Long Term Reduction of Bacteria on Surfaces in Public Buses

The University of Arizona’s Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science conducted a study on the long-term reduction of the transmission of infectious disease on public transportation. In the study, they coated high touch areas of municipal buses, such as the driver’s compartment and fare box, with silicon-oxide bonds and titanium-oxide bonds to test as long-term disinfectants. One group of busses was treated with the disinfectant, while another group was not, and the bacteria on each group was measured after 30 days. On the treated buses, the study found that there were statistically significantly fewer bacteria observed on the buses treated with the disinfectant. This is significant because a recent study in the United Kingdom found an increase in respiratory infections among people who had ridden in a bus or streetcar five days prior. While the application of disinfectants is known to reduce illness, surfaces have to be disinfected regularly in order to be effective. This is particularly challenging in mass transportation when large numbers of people in and out can recontaminate surfaces throughout the day. A product such as the silicon-oxide bonds and titanium-oxide bonds that could continuously reduce the microbial load would be the ideal disinfecting method for these surfaces. This study supports those results, finding that after 30 days of being treated, on busses used by an average of 12,00 people during this time, had an average of 93% fewer bacteria in the treated buses vs. the untreated buses.