in which an imitation of part of a ceiling with an air vent was cleaned - an activity for which feather dusters are regularly used in daily practice.
Following on from this, samples were taken to establish how many pathogens were released into the ambient air. Subsequently, the quantities of the different types of micro-organisms present in the feather dusters were ascertained.

Determining viable pathogen release onto cleaned surfaces

Used feather dusters were collected from three hospitals. These feather dusters were used to clean three different surfaces consisting of three different material composites. Ascertaining how many pathogens were transferred from the feather dusters to the cleaned surfaces immediately followed this. Lastly, it was determined how many micro-organisms were present in the used feather dusters.

The primary conclusions of the research are:

• While cleaning objects positioned at a higher level with a used feather duster, the air below shows an increased level to a substantially increased level of air contamination.
• The increased pathogen concentration in the air is very local and, after mixing with the air in the environment, will result in a limited increase of the initial air contamination.
• Due to the local nature of the increase in air contamination, possible effects will be limited to persons in the immediate vicinity of the cleaning activity.
• The degree of contamination on the surfaces cleaned with the used feather dusters is negligible and only seems to be of relevance in risk situations.