Fostora, Ohio—Understanding the role surfaces play during the pandemic, Roppe Holding Company sought out third party, independent research to test the infectivity of its non-porous rubber flooring. According to the company, Roppe non-porous rubber flooring formulation renders the coronavirus inactive after 24 hours.
The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a robust inquiry into the role that surfaces may play in transmitting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Data presented in The Lancet, an independent medical journal said to be an authoritative voice in global medicine, showed the coronavirus can be detected on different surfaces in a contaminated site, and can potentially live on plastic surfaces for three to seven days.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in its Control & Prevention of COVID-19 Guidelines, stated that when people touch a surface or object contaminated with SARSCoV-2, and then touch their eyes, faces or mouths, they may be exposing themselves to the virus.
According to a study in Emerging Infectious Diseases, the journal of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a high number of commercial flooring samples in hospitals were found to be positive for the coronavirus.
The Roppe study found that the Roppe rubber flooring tested does not behave like a typical plastic surface when exposed to viral load. In comparison to the study as reported in The Lancet, the coronavirus was not infective on Roppe rubber flooring after 24 hours.
Standard Roppe flooring without antimicrobial additives was the control sample. Two Roppe flooring samples with added antimicrobial surface treatments that reduce COVID-19 infectivity were the test samples. The data show there was no infectious virus recoverable from Roppe’s control samples or treated samples at 24 hours at any dilution. Adding antimicrobials made no difference on the Roppe flooring tested—the formulation of the flooring itself rendered the virus inactive.
While there is no test method that exists to exactly replicate the activity of SARS-CoV-2 to determine the infectivity of the flooring surface itself, Roppe, with the help of the Analytical Lab Group, the same facility that validates disinfecting claims for the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), used a modified version of JIS Z 2801 as reported by The Lancet.
All test samples were cleaned with soap and water prior to testing.
The findings revealed that not only do surfaces matter when it comes to infectivity, but the type of surface also makes a difference as well. According to Roppe, its flooring can shorten the time for people to get back to work or school in the case of an outbreak—especially if you have occupancy plans that allow you to keep a space empty for 24 hours, as in a hospital, corporate facility, school or recreation center.
The study shows the need to disinfect flooring can be minimized. Proper cleaning with soap and water is always necessary to remove biological proteins. Disinfecting and sanitizing can require harsh and sometimes toxic chemicals; the type can not only affect the longevity of commercial flooring but can also have a negative health impact on the people who inhabit a space.