Contour Blog

07Jun2016

Could using antimicrobial products reduce school absenteeism?

In 2015 BioCote reported how the world’s first ever antimicrobial classroom saw a huge 96% reduction in bacteria. Following on from the initial study, the antimicrobial classroom and the untreated equivalent have been monitored continually throughout the academic calendar. BioCote’s findings continue to show the positive impact antimicrobial treated surfaces and products have on reducing the levels of bacterial contamination.

Contour is an exclusive partner to BioCote with regards to the use of the market leading antimicrobial protective coating on radiators and radiator guards. All of Contour’s LST and specialist anti-ligature radiator guards incorporate BioCote protection into the final finish outside and inside.

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As predicted, the study is continuing to show the treated classroom has less bacteria than its standard counterpart. In contrast, in the untreated classroom, pathogenic bacteria were identified and recovered. These bacteria have the potential to cause sickness which can quickly spread around the classroom and beyond – affecting both pupils and staff. In comparison, the BioCote protected products in the treated classroom including the Contour LST radiator guards, did not have any pathogenic bacteria contaminating them.

Less contamination and more hygienic is a nice ideal but how could BioCote protected products really benefit the environment or the people that occupy them? In this instance could it mean a reduction in absenteeism? This would be good news for everyone including staff, parents and perhaps even the UK economy.

With regards to absenteeism, BioCote’s initial results could also be considered positive. When absenteeism figures for the two environments are compared the number of children reported absent due to illness in the BioCote protected classroom was less, in fact some 20% less.

Of course, in one classroom with 30 or so pupils the significance of this is minimal, but what if this was reflected across every classroom in the school, the Local Education Authority or the country? BioCote is still collecting data and the numbers of children absent from the school is continuing to be monitored to give a further understanding of the correlation between the use of BioCote protected products, less bacterial contamination and a reduction of absenteeism.

School absenteeism can have a huge negative effect on the economy: parents having to take time off work to look after sick children can impact businesses (absence from work costs the UK economy £100 billion a year) and the increased use of supply teachers to replace absent staff not only costs our schools dearly but also reportedly hinders children’s learning.

The use of antimicrobial products could transform learning environments and be a breakthrough for the education sector. This could also of course be true of other environments such as offices, shopping centres or public transport.

Dr. Richard Hastings, leader of the study at BioCote, comments: “A cleaner, more hygienic learning environment ultimately creates a safer environment for both pupils and teachers. The more hygienic the environment, the less chance of catching an infection or passing it on to others.”

For more information on BioCote see http://www.biocote.com/blog/video-worlds-first-antimicrobial-classroom/.

Click the links below for further details on our range of BioCote protected radiators and guards.