Cross Contamination

Cross Contamination

Germs are transferred throughout the school day among students when they do something as simple as touch a hand-towel dispenser. One solution, and the case study about it, comes from Scat Tissues and the Healthy Schools Campaign.

In the 6,000-student Lancaster Central School District in New York State, the answer to the cross-contamination problem was replacement of the old-style crank hand-towel dispensers with a touch-free system called Tork Matic. Because users only touch the towels, not the dispensing device itself, cross-contamination is no longer a big issue.

As reported at both and, teachers as well as nurses have been positive about the difference the 600 dispensers (placed in eight district school buildings) have made.

Beyond the obvious health issues, actual savings were seen in two other key areas: maintenance time and paper waste. In fact, paper usage is reported to be down by one third thanks to the controlled release of paper, which also cuts the amount of waste.

Each roll contains 700 feet of paper—much more than traditional hand-crank rolls. As a result, the frequency of roll changes, and associated maintenance, are down as well.