Means of transportation, especially public ones, are characterized by large crowds and continuous exchange of people; those who use them on a daily basis are exposed to the risk of infectious contacts. In fact, there are a number of pathogens that can spread through means of transportation.
Therefore, proper sanitization of means of transport is essential to ensure safe service for passengers and those working on the vehicles.
Let’s delve together into the topic of transportation sanitization, an article that may be of interest to all those who work in contact with the sanitation of these entities.
Why is the sanitization of means of transport important?
Even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of means of transport – in this case, public – was a cause for concern for one’s health.
In fact, about a third of the sample of Italians interviewed said they were afraid of contracting diseases while traveling on public transport. Crowded carriages, confined spaces, and not always optimal ventilation, direct contact with surfaces or between people… there is no shortage of opportunities for contagion on vehicles; for this reason, they are often perceived as an environment that favors the risk of infection. The sanitization of public and private means of transport is extremely necessary in order to correctly prevent the spread of pathogens, potentially harmful to the health of those who use them.
But what is meant by sanitization? The set of procedures and operations is necessary to make an environment healthy. This occurs through various phases, all equally important for the success of sanitization: cleaning, to remove dirt, followed by the disinfection and/or disinfestation process, to reduce the presence of pathogens in the environment and on its surfaces.
What are the means of transport with the highest infectious risk?
In general, the means of transport have in common the fact that they collect a large number of people in a relatively limited environment, for a given period of time, which in some cases can be very long. This situation favors the proliferation of pathogens. For example, it is enough for an infected person to sneeze to spread infectious microorganisms by air, which can also easily reach others present on the means of transport. The various categories of transport vehicles also have specific characteristics, which result in different hygiene requirements.
Therefore, let’s see what types of transportation means where the risk of infection is greatest.
Means of rescue
Ambulances, medical cars, police cell phones…the infectious danger is mainly represented by the presence of blood and other biological fluids on all vehicles used to rescue the injured and sick. Furthermore, possible contamination from infectious materials and transmission of bacterial, fungal, and viral pathologies affects both those being transported and the operators working on the vehicle. Considering the specific conditions of these means of transport, in addition to the normal cyclical cleaning operations, it is advisable to also plan extraordinary disinfection activities for the entire vehicle.
The high attendance of these means of transport and the limited spaces represent the main cause of the infectious risk. Bio-aerosols, very small particles of biological origin suspended in the air, can easily contaminate the air and surfaces. On these vehicles, cleaning, and disinfection activities must be carried out regularly.
Due to the high number of people on board and the stopovers that are made during navigation, ships are exposed to the risk of epidemics. There is also the possibility of spreading foodborne infections on ships, caused by contaminated or poorly stored food in the galleys.
In addition to the spread of pathogens by air, which affects most means of transportation, the risk of infection on trains is also particularly posed by contact with contaminated surfaces (seat arms, retractable tables, grab bars, toilets, etc.).
The continuous and frequent change of customers inside the passenger compartment favors the transmission of pathogens, which can easily reach those occupying the driver’s seat by air. For this reason, periodic cleaning and disinfection are recommended on taxis, to be carried out with special disinfectants for surfaces or environments.
The most common pathogens on means of transport
Not only Covid-19, but proper sanitization of public and private transport also allows us to defend ourselves against a series of other infectious diseases caused by various pathogens. In addition to allowing people to move, means of transport are also used to circulate goods, food, and animals, thus expanding the possible sources of contagion.
Pathogenic microorganisms that may be present in transport vehicles include:
- Influenza viruses: small particles of contaminated bioaerosol spread through the air, but these viruses can survive for a short time even on surfaces.
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TBC): a Gram-positive mycobacterium that causes tuberculosis.
- Adenoviruses: viruses that are particularly resistant to chemical and physical changes in the environment in which they are found.
- Viral hepatitis viruses (B, C): these viruses are transmitted mainly through contact with the blood of infected people.
- HIV: it is a retrovirus that is transmitted by contact with infected blood or needles and by sexual contact.
- H5N1 virus (avian flu): the source of contagion of avian flu viruses is usually represented by direct contact with the saliva, mucus, or feces of an infected bird. However, the virus can also infect humans through droplets dispersed in the air or by contaminated objects and surfaces.
- Legionella pneumophila bacterium: the inhalation of bioaerosol contaminated by this bacterium causes the transmission of Legionella.
AMIL Care: sanitization professionals in every sector
The various types of public and private means of transport need high-level sanitization, which falls within current guidelines and regulations. As regards the measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, for the transport and logistics sector, the reference document is the protocol in the Official Gazette no. 272, of November 15, 272. AMIL Care sanitization solutions, certified and patented, respond in a concrete and safe way to the sanitization needs of various sectors, not just the health sector, in line with the related regulations.
If ordinary cleaning activities in means of transport can be carried out by any operator, as far as disinfection is concerned, you must rely on qualified personnel and choose specific and non-toxic products. The consolidated experience of AMIL Care in the field of sanitization has allowed the development of systems capable of responding to the needs of different sectors and offering optimal results. The combination of automated dispensing devices and chemical disinfectant products, both developed by AMIL Care, guarantees effective and safe sanitization in all its phases.
The Medisystem system, made up of a range of micro-nebulizing devices and a series of chemical solutions mainly based on hydrogen peroxide, reaches even the most critical points of the environment to be disinfected and acts on the major multi-resistant pathogens. Hydrogen peroxide is an active ingredient with proven efficacy that leaves no residue, the ideal choice for sanitizing environments and surfaces in many sectors, including transport.
AMIL Care is always available to answer questions relating to the world of sanitization. Do not hesitate to contact us if something is not clear to you.