APRIL 1 2011 22:21h
Hands-free faucets not germ-free
Authorities at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore say they found electronic faucets in their patient care areas were more likely to be contaminated with Legionella bacteria than the old-fashioned manual type and have gone so far as to remove them and replace them with the traditional types, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
"Newer is not necessarily better when it comes to infection control in hospitals," Johns Hopkins infectious disease expert Dr. Lisa Maragakis said.
Legionella bacteria were present in 50 percent of water samples from the electronic-eye faucets tested but in only 15 percent of manual faucets tested in the same part of the hospital.
Hospital officials say they believe bacteria counts are higher in the electronic faucets because they have a complicated system of valves that makes cleaning difficult.
BALTIMORE, April 1 (UPI) -- Hands-free electronic faucets, widely assumed to help fight the spread of germs, can harbor more germs than tradition manual faucets, researchers say.