Could the CPAP machine really be the dirtiest place in the home?
A CPAP machine may not be the first item that comes to mind when you consider the dirtiest surfaces in your household. But scientists say that some of the filthiest places in our home are where we would least expect.
Take a minute to think – What is the dirtiest surface in your home?
Is it the door knobs? The remote? How about the toilet seat?
All of these are likely offenders. But they might not be as dirty as you think. The toilet seat, with only about 50 bacteria per square inch, is the one of the cleanest surfaces in your home. Because we all fear the bacteria that might lurk on the toilet seat, we regularly clean it. So what, then, are the dirtiest surfaces in the home?
In fact, some of the dirtiest surfaces in the home are the ones we forget to clean. According to Dr. Chuck Gerba, a microbiologist from the University of Arizona, there are about 200 times more faecal bacteria on the average cutting board than the toilet seat. Even dirtier than the surfaces we forget to clean are the surfaces that provide an ideal home for bacteria. The wet environment in a kitchen sponge, for example, is home to some 10 million bacteria per square inch, says Gerba. But what about the warm, humid environment of your CPAP equipment?
A study conducted by Dr Sandra Horowitz of Brigham Women’s Hospital concluded that CPAP masks are a source microbial contamination. CPAP equipment, commonly used as treatment for sleep apnea, should be washed daily. But researchers reported that a variety of bacteria were found inside CPAP masks, even the pathogen Staph aureus.
While hand washing with soap is generally accepted as the best way to clean CPAP equipment, this daily process is often neglected. Many CPAP users simply forget to clean their equipment, potentially allowing bacteria and fungus to compound inside.
But savvy CPAP users are turning to an innovative device released earlier this year by Massachusetts-based Better Rest Solutions. The SoClean, an automated sanitizer, uses activated oxygen to kill the mold, viruses and bacteria that grow inside CPAP equipment. Better yet, no disassembly is required to run the SoClean.
“Quite frankly, there is nothing else like the SoClean available today,” says Better Rest Solutions president, Michael Schmidt. “Whether it’s for the home user, or in an institutional setting, we feel that it will soon become the gold-standard for CPAP sanitizing.”
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