Authors: Max Greisberg
Justin Greisberg, MD
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Columbia University
Chief of Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics
Chief of Orthopaedic Trauma
622 W 168th St
PH 11th floor
New York, NY 10032
Fax (212) 305-4024
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
No funding was received for this research.
Assessment of Disinfection Techniques for Decontaminating Athletic Mats
Skin infections are a hazard in close contact sports. Disinfection of wrestling mats is widely recommended to reduce the incidence of infection, but there is little to no evidence how best to clean the mats. In this study, microorganism levels from the wrestling mats of two schools were quantified to determine if disinfection reduces the bacterial load from the surface of the mats and in the seams between mat sections; and to determine if using a flat mop is more effective than a string mop. This study found that both techniques were effective in reducing the bacterial load of the mats. However, neither method was effective at reducing bacterial counts in the grooves between mat sections. There was a trend favoring the use of a flat mop over a traditional string mop, but the trend did not meet statistical significance. Future research may focus on whether widespread adoption of these techniques leads to a lower incidence of skin infection in athletes.(more…)