Home Hygiene & Health
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May 2013: Using antimicrobials as part of a risk assessment approach to home hygiene

A new review paper by IFH Scientific Advisory Board members Sally Bloomfield and Elizabeth Scott examines the place for antimicrobial products (often referred to as antibacterial products) in the home setting. The paper is part of a special supplement published in the American Journal of Infection Control which examines current issues, new research and new technologies in disinfection, sterilization and antisepsis.  

Although the supplement is largely devoted to healthcare settings, this short review summarizes the basic scientific principles of a risk-based approach to home hygiene where hygiene procedures are applied at critical points such as hands, hand contact surfaces, food contact surfaces etc, at appropriate times. It suggests that, although detergent-based cleaning of hands and contact surfaces can be used to break the chain of infection, in some cases an antimicrobial product such as a disinfectant or alcohol hand sanitizer  is required. The publication can be found at: American Journal of Infection Control 2013: 41:S87-93.