International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information
International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information

Disinfecting the Home: Myths, Policies and Best Practices

This article published by the American Society for Microbiology discusses the need for re-evaluation of hygiene in home and everydaylife settings to ensure that hygiene practices are based on sound scientific evidence and are appropriate to C21st needs.

In the 20th century, people tended to believe that “deep cleaning” (e.g., disinfecting all surfaces in the home, including floors and walls, and furnishings) was the way to ward off infection. This non-evidence-based risk assessment indicated that the public assumed these were the major source of pathogens that needed to be eliminated. However, this is not an evidence-based approach. “The daily, weekly or monthly practices that we carry out in homes and community settings make us feel better, but they don’t actually reduce risk,”.

Conversely, targeted hygiene, a technique that uses evidence-based risk assessment, considers the hazard (e.g., probability of pathogens being present at key moments of contact) and the exposure (e.g., probability of the spread of pathogens that may cause infections) and uses information collected from such analyses to inform when and how hygienic practices should be conducted. When applied in home and hospital settings, targeted hygiene "prevents the spread of harmful microbes in a targeted manner.

It also addresses sustainability issues,  by avoiding overuse of chemicals and microbicides, it sustains exposure to beneficial.”

Resource Link:

https://asm.org/Articles/2022/June/Disinfecting-the-Home-Myths,-Policies-and-Best-Pra