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MRSA

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aurous), commonly referred to as a virus, is actually a strain of bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.  It got its name because this strain of bacteria is resistant to the antibiotic methicillin.  It has since become resistant to a number of other types of antibiotics because it is mutating. This strong bacteria can cause a flesh-eating bacteria to appear on the body.

MRSA infections commonly occur on the body where visible skin cuts or abrasions are found. Infection can happen in areas of the body covered by hair, such as the back of the neck, groin, buttocks, armpits, and beard area of men.

Most MRSA infections occur in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. Like all staph bacteria, it can spread from one person to another through casual contact or through contaminated objects. It is commonly spread from the hands of someone who has MRSA. This could be anyone in a health care setting or in the community. MRSA is usually not spread through the air like the common cold or flu virus, unless a person has MRSA pneumonia and is coughing.  MRSA can be fatal to those who become infected.

MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheet

Written information on a product that reflects the hazards of working with the material in an occupational fashion. A MSDS is designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance. The sheet includes information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures.

Microfiber

Microfiber textiles are made of a blend of synthetic fibers to make a very soft fabric.  A blend of microscopic polyester and polyamide fibers are split to create microscopic “hooks.”  Half the thickness of silk and 100 times finer than a human hair, a microfiber is the tiniest man-made fiber ever created.

Microfiber cloths are very effective for cleaning because the hooks act as claws, scraping up and holding dust, dirt, and grim, rather than just moving it around as with ordinary cloths.  In fact, microfiber can absorb up to 7 times its weight in water, and it has been described as having a “magnetic attraction to dirt and dust.”

Cleaning with microfiber products is environmentally friendly because chemical use can be minimized. Microfiber products are extremely soft, they do not scratch surfaces, but at the same time they are sturdy and tough on dirt.

Microorganisms

A microorganism or microbe is an organism (usually only one cell) that is so small it cannot be seen with the naked eye; they can only be seen by using a microscope.  Scientists have identified over 5,000 microbe species.

There are five categories of microorganisms:
 

  • bacteria

  • viruses

  • fungi

  • algae

  • protozoa


Most microorganisms are harmless to man, and many are helpful such as those that clean up sewage and other waste, or those that help keep our bodies in balance.

Some microbes are harmful to man causing diseases, infections, and other sicknesses; these are generally referred to as germs.

Microorganisms, Keeping Them Under Control

Personal hygiene and regular, thorough housecleaning are essential to keeping harmful microorganism from reproducing to unsafe levels.  Frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of microbes that cause many common illnesses.  Regular cleaning of surfaces in the home removes dirt and food particles on which germs can grow.

Cleaners should specify “disinfect,” “disinfectant,” “antibacterial” or “sanitize” on the label, as well as an EPA registration number that ensures the products have met EPA requirements for killing germs.

Microorganisms, Killing with Disinfectants and Antimicrobial Cleaning Agents

Depending on the active ingredient(s) and the product formulation, commercial cleaning products are designed to kill bacteria such as Salmonella and E-coli, which cause intestinal illness, and Staphylococcus which causes skin infections; fungus that causes athlete's foot; and viruses such as Herpes simplex, Rhinovirus, which is the leading cause of the common cold; and Rotavirus, the major cause of diarrhea in young children. Read the label to find out specifically which germs the product is intended to kill.

Microorganisms, Where Most Are Found in Your Home

The most germ-ridden surface in your home is likely to be your carpet, not your toilet seat, as many people would think.  Laboratory tests show that in a typical home, per square inch, a toilet seat has 49 bacteria, 18,025 on a bathroom floor, and 200,000 on carpets. (Again, this is per square inch!)

Mildew

Mildew is a thin, usually black, sometimes white, growth produced on many surfaces by mold. Molds are simple plants. Molds that cause mildew need moisture and certain temperatures in order to grow. They commonly develop in humid environments such as shower tiles and shower curtains.

Mold

Molds are microscopic fungi, which are neither plants nor animals. In nature, molds use enzymes to eat dead plants and animals. Inside our homes, molds are usually not a problem unless airborne mold spores land in wet or damp area where they like to live and breed.

If there is a damp, musty location, molds can attack materials, particularly in an attic, bathroom, or basement, such as fiberboard, drywall, carpet backing, paper, dust, wood, or exposed soils in crawlspaces. Once established in a building, molds can spread, destroying structural wood components, and can be hard to get rid of.

Molds have the potential to cause health problems.  Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).  Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.  Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis).  Allergic reactions to mold are common.  They can be immediate or delayed.  Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.  In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.  Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. 

Mold, Harmful Effects of

In addition to its unsightly appearance, mold can present a hazard to one's health. It's an airborne allergen and an irritant that is easily inhaled. Someone who suffers from household allergies or asthma no doubt has trouble breathing in homes with mold infestations. Complications caused by mold spores include headaches and/or fever, coughing and wheezing, runny nose and sinus problems, ongoing flu-like symptoms, skin rashes, and diarrhea.

Mysophibia

Mysophibia means the fear of germs.  We shouldn’t really “fear” germs since the responsible use of antimicrobial agents and thorough cleaning procedures can help keep harmful germs from causing illnesses.

NFPA  (National Fire Protection Association)

The National Fire Protection Association, among other responsibilities, identifies the hazards of materials and the degree of severity of health, flammability, and instability hazards.  Hazard severity is indicated by a numerical rating that ranges from zero (0) indicating a minimal hazard, to four (4) indicating a severe hazard.  The NFPA health rating is factored into White Glove’s Green Cleaning Policy.  The NFPA Web site is www.nfpa.org.

Norovirus

Actually a group of viruses that cause “stomach flu” or gastroenteritis in people is termed “noroviruses” (plural).  The virus causes illness with symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping.  People also may have low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness.  Sickness usually lasts one or two days without any long-term effect.

The virus is extremely contagious and is found in the stool or vomit of infected people.  Infection can occur by eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with noroviruses; touching surfaces or objects contaminated with noroviruses then placing their hand in their mouth; or by having direct contact with another person who is infected.

Off-Gas

Off-gassing is the tendency of many chemicals to volatilize, or let off molecules in the form of gas that mixes with the air.

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