New strains of MRSA, a drug-resistant bacteria, are emerging nationwide, causing hundreds of thousands of infections annually according to federal data, reports and academic studies. Though cases once were confined to hospitals, they are now showing up regularly in schools and gym locker rooms.
Formally known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA typically causes skin infections, from small pimples to painful boils, that usually can be treated effectively by doctors. In some cases, the infections advance, destroying tissue and causing large abscesses that can require hospitalization. And when staph enters the bloodstream or attacks the lungs as bacterial pneumonia, it becomes especially dangerous — often fatal. Federal data suggest that nearly 23,000 people die each year with MRSA infections.
Locker rooms are an ideal living environment for bacteria. Warm, humid, and moist environments encourage their growth and reproduction – See more here.
The CDC urges MRSA education and routine cleaning and disinfecting is recommended for lockers.
Tufftec athletic gym lockers are made of HDPE solid plastic which is a naturally germ resistant material. In addition, they are power washable and steam cleanable so there is no risk of rust or delamination therefore leaving a healthier environment for students. Because the material is a solid color throughout and not painted, a wide variety of cleaning solutions can be applied to the HDPE surface.
According to Sports Turf Northwest,, there are two ways to kill bacteria lurking on surfaces in a gym locker room that can cause MRSA and Staph. Harsh and toxic chemicals can be used, but will need to be used at least once a day with particular attention to sanitizing every locker room surface. A simpler and less toxic solution is ultra violet light technology (also called germicidal UVC). UVC is a special wavelength of light not visible to the human eye that penetrates the cell walls of microorganisms and destroys their ability to reproduce. Applying this light to your locker room surfaces is made easy with the miniZapr, made by Greensgroomer Worldwide. The miniZapr offers everything you need to eliminate harmful bacteria in locker rooms, on gym equipment, or community mats and other sports items. The miniZapr can be used just like a vacuum cleaner on floors or comes with a pull away germicidal UVC wand to sanitize tough to reach surfaces and small spaces. It is powered by either a small generator or you can plug it right into a wall outlet. Anyone can use the miniZapr, and it poses no health risk, unlike toxic chemicals, to patrons or staff. – See more here
Scranton Products has also tested their Tufftec athletic gym lockers with SiTU Bioscinces LLC by the ISO 22196 methods. The test results showed that after 24 hours, MRSA bacterial died off the surface of HDPE plastic without the use of any cleaning solutions.