Linoleum a Bacteria Killer?

Glasgow, Scotland, September 7--The deadly MRSA superbug could soon be wiped out in hospitals by a new weapon – linoleum, according to the Scottish Record & Sunday Mail. Research has found that the flooring, invented more than 100 years ago, has natural bacteria-killing properties. It means bugs such as MRSA and salmonella cannot live or breed on the surface. The effect is thought to be due to the anti-bacterial properties in the linseed oil used to make the lino. And Kirkcaldy company Forbo-Nairn - the only UK firm to still make linoleum - say it could help prevent the spread of superbugs in hospitals. Yesterday, company spokeswoman Therese Magill said: "You do get other flooring products which say they are MRSA-resistant. "But some of these products will have a chemical additive or surface treatment to give it its MRSA resistance.The thing about linoleum is that it is an inherent quality of the product. It doesn't wear off over time and it doesn't get washed out." According to Forbo-Nairn, the lino - brand name Marmoleum - is already in use in some hospitals in Scotland. These include the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, the Sick Kids' in Edinburgh, Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline, and Victoria Hospital,in Kirkcaldy. Therese added: "We would never claim that flooring alone will suddenly combat MRSA. "But as part of a package of measures, such as hand-washing, then certainly Marmoleum will help to fight MRSA." The research was carried out by the TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute in Holland. They investigated the ability of the linoleum to destroy or inhibit the growth of two strains of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus areus - known as MRSA. The report concluded: "Linoleum-type Marmoleum exhibited a significant anti-staphylococcus effect for both the MRSA strains."