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  Greenville, SC—November 16, 2007
mPact has treated new schools, pro locker rooms with anti-microbial barrier
By Cindy Landrum
Greenville Journal

After a Virginia high school student died from an antibiotic—resistant staph infection last month, a Fountain Inn company had a big increase in phone calls.

mPact Environmental Services has a line of products that leave an invisible anti-microbial barrier on hard surfaces such as walls, floors and wood and soft surfaces such as carpet and upholstery, even football shoulder pads.

“The day Ashton Bonds died, we had a significant increase in calls about MRSA,” said Jim Cashion, the company’s chief financial officer.

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staph aureus, has been in the news lately.

Several schools in Virginia, Ohio and Michigan were closed after outbreaks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 25 percent of the population carries staph bacteria- one of the most common causes of infection- in their bodies. While such infections are usually minor, invasive MRSA infections can become fatal because they are caused by drug-resistant staph.

A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that MRSA infections occurred in nearly 95,000 Americans in 2005. Based on those figures, an estimated 18,650 people died due to their MRSA infection in 2005. That death rate is higher than the HIV/AIDS death rate for that year, and the number of MRSA-related deaths is much higher than previously thought.
For a long time, staph infections were confined to hospitals. But now they are found in the community.
There have been no reported cases of MRSA in Greenville County Schools.

Cashion said that his company has been treating the new schools in the district’s $1 billion construction program with a microbial shield.

“The big issue then was mold,” Cashion said.

But Cashion said that his company’s treatment works against MRSA as well.

The company has treated the athletic facilities of the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, the New Jersey Nets, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Thrashers and the Washington Wizards.

“One Washington Redskin had staph three times in two seasons,” Cashion said, “That’s a lot of money sitting on the sideline.”
The company treated Ohio State’s Woody Hayes athletic facility before the school’s first home football game. It has also treated athletic facilities at Virginia Tech and the University of South Carolina, Cashion said.

Cashion said he has treated some of Hillcrest High’s athletic equipment such as football shoulder pads, helmets and the school’s wrestling mats as a demonstration site.

The school will use some of the company’s cleaning products, such as a product that treats uniforms in the wash cycle.
The company has also proposed to the school district that it treat the schools not included in the building plan.

Bryan Morris, executive director of construction for the district, said there are no plans to treat the older schools with the microbial shield. He said the district does have plans to retrofit the older schools with preconditioned air systems, which he said would do more than the spraying to prevent mold.

“We can control mold with preconditioned air,” he said. Morris said he wasn’t aware that the shield could control MRSA because that wasn’t what the school district was using it for.

School board chairman Tommie Reece said the district has implemented a good cleaning and disinfecting plan with added emphasis in weight rooms, locker room and other athletic facilities.

“We’re paying attention to that, particularly with athletics,” she said.

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