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Effect of antibacterial home cleaning and handwashing products on infectious disease symptoms. A randomised double-blind trial.

The aim of this US study was to evaluate the effect of antibacterial cleaning and handwashing products in 238 households (that included at least one preschool-age child) on the occurrence of infections. Households were randomly assigned to use either antibacterial or nonantibacterial products for general cleaning, laundry, and handwashing. Hygiene practices and infectious disease symptoms were monitored by weekly telephone calls, monthly home visits, and quarterly interviews for 48 weeks. It concluded that antibacterial products, such as soaps, laundry detergents and household cleaners do not reduce infection rates in families. However, the study did not look at how products were used. The study reports no effect on viral illness, but the products tested were antibacterial, and therefore not designed to kill viruses. Ann Intern Med 2004;140:321-329.

Author: Larson EL, Lin SX, Gomez-Pichardo C, DellALatta P

Published: 01/01/2004

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Annals of Internal Medicine