We know germs are on the brain as Flu season approaches. We all start to think about the extra steps we need to take to ensure we stay healthy; but what if precautions you did not even think about to stay healthy were taken for you? Have you ever thought about how germs linger on the things you touch while in public? OF COURSE YOU HAVE! A simple trip to the grocery store can unleash a tidal wave of creepy crawlies just waiting to infiltrate your body and wreak havoc on your immune system. And we're not just talking about the grocery store, you come into contact with the crud everywhere you go, the doctor’s office, the library, even your office. You can combat bacteria/viruses using the old adages of washing your hands frequently and getting your flu shot, but is that really enough?
Obviously living in a bubble for the duration of flu season is not really a practical option.
I have a suggestion: Antibacterial finishes.
Imagine if more attention were paid to all of the possible ways germs can spread by lingering on surfaces we come into contact with while out in public or even at the workplace. How many fewer germs could be spread?
A number of commercial upholstery manufacturers such as Ultrafabrics and Brentano offer antibacterial fabric finishes that can be used in both indoor and outdoor environments, hospitals, corporate environments and in your home. These finishes not only safeguard against the growth of bacteria, they also can withstand various disinfectant cleaners. Manufactures like Darran are coming up with wood additives that give anti-microbial barriers to their wood finishes that inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus. Seating can be protected too.
Manufacturers like Ideon offer antimicrobial fabrics, wood finishes and also manufacture seating that can be deconstructed to allow for clean out in the crevices where germs like to hide.
AND for that purist out there, when additives are just not your cup of tea, there are
options for you too. Seating that is manufactured without any joints or hardware offers a completely cleanable product. The Knoll Spark chair for example, is integrally colored polypropylene, molded into a solid continuous chair eliminating all the nooks and crannies for germs to hide, making it easy to wipe down the entire surface.
Along with furniture pieces having antimicrobial technology and easy clean features, they need to be able to withstand the cleaning products that keep them germ free. Knoll has put both their Spark side chair and Chadwick task chair to the test, testing 5 common bleach cleaners to ensure that their products will hold up.
Let’s face it, germs are a part of life and we can never be completely free of them. However, if extra precautions are taken by incorporating antibacterial finishes or selecting furniture that is completely cleanable, the spread of germs could certainly be reduced.