The Infection Risks Associated with Clothing and Household Linens in Home and Everyday Life Settings, and the Role of Laundry
The object of this paper is to review the infection risks associated with clothing and household linens such as towels, bed linen and so on. This includes data on how, and to what extent, these items become contaminated with pathogenic organisms and how they survive and are spread in the domestic home, hospitals and other settings. This is reviewed together with data on the extent to which we are exposed to these agents in our daily lives. The paper also reviews epidemiological data and data from quantitative microbial risk modeling techniques assessing the link between laundry hygiene and infectious disease risk.
The extent of the risks associated with clothing etc is also assessed in relation to risks associated with other surfaces such as the hands, hand and food contact surfaces and so on. This document was prepared as a special project by the IFH. The report was drafted by Professor SF Bloomfield. 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.