Ecolab: Helping Make the World Cleaner, Safer and Healthier

We share our understanding of the disease process and knowledge of air, surfaces and water to treat microorganisms and help prevent them from spreading
Oct 22, 2012 9:00 AM ET

Clean and sanitary surfaces are essential to life and critical to the success of many businesses. They’re expected and demanded by building occupants, hotel guests, restaurant diners and hospital patients. An effective indoor environment management strategy requires a careful combination of tools and expertise. From hand hygiene and housekeeping programs to indoor air quality and pest elimination systems and strategies, we help protect the places where people eat, sleep, work, play and heal.

Drawing on a Deep Knowledge Base

John Hanlin, Ph.D., is vice president of Public Health for Ecolab and a subject matter expert in infection prevention and contamination control. “There is a deep knowledge base at Ecolab,” Dr. Hanlin says. “Our experienced researchers have advanced degrees in microbiology, chemistry, entomology and food science, as well as the engineering and packaging sciences. We leverage our understanding of the disease process and our knowledge of food, surface and water microbiology towel our customers protect public health.”

From restaurants to hospitals, we help enhance the customer experience and prevent the spread of infection.

Developing an Innovative, Efficient Solution

It’s not surprising that a clean restroom is important to restaurant patrons. What’s surprising is just how important. A full 75percent of guests say they will not return to an establishment if the restrooms are not well kept.1 To improve bathroom cleanliness and simplify the process for employees, our researchers and engineers designed the Cleaning Caddyand Oasis Proproducts. This touch-free solution eliminates the need to hire outside cleaning contractors, significantly lowers costs and gets restrooms 54 percent cleaner than traditional cleaning methods.2

Improving Cleaning Outcomes

Research shows that 50 percent of hospital patient room and operating room surfaces are contaminated even aftercleaning.3,4 When problems like this are identified, we step in. That’s why we’ve developed products like Virasept®, already-to-use hard-surface disinfectant with efficacy against Clostridium difficilespores — a type of bacteria that causes diarrhea linked to 14,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Virasept disinfectant kills Clostridium difficile spores and is effective against other pathogens like MRSA, VRE,E. coli, HIV-1, Hepatitis B virus, Influenza A virus and Norovirus.

To help prevent the spread of infection, we blend our knowledge of surface contamination and the chemical properties of disinfectants to develop programs like our EnCompassTM Environmental Hygiene Program. EnCompass controls variables such as the concentration and amount of disinfectant and the type of cleaning cloth used. In a pilot study, the program improved cleaning outcomes by 43 percent. At Ecolab, we’re using the best science to understand emerging public health issues and develop solutions that clean, sanitize and protect against them.

  1. Klara R. Consumer Insights: The Comfort Zone. Restaurant Business. 2004.
  2. Results based on over 1,000 swab samples collected and analyzed by Ecolab.
  3. Carling PC, Po JL, Bartley J, Herwaldt L; Healthcare Environmental Hygiene Group. Identifying Opportunities to Improve Environmental Hygiene in Multiple Healthcare Settings. SHEA Fifth Decennial Meeting; Atlanta, GA;March 18-22, 2010.
  4. Jefferson J, Whelan R, Dick B, Carling PC. A novel techniqueto identify opportunities for improving environmentalhygiene in the operating room. AORN J. 2010. (In-press.)