Does Drinking More Water Prevent Infections?

Many of us are familiar with the advice to drink two litres of water each day because it’s good for our health. This advice is based on the idea that because we are mostly made of water, staying well hydrated will help keep our bodies and minds in tip-top condition.

But recent research has now hinted at a link between drinking enough water and our ability to resist common illnesses, especially as we get older. These findings could be particularly important for vulnerable people admitted to long term care homes and similar facilities. Studies show that around 10 per cent of elderly patients admitted as emergencies were dehydrated.

We all become more susceptible to dehydration as we get older, for a variety of reasons, but the impact when we are ill could be more severe. Escherichia coli (often called E. coli), for example, is one of the most commonly reported serious illnesses in the UK. In addition to the severity of the illness itself, it can cause complications such as urinary tract infections in patients and residents. Other research has shown that many bloodstream infections to have a urinary source.

This could explain why drinking more water might help reduce these infections because the bacteria that cause them are flushed out of the body sooner and more easily.

The study also tested whether patients and residents would drink more water. This showed that even when encouraged to drink 1500 ml a day, the average consumption was only slightly more than 1000 ml. There was some evidence that patients would drink more water if it were offered as fruit juices instead.

More research is needed but these recent findings – when considered alongside existing studies – raise an intriguing possibility: could cleaning teams help their care professional colleagues to reduce infection rates by encouraging residents to drink more water throughout the day?

Cleaning teams already play a significant role in fighting infections in care homes, whether through regimes designed to prevent and remove infections from surfaces where they can be touched or by enabling simple and effective hand hygiene. By definition, cleaning team members will be working in these facilities throughout the day and are more than likely interacting with residents, visitors and staff. It should be a relatively easy step to encourage residents to drink their water or juice regularly but – just as important – to ensure these vital liquids are always available.

Reducing Reliance on Plastics

One of the biggest sustainability talking points over the past year has been the use of plastics in packaging. The cleaning industry is not immune to these discussions but there are areas where we can help reduce the use and impact of plastics.

Reducing Use: smaller packs use less plastics and other materials. Adopting ultra concentrates – and adding water at the point of use – can reduce overall plastics consumption. Depending on the system used this can reduce packaging material by up to 98.5% compared to ready-to-use products. For example, one container of a market-leading ultra-concentrate can replace around 280 ready-to-use products for the same job. This saves over 40kg of plastics that no longer needs to be manufactured, transported, stored or recycled.

Reduced Wastage: closed-loop ultra-concentrate dosing and dilution systems greatly reduce chemical and packaging waste by preventing chemical over-use. Diversey found users overuse chemicals by six times the recommended dilution rate when using open ‘glug-glug’ containers.
Recycling: much of the plastics in cleaning product packaging can be recycled or reused. Manufacturers are constantly improving designs to make packs easier to recycle. However, recycling is dependent on local infrastructure to collect, sort, and recover packaging materials. These localised limitations mean no manufacturer can guarantee its packaging materials will be recycled everywhere.

Raw Materials: while desirable, it is often impractical to use recycled plastics for packaging because the standard and quality of the materials being used is difficult to guarantee and can be inconsistent. Using new or “virgin” plastics helps manufacturers maintain the quality and consistency to meet regulatory requirements for air transport or particular applications. Nevertheless, packaging made this way can itself often be recycled.

Progressive manufacturers – and many end user organisations – are adopting lifecycle thinking into their businesses to help minimise potential negative impacts associated with packaging. This includes utilising sustainability scorecards or similar techniques that identify opportunities to improve packaging during material selection, manufacturing, use, and eventual recycling.

The use of plastics is part of the wider sustainability trend that also includes saving water, conserving energy and preventing waste. None of these can be considered in isolation and we will be looking at some of these in future posts.

Making A Big Noise About Quiet Vacuums

Have you heard about the latest TASKI aero vacuum cleaners? We’ve been shouting about the TASKI AERO tub and TASKI AERO BACKPACK models online and in print since we launched them. But what makes these advanced machines special is not the noise we’re making but how quiet they are when you’re using them. In fact, we reckon the TASKI AERO tub vacuum is the quietest and most energy-efficient machine currently available on the professional cleaning market.

The four models in the range produce only 53dB(A) of sound and utilise just 585W of electrical power in standard model yet produce as much cleaning suction as machines rated at 1000W or more. In “eco” mode they produce just 50dB(A) and consume a mere 295W. On energy savings alone, they can pay for themselves in under three years.

The TASKI AERO models meet the stringent vacuum cleaner sound and energy level requirements covered by EU Regulations EU665/2013 and EU666/2013 that came into force in September 2017. These restrict vacuums manufactured or sold in the EU to a maximum 900W power rating and maximum 80dB(A) sound level and set additional standards for labelling and performance.

This reduction in sound levels is significant. Each 10dB reduction in sound level halves the loudness we perceive. That means that in its quietest eco mode (50dB) the TASKI AERO will sound almost eight times quieter than a machine that only just beats the 80dB limit of the new regulations. This is because 30dB is three times 10, so the sound level is halved three times (ie 1/2×1/2×1/2 = 1/8). That’s much, much quieter we think you’ll agree.

How did we do it? The engineers at TASKI came up with a revolutionary design that ensures the maximum amount of air is used to create the all-important suction at the cleaning head. By redesigning the machine’s internal airways, they eliminated the obstructions, constrictions and potential points of leakage that reduce efficiency and produce unnecessary noise. Adding newly-designed components including an ultra-efficient electric motor further boosted efficiency and cut noise. We call this combination of patented designs and components “whisper technology”.

The reduction in energy consumption is also significant. The TASKI AERO vacuums consume less than a third of the energy of previous-generation models. That means in typical professional settings they will consume around £30 less electricity a year than older and conventional machines. In other words, a TASKI AERO will pay for itself in less than three years – that’s the most competitive total cost of ownership package available.

Our new TASKI AERO BACKPACK vacuum cleaner offers similar noise and energy reduction benefits with the additional convenience of being carried comfortably as a portable electric model. For the ultimate in agility and convenience it is also available in a battery powered version. Its unique 3-in-1 capability allows it to be used as a backpack vacuum, tub vacuum or as a blower.

The compact portable design makes the TASKI AERO BP ideal for cleaning areas that are difficult to access with a conventional equipment. These include busy entrances and congested schools, office buildings or public transport. The battery model offers ultimate performance in high circulation areas, or anywhere the presence of the public makes safety a priority, because there are no trailing power leads.

It is among the lightest backpack vacuums while the ultra-slim profile and high-quality rucksack material make it extremely comfortable to carry. The near-perfect weight distribution across the user’s back ensures maximum comfort. The overall weight of the electric version is just 4.7kg, while the battery version barely exceeds this at 5.3kg.

The TASKI AERO and TASKI AERO BACKPACK vacuums are just part of the extensive TASKI range that also includes the newly redesigned TASKI ensign upright models which, like our other vacuums, all comply with the latest EU standards. To find out more about these and all other floor cleaning machines and accessories, download the new TASKI catalogue.