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Preventing the spread of infectious diseases in the European Union - targeted hygiene as a framework for sustainable hygiene

This report highlights the importance and potential of “everyday life” hygiene to contribute to a more sustainable future by reducing the social and economic burden of infectious disease, and proposes a strategy for achieving this, which is itself sustainable. IFH has used the available scientific data to formulate a risk-based or ‘targeted’ approach to hygiene in the home and community. Whilst targeted hygiene was adopted by IFH as a means to develop an effective code of hygiene practice which minimises infection risks, it also provides an excellent framework for ensuring the hygiene measures used are themselves sustainable. Through prudent and focussed use of hygiene products and processes, it intrinsically minimises their life-cycle impacts, maximises safety margins against any hazards and minimises any risks of encouraging the development of antibiotic resistance through low level biocide exposure. Targeted hygiene also seeks, as far as possible, to sustain “normal” levels of exposure to the microbial flora of our environment to the extent that is important to build a balanced immune system. This document was prepared as a special project by the IFH. The report was prepared by Professor SF Bloomfield and Mr J Pickup. It was then submitted to the other members of the IFH Scientific Advisory Board comprising Professor M. Exner, Professor KJ Nath, Professor E.A Scott, Professor C. Signorelli to discuss and develop the review and agree on final content.

Author: Bloomfield SF, Exner M, Nath KJ, Pickup J, Scott EA, Signorelli C

Download File: Preventing the spread of disease in the EU_02032010.doc

Published: 02/03/2010

Publication Type: Review

Publisher: IFH