San 1 - Introduction to Sanitization Guide



Part 1:  Introduction





When physical objects are acquired by an assistive technology (AT) reutilization center, one of the first priorities is to make those objects safe for use by other individuals. Steps should be taken immediately to minimize the potential transmission of disease. Many diseases are caused by microorganisms – living things invisible to the naked eye. Some of these microorganisms can survive on solid surfaces for long periods of time and are transmitted through simple contact. For example, cold and flu viruses can survive up to 72 hours on solid surfaces.1 Viruses can be contracted by touching the surfaces used by an infected person – a desktop, a telephone or a computer keyboard. Handshaking is another major factor in the transmission of disease.


The best way to protect all individuals who will come into contact with reutilized equipment is to institute standard practices that make the objects safe to handle. These practices are included in the terms cleaning, disinfection, sanitizing and sterilizing. This document offers a short overview of the microorganisms that pose risk to future users, and the chemicals that may be used to control them.


Procedures for specific AT devices are provided in separate documents.


1“Lifting the Lid on computer filth,” BBC News. Retrieved January 4, 2008, from




Please note that by selecting an Internet link you will be directed to an external site, and the Pass It on Center does not control the content of the site.



This work is supported under a five-year cooperative agreement # H235V060016 awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and is administered by the Pass It On Center of the Georgia Department of Labor – Tools for Life.  However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the Department of Education, or the Georgia Department of Labor, and you should not assume endorsements of this document by the Federal government or the Georgia Department of Labor.




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Other Information

Title: San 1 - Introduction to Sanitization Guide
Module: Program Operations
Author: Trish Redmon
Audience: Implementer
Sub Title:
Organization Source: Pass It On Center
Last Reviewed: 10-25-2009 6:02 PM