Office break rooms, kitchens high-risk areas for germs in workplace

The Dallas Morning News reports, “A new study by Irving-based Kimberly-Clark Corp. says the office break room and kitchen are some of the most germ-contaminated areas in the workplace.”

According to the Morning News, “the study, which collected 5,000 swab samples from offices with more than 3,000 employees, found high counts of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, in places such as sink faucets and microwave handles.”

The story notes that ATP “is an energy molecule found on all living cells.”

Forbes notes that “office surfaces were tested to determine which ones have high levels of contamination … Everyday objects with an ATP reading of 300 or higher are considered to have a high risk for illness transmission, while surfaces with an ATP reading between 100 and 300 suggest room for improvement.”

The Huffington Post explains that even though the study did not directly relate bacteria levels to illness, researcher Dr. Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona noted that a higher level of ATP “indicates that there’s more bacteria, so the odds are certainly greater that you might come across an organism that may make you sick.”

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