A recent survey polled 131 janitorial / sanitation supply distributors and their customers regarding their thoughts on last year's H1N1 scare and its impact on the professional cleaning industry.

The survey was commissioned by Enviro-Solutions, a manufacturer of environmentally preferable cleaning products. The respondents were all distributors for Enviro-Solutions along with some of their customers.

Because the H1N1 virus made international headlines for several months but since then has drifted out of view, respondents were asked if they thought concerns about it were exaggerated or unfounded from the start.

Slightly more than 50 percent said no; thirty percent responded yes while the rest were unsure.

Asked who might be considered responsible for sensationalizing the problem if the H1N1 scare was indeed overstated or unfounded, sixty percent answered, “Nobody; we simply did not know how serious the epidemic would be.”

Most of the rest blamed any sensationalism associated with the scare on “the media.”

The respondents were then asked a series of questions specifically regarding the way in which the professional cleaning industry handled the H1N1 scare. A vast majority of the respondents--more than 77 percent--said the industry was “cautious but correct” in how it dealt with the scare, meaning they did not over or under react.

However, the second highest number, slightly more than 12 percent, did say they believed the “jansan” industry both overhyped the scare and overreacted to any real possible dangers.

Still, most of the distributors believe the industry reacted “coolly” to the situation, and nearly 74 percent said the professional cleaning industry actually “minimized the impact of H1N1” by promoting more effective cleaning products, procedures, and frequencies.”

According to the survey, nearly 100 percent of the distributors say North America “will face other serious contagious disease threats in coming years.”