Defeating Infection in Athletic Facilities: How to Knock Germs Out of the Game
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AthleticsDecember 5, 2019

Defeating Infection in Athletic Facilities: How to Knock Germs Out of the Game

It’s no secret that athletic facilities tend to be breeding grounds for dangerous infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), impetigo, herpes gladiatorium, and ringworm, which can not only bench athletes for the season, but lead to life-long health implications.

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MRSA is a leading cause of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the United States, with nearly 90,000 Americans infected with MRSA every year. This comes as no surprise since MRSA is easily spread when contaminated surfaces come into contact with human skin. When contracted, symptoms of MRSA consist of small red bumps, pimples, or boils that may be tender, swollen, or warm to the touch, and can be accompanied by a fever. In more severe cases, MRSA infections can even invade the bloodstream and become a life-threatening infection. For athletic facilities, which house a plethora of high-touch surfaces, pathogens can be easily spread between skin and surfaces. After all, an average gym’s free weights tend to have about 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

That said, while infections like MRSA can be easily contracted, they can also be readily prevented by implementing an effective disinfection strategy capable of killing even the most stubborn pathogens of dangerous bacteria, viruses, and fungi. By doing so, germs can be knocked out of the game, and athletes can be kept in it.

When devising an athletic facility disinfection game plan, it’s important to consider the following parameters:

Identify & Disinfect Vulnerable Environments, Surfaces & Objects

While it’s important to disinfect as much of an athletic facility as possible, identifying key environments, surfaces, and objects that are at risk of housing and transmitting dangerous pathogens can improve the results of disinfection efforts. These environments include locker rooms, gyms, and health clubs where equipment is shared by numerous individuals. More specifically, the CDC recommends focusing on commonly touched surfaces that come into direct contact with people’s bare skin on a daily basis. While some of the surfaces that the CDC mentions—such as towels and razors—are machine washable or regularly disposed of, other surfaces like exercise equipment, chairs, benches, and light switches rely on manual wipe downs by athletes—which vary heavily in thoroughness based on user—and occasional cleanings by gyms.

Leverage an EPA-validated Product

In high volume areas of athletic facilities, where skin-to-skin contact is common, the CDC recommends utilizing products that are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved to eradicate pathogens like MRSA, which can persist on surfaces for hours, days, or even weeks. To ensure your pathogen-elimination strategy is using an EPA-registered and CDC-recommended solution, it’s important to look at product labels, which will list the germs a solution can kill along with an EPA registration number.

Beyond this, it’s important to consider solutions best able to eliminate hard-to-reach pathogens. While many spray-and-wipe solutions are approved by the EPA, they fail to deliver a uniform solution across environments, and so leave behind pathogens in lockers, on equipment, and in shared spaces. While such solutions are ideal for athletes to use before and after utilizing equipment, eradicating pathogens throughout facilities requires a flexible solution like dry fog that can both reach all spaces and be safe to use around electronics.

Knock Germs Out of the Game
In order to knock dangerous pathogens like MRSA out of the game, it’s necessary to leverage an EPA-registered disinfectant with a MRSA kill claim, like Halosil’s HaloMist™. As an EPA-certified sanitizer against pathogens such as MRSA, HaloMist™ sanitizes after only 5 minutes of contact. When used in tandem with our Halo Disinfection System®, which leverages a dry fogging delivery to reach pathogens in all of the nooks and crannies often overlooked during manual cleanings, facilities can use its sporicidal properties to help protect athletics from the health risks assumed when using shared equipment.

Ready to knock dangerous germs out of the game? Contact Halosil today.

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