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Infection Control

Frequently Asked Questions - Carpeting/Cloth Furnishings

Carpeting is harder to keep clean than nonporous, hard-surface flooring, and cannot be reliably disinfected, especially after spills of blood and body substances. Several studies have documented the presence of diverse microbial populations, primarily bacteria and fungi, in carpeting. Cloth furnishings pose contamination risks similar to those of carpeting in areas of direct patient care and areas where contaminated materials are managed (i.e., dental operatories, laboratories, instrument processing areas). For these reasons, carpeted flooring and furnishings upholstered with fabric should not be used in these areas.

Selected References and Additional Resources

CDC. Guidelines and Recommendations for Healthcare-associated Infections.

Gerson SL, Parker P, Jacobs MR, Creger R, Lazarus HM. Aspergillosis due to carpet contamination. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1994;15:221–223.

Skoutelis AT, Westenfelder GO, Beckerdite M, Phair JP. Hospital carpeting and epidemiology of Clostridium difficile. Am J Infect Control 1993;22:212–217.

US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 29 CFR Part 1910.1030. Occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens; needlestick and other sharps injuries; final rule. Federal Register 2001;66:5317–5325. Updated from and including 29 CFR Part 1910.1030. Occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens; final rule. Federal Register 1991;56:64003–64182. Accessed 9/21/09.

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