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www.NBC News

Stethoscopes Are More Germy Than Docs' Palms, Study Finds

By JoNel Aleccia

Health care workers’ hands are notorious for spreading germs in hospitals, but a new study suggests that the stethoscopes around their necks may be just as bad.

Researchers in Switzerland found that the diaphragms of stethoscopes — the part that a doctor presses against your chest — were more contaminated with the superbug MRSA than the palm of the hand.

(Link to the original article)


Berkeley Lab News Center (U.S. Dept. of Energy)

June 05, 2013

Berkeley Lab study finds correlation between higher illness absences and lower ventilation rates in California elementary schools.

Analyzing extensive data on ventilation rates, researchers found that bringing classroom ventilation rates up to the state-mandated standard may reduce student absences due to illness by approximately 3.4 percent.

(link to the original article)

Virex II disinfectantFor your Health, in restrooms and break rooms, we use Diversey’s hospital-grade disinfectant, Virex II

Thoughts on Health

Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.
Carl Jung

The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up at seven-thirty in the morning feeling just plain terrible.
Jean Kerr

To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

'Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.
Henry David Thoreau

Water, air, and cleanness are the chief articles in my pharmacy.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Neurotics build castles in the air, psychotics live in them. My mother cleans them.
Rita Rudner

I'd find it demeaning to be cleaning toilets.
Jack Kevorkian

Lazer-X filtered floor burnisherCBN uses Laser X filtered burnishers to reduce dust.

Keep you and your staff healthy, productive, and on the job

We’ll help keep your office sanitary and air allergen free, using:


HEPA filtered vacuums


Hard surface HEPA floor vacuums


Microfiber dust-wipes (not feather dusters)

Microfiber damp mops (not string mops)


Touchpoint sanitizer throughout your office


Restroom hospital-grade disinfectant


No unfriendly chemicals.
Our Indoor Air Quality Program

Microfiber cloths to remove dustAllergies and asthma symptoms may be exacerbated by indoor particulates (a mixture of dander, dust mite feces, various forms of microbial life, and simple mineral dust).  These allergens can cause symptoms ranging from stuffy noses and watery, itchy eyes through major respiratory distress, and they are all easily controllable through proper building maintenance procedures.

Studies have shown a marked reduction in absenteeism when Indoor Air Quality procedures such as those used by CBN are observed.  Texas Air Filters states, “Measures to improve IAQ don't cost - they pay!”  The cost of proper cleaning is more than offset by the increased costs attributable to “sick time”.

CBN Building Maintenance uses the latest technological innovations to keep our clients breathing easy.  Let us introduce you to a healthier, safer, and more productive workplace.

Particle Counter to measure Indoor Air Quaity improvement
  Particle meterA hand-held airborne particle counter helps us measure Indoor Air Quality. The device draws in a volume of air, filters particles by size, and provides an accurate measure of air cleanliness. We measure our clients’ indoor air quality periodically, usually in conjunction with a daytime customer service visit; written reports, from initial readings onward, are available. Over a period of time, we generally observe significant Indoor Air Quality improvements using our dust control measures.


The industry is starting to notice – here’s an article by CBN’s Bob Croft, in September’s Cleaning and Maintenance Management magazine, on the details of our IAQ measuring program.

HEPA Vacuums

Backpack vacuums reach under furniture and into corners better.HEPA vacuums capture and retain 99.97% of the particles in the critical size range (appx 0.3 micron) which has been found to most cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma.  0.3 micron HEPA vacuums capture spores, pollen, airborne bacteria and dust mite feces.  Traditional paper bags only filter particles down to about ten microns; many janitorial firms still use old-technology dumpable cloth vacuum bags, which pump a visible cloud of even larger particles into the air.

Particles remain airborne up to eight hours after passing through the vacuum - waiting for you to remove them from the air by inhaling them yourself (ten microns is about the smallest particle visible to the eye; one micron is approximately the size of large cigarette smoke particles.  Many allergens are between 1 and 10 microns in diameter)


Particles in the one to ten micron range include airborne bacteria, some spores and pollen, and dust mite droppings - in essence, lots of allergens.  This size seems particularly dangerous to the lungs, based on studies of cancer, birth defects, etc.

Particle size chart
Greenguard Environmental Institute

We use the Diversey “Healthy High Performance Cleaning” program, the only cleaning system currently certified under Greenguard Environmental Institute’s Product Emissions Standard for Children & Schools.

Our program combines certified cleaning chemicals, microfiber technology and advanced procedures to promote more healthful Indoor Air Quality.

Microfiber dust wipes - not feather dusters
  OstrichBesides allowing our poor ostrich to keep his tail feathers intact, our dust wipes trap dust - without dampening your furniture or leaving an oily chemical residue - and remove it from your building; much better than feather dusting the particles into the air for us all to breathe.
Microfiber damp wipes – not cotton towels
  Microfiber holds over seven times its weight in cleaning/sanitizing solution, allowing thorough cleaning and sanitizing of common touchpoints around the office. This helps to avoid cross-contamination, for instance from restrooms to lunch rooms.  Split microfibers retain the tiniest of particles, allowing us to remove them from your facility.  By comparison, old-fashioned cotton cloths (with much wider fibers) miss many particles.
Touchpoints – Avoid cross-contamination
Microfiber and Diversey's Alpha HP to sanitize touchpointsThe common places we all touch: flush handles, faucets, towel dispensers, light switches, doorknobs and jambs.  These are the touchpoints that you, along with everyone else in your office, touch every day.  We use Diversey’s Hydrogen Peroxide product, Alpha HP, as an effective sanitizer of touchpoints throughout your building.
Tile floors vacuumed – not swept
We vacuum hard floors for superior dust retentionBesides leaving debris in corners, against edges and under furniture - and in the irregular surfaces and grouting of ceramic floors - brooms and dust mops create air turbulence, lifting fine particles (near invisible to the naked eye) into the air to remain suspended for hours.  We use CRI Green Label Certified backpack-style vacuuums to "suck up and retain" dust rather than dash it about - also to more thoroughly clean corners, edges, and under furniture.
Microfiber damp mops - not string mops

Microfiber damp mops to clean better with less chemicalNumerous studies show that, compared to the traditional string wet mop, microfiber flat mops pick up more soil, use less solution (and less chemical in that solution), and avoid dirty water slopped onto furniture legs and baseboards. 

A study conducted by the University of California at Davis Medical Center (as reviewed by the US EPA) also demonstrates superior pathogen removal - bacterial culture shows a 30% removal using string mops, versus a 99% removal using microfiber.

Filtered floor burnishers
We use filtered floor burnishers to reduce airborne particulatesHave you ever noticed a coating of gritty gray dust on your furniture the morning after your janitor "polishes" your tile floors? Burnishing (ultra high-speed buffing - required for today's harder floor finishes) creates dust - a combination of ground-in dirt, powdered floor finish, and material wearing off the machine's pad.  Our filtered Laser X™ burnishers minimize this problem, and keep your air cleaner.
No aerosols
When spraying an aerosol, both propellant and chemical become airborne, which fouls the air and wastes the chemical. We use squirt bottles and pump sprayers; no propellant is involved, and more of the cleaning chemical hits the work surface. Better than in your air, don't you think?
No bleach or ammonia
Chlorinated bleach and ammonia are both noxious compounds in and of themselves.  Besides their individual characteristics of user unfriendliness and potential for damage to some surfaces (try dribbling bleach on your carpet), when accidentally combined, they produce chlorine gas - not something you want to breathe.
No scouring powder (AJAX, Comet, etc.)

Have you ever noticed the cloud of dust when you shake the stuff out of the can? 

Scouring powders are a combination of high pH detergents and finely ground pumice.  Many also contain bleach.  Inhaling this corrosive mixture is not at all helpful to your lungs.

Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in many cleaning and disinfecting products.  These products can release organic compounds while you are using them and, to some degree, when they are stored.   Eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, nausea, and damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system are among the noted health effects of VOC exposure.  Many organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals; some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans.

The ability of organic chemicals to cause adverse health effects varies greatly — from those that are highly toxic to those with no known health effect.  As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of the health effects will depend on many factors, including the level of exposure and length of time exposed.

The floor-care and office-cleaning products offered by Diversey are specifically formulated to be environmentally friendly and consumer health-positive.  They contain few or no harmful VOCs. This is one of the primary reasons we have chosen their product line.

Carpet protectant – an integral part of our carpet maintenance package

Included with our full-service janitorial program is application of a state-of-the-art carpet protectant to repel oil and grease and to keep dust and dirt from adhering to the carpet's surface.

Once sprayed, periodic spot cleaning becomes more effective.  The next full cleaning becomes more thorough.  Every night, as we vacuum, we remove more dry pollutants from your carpeting.  This extends the life of your carpeting, better maintains the appearance of your office, and keeps the air you breathe cleaner.

Disinfection and Sanitation
We use hospital-grade Virex II to disinfect all restroom and break room hard surfacesAdvanced sanitation service is one of the primary reasons for using a professional cleaning service (yes - there is a difference between simply cleaning and sanitizing).
Our staff is fully trained in both cleaning and sanitizing your restrooms and lunch rooms.  Microorganisms can survive for many hours on non-sanitized surfaces.  Serious food-borne illness is a very real consequence of preparing and eating food in a less than sanitary environment.
Disinfection with Diversey’s Virex™ II

In restrooms and break rooms, we use Diversey’s hospital-grade disinfectant, Virex II for the final step on all hard surfaces. Virex provides broad spectrum disinfection (pseudomonacidal, staphylocidal, salmonellacidal, fungicidal, virucidal).

Virex also assists in the elimination of biological-based odors.

Touchpoints – Avoid cross-contamination

Wiping touchpoints with microfiber cloth and Alpha HPThose common areas we all handle, such as flush handles, faucets, towel dispensers, light switches, doorknobs and jambs; these are the touchpoints that you – and everyone else in your office – touch every day

Alpha HP, Diversey’s new hydrogen peroxide based sanitizer, with a 60-second kill time, is highly effective against such pathogens as MRSA (staph), E. coli, TB, HIV, herpes, listeria, salmonella, cold and flu — and leaves no residue.  Applied with a moistened microfiber cloth, Alpha HP acts as an effective sanitizer of touchpoints throughout your building.

Research demonstrates the cleaning and dust-control methods CBN uses can significantly improve Indoor Air Quality
RTI International is one of the world's leading research institutes.  The Research Triangle Institute™ study uses

Bob Croft demonstrates the proper use of HEPA filters.•  DuPont Hysurf 1.0 micron vacuum bags (we use 0.3 micron HEPA vacuums for even finer filtration)

•  Dust wiping rather than feather dusting

•  Entryway walk-off mats

•  Appropriate chemical selection

The study produced:

•  A volatile organic chemical (VOC) reduction of 49%

•  An airborne particulate reduction of 52%

•  An average bio-contaminate reduction of 75%

The Daniels Associates™ study also uses DuPont Hysurf bags (remember, we use even finer 0.3 micron HEPA vacs) and DuPont "Dust Wizard" dust wipes (an early microfiber wipe), walk-off mats and chemical selection.

Daniels' study measured an airborne particulate reduction of 66%.

As a research-driven company, Virox partners with market leaders in an array of industries, who have all validated the scientific claims and market acceptance of their patented technologies.  The Virox logo, representing the active ingredient Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP), is synonymous with a new standard in cleaning and sanitation.
For your protection we have adopted the above-detailed procedures, including advice on entry walk-off mat placement.
As part of our full-service maintenance program, we:

•  use filtered floor burnishers to minimize dust release

•  apply carpet protectant to help release dust, providing for more effective vacuuming.

•  HEPA vacuum (rather than sweeping or dust mopping) hard floors to more effectively remove dust and debris

Microfiber damp mops - not string mops
Some of the tools we use to improve Indoor Air QualityNumerous studies and field experience show that, compared to the traditional string wet mop, microfiber flat mops pick up more soil, use less solution and less chemical in that solution, and avoid dirt and dirty water slopped onto furniture legs and baseboards. A study conducted by the University of California at Davis Medical Center as reviewed by the US EPA, also demonstrates superior pathogen removal - bacterial cultures show a 30% removal using string mops, versus a 99% removal using microfiber.


Health-Related Links

  At CBN, we take pride in our position as an expert resource in the fields of health and indoor air quality. We keep abreast of ongoing research in these fields, and pass along exciting developments to our clients. More importantly, we use this information when updating our procedures and ongoing personnel training programs. Listed below are links to sources of information on indoor air quality and state-of-the-art cleaning practices as they relate to your health, at home as well as at the office.
Green Seal (protecting our environment)

... to the extent technologically and economically feasible, reduce the environmental impacts associated with the manufacture, use and disposal of products.

  An industry-independent, third-party testing program for low emitting products and materials.  Click to see the GreenGuard ad in FitPregnancy Magazine.

US Green Building Council

A non-profit composed of leaders from every sector of the building industry working to promote buildings and communities that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. CBN is proud to be a member of the USGBC.

The Ashkin Group is an internationally recognized consulting firm working to green the cleaning industry. Their expertise is utilized by governments, legislators and policy makers, advocates, building owners and property management companies, labor unions, trade and professional associations, manufactures, service providers, and janitorial product distributors to develop more sustainable cleaning practices around the world.

The Ashkin Group is dedicated to creating healthier, more productive indoor environments with lower burdens on natural systems, while creating sustainable value for its clients. The company's commitment to Green Cleaning is more than business, it is a passion, a calling, a mission in life – to transform the cleaning industry.

The Healthy Schools Campaign envisions a society in which:

  •  Every student, faculty and staff member, regardless of race or socioeconomic background, has equal access to a healthy school environment.

  •  Schools serve as leaders making the critical connection between learning and health.

  •  Students have fewer risks of disease, lead healthier adult lives, act as stewards of the environment and achieve their highest potential

EPA and OSHA on Indoor Air Quality
Both EPA's and OSHA's indoor air quality sites discuss a wide range of IAQ concerns, including indoor air quality, airborne chemical pollutants, airborne diseases, sick building syndrome, asbestos, radon, and air quality dangers commonly emanating from HVAC ductwork and carpeting. These sites are geared to health professionals.

Would you believe that some common houseplants remove specific airborne pollutants common to our indoor environment? Research sponsored by NASA shows that philodendron, spider plants and dieffenbachia remove formaldehyde (found in new carpeting, insulation, particle board and furniture), English Ivy and chrysanthemums remove benzene (from oils, plastics, synthetic fibers) and so forth. Experiments also show that plants help remove airborne particulate matter (dust). Neat stuff (the information - not the dust).

Counterpoint to NASA article (We'll post any updates we find!)
  The idea of common plants solving IAQ problems is attractive. Most people like having plants in their homes and offices and in the hotels, stores, and public buildings they visit. However, important questions exist as to whether plants can actually affect indoor air sufficiently to warrant their use as air cleaners.
Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI)

The Carpet and Rug Institute (a national trade association of carpet manufacturers) has developed a "Green Label" testing program, focusing on indoor air quality, to aid both consumers and office designers in the selection of carpet, padding, and carpet adhesive. Of particular interest to us, their study also addresses the efficiency of various makes and designs of vacuum cleaners. Here they look at soil removal capability, carpet appearance retention and, most significantly, dust containment - not blowing the dust back into the room.

EPA's IAQ publication
The EPA publishes "An Office Building Occupant’s Guide to Indoor Air Quality" - interesting reading.
  We participate in the American Indoor Air Quality Council, headquartered in Glendale, Arizona. They have a strong local chapter and an informative newsletter. The chapter meetings are a good place to network on HVAC, mold remediation and air quality issues.
National MSDS Repository
  Want to find out about that bottle of stuff under your kitchen sink - or maybe in the janitor's closet? As long as you've got the trade name, or the manufacturer's name and product code, you can click on the National MSDS Repository
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI)
  Sure, we're all aware of allergies evidenced by congestion, breathing difficulties, and so forth. But - if your eyes itch, are red, tearing or burning, pay attention to what they may be telling you. You may have eye allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis. Check out the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's site.
The American Lung Association provides information on subjects as diverse as indoor air pollutants, sick building syndrome, duct cleaning, carpet and IAQ, allergens and occupational air quality hazards .
California Air Resources Board (CARB)
California Air Resources Board's site has, among other data, a list of sources and potential health dffects of specific indoor air pollutants.