Open, exposed surfaces are probable reservoirs of a large number of infection-causing germs and pose as a threat to people around. These serve as the points of direct contact on inanimate objects, via skin or clothes.
High touch surfaces are those that are most frequently touched through direct contact with skin. Handrails, tabletops, elevators, chairs, etc. are a few high touch surfaces in public utility facilities. If not sanitized regularly, these surfaces can serve as a source of diseases.
Medium and low touch surfaces, as suggested by the names, are lesser touched and handled by fewer people. Electrical switch boxes, security utilities, and restricted access zones house some low touch surfaces where direct contact through the skin is limited to a few users.
High touch surfaces at home
Our homes contain several high touch surfaces that may serve as sources of microbes. Some of these include –
- Mobile phones/ telephone receivers
- Hand washing sinks and faucets
- Tables and chairs
- Door and cabinet handles
Most high touch surfaces at home acquire germs when we touch them directly after returning from crowded places without sanitizing hands.
A surface that looks clean can contain many invisible germs. You touch hundreds of surfaces daily, and unconsciously transfer germs from one place to another. The microbes on exposed surfaces keep growing in number, and especially so when on human skin. It is extremely important to sanitize high touch surfaces at home multiple times a day to prevent the spread of harmful germs.
6 ways to tackle High-Touch Surfaces at home
High touch surfaces should be sanitized through methods recommended by health authorities for complete safety at home.
- The germs on the surfaces should be frequently inactivated using hospital-grade disinfectants. CDC and WHO recommend surface disinfectants containing Ethanol, Isopropyl alcohol (IPA), Benzalkonium chloride, Chlorhexidine, etc., for effective sanitization.
- Disinfection of mobile phones, wallets, and purses is also extremely important since these are points of high skin contact, both in and outside of home.
- Disinfection of surfaces should be done multiple times every day, and especially if you regularly visit public spaces like supermarkets, banks, or office.
- Ethanol and IPA based disinfectant wipes can also be used to sanitize objects like remote controls, mobile phones, laptops, and touch-screen electronics.
- Alcohol-based disinfectant wipes can be carried along when going outside of home to stay protected on-the-go.
- The interiors and handles of cars and other personal vehicles should also be disinfected every day. These surfaces can hold a host of germs that can get transferred to other objects carried in the vehicle, like groceries and office bags.
Surface contaminants can cause a lot of germ infections that lead to serious health complications. Following simple hygiene practices, every day can help protect you from deadly bacteria and viruses. It is advised to consult a specialist guide to the type of surface disinfectant suitable for your specific use.
[This article has been prepared by Shiama Nayak, Medical Device Regulatory Executive, Axio Biosolutions.
She has 2 years of experience in the Medical Device sector and holds a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Signal Processing and Instrumentation.
You can reach out to her on LinkedIn for questions related to the article]
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
- International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
- Chicago Journals
- Infection Control Today
Disclaimer: Issued in public interest by Axio Biosolutions Private Limited. Kindly check the official guidance on WHO for more information on infection prevention and control of COVID-19.
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