Do self cleaning elevator buttons really work ? Without rigorous independent studies, experts say it’s difficult to verify claims about “self- cleaning ” or ” antiviral ” surfaces that have emerged during the pandemic.
But they also point out that we shouldn’t be too concerned about how much they actually work.
COVID-19 is an airborne disease. Research suggests it would be difficult to catch from surfaces like an elevator button.
“ You get it through what you breathe, not through what you touch ,” said Emanuel Goldman, who studies viruses at Rutgers University.
Studies show the virus can survive for several hours on plastic or metal surfaces that don’t mimic real-life conditions, said Dr. Dean Winslow, an infectious disease expert at Stanford Health Care.
Companies sell antibacterial covers for elevator buttons or door handles. But building and office managers looking to protect their employees or tenants would be better off buying hand sanitizing stations instead, Winslow added.
And anyone who wants to avoid the virus should continue to take the usual precautions: wear a mask, maintain social distance, and avoid indoor events, bars, restaurants, and gyms.
Routine handwashing is also recommended, pandemic or not, Goldman said.