A study on contamination levels in hotel rooms led by the University of Houston, at the American Society of Microbiology, reported that two of the most contaminated items were TV remote controls and bedside lamp switches.
Just as badly contaminated were surfaces more likely to be dirty, such as bathroom toilet seats and sinks, the study said.
Of greater concern, the study said, was that some of the highest levels of contamination were found on items on housekeepers’ carts, such as sponges and mops. If these items are contaminated, they can lead to cross-contamination of rooms, making entire hotels dirtier.
The researchers sampled 18 surfaces in each hotel room, testing the total levels of bacteria and fecal bacteria on each one. Fecal bacteria was found on 81 percent of all surfaces.
Among the cleaner surfaces in hotel rooms were bed headboards, curtain rods and bathroom door handles.
There are no regulatory limits for contamination of items in hotel rooms, the study said, but its findings suggest possible health risks to people with compromised immune systems.