Over the last several years, experts in infection control have been uprooting old assumptions that hot water is an essential component in handwashing. The World Health Organization (WHO) says, “Apart from the issue of skin tolerance and level of comfort, water temperature does not appear to be a critical factor for microbial removal from hands being washed.” Water in the temperature range we can tolerate is not hot enough to kill bacteria — it would have to be scalding hot before its temperature could improve upon the simple act of scrubbing with soap.
Five reasons to eliminate hot water handwashing:
Hot water is not required for effective handwashing.
It is arguably an unnecessary expense.
It wastes energy.
It presents potential risks for patients and healthcare providers.
There are cheaper and safer design options for water systems that are as effective for handwashing.
Access the full article in the Academy of Architecture for Health Journal below:
Aaron Schiess, PE
Associate, Senior Mechanical Engineer
Technology BIM Specialist
Angela Howell, BSN, RN
Medical Equipment Planner
Angelica Chow, PE, LEED AP BD+C
Anjali Wale, PE, LEED AP
Senior Electrical Engineer
Arturo S Salud
Associate, Senior Electrical Designer
Austin Barolin, PE, CEM, LEED AP O&M
Senior Associate, Senior Energy Analyst
Bethany Beers, CCP, LEED AP BD+C
Senior Associate, Energy & Commissioning Consultant