School custodians. A front line in the defense of disease? That's not as farfetched as it sounds.

Custodians can even be more important than doctors, says Ron Starr of Hy-Ko Chemicals in Salt Lake City. While doctors prescribe cures for disease, custodians can prevent it.Starr spoke to 40 Sevier School District custodians at a recent training seminar where they were told of the importance of cleanliness in the schools. "If custodians do their jobs correctly, they can prevent the spread of many diseases," he said.

"It's always better to prevent disease than to try to cure it," Starr said. He added that a lot of people care about what custodians do.

The custodians were advised by district health nurse Jurene Hovinga about the best methods of destroying materials containing blood and tips about cleaning it up when necessary.