Personal hygiene and regular facility cleaning are essential to good health and a healthy work environment. Frequent handwashing is key to preventing the spread of microorganisms (also known as microbes or germs) that cause many common illnesses. Regular cleaning of surfaces removes dirt and food particles on which germs can grow. Cleaning and disinfecting products that contain an active antibacterial or antimicrobial ingredient can provide extra protection against germs including those that may cause disease. The active ingredient goes beyond simple cleaning to kill or control the growth of microorganisms. When killing germs is a priority, these products together with good cleaning habits and practices, can play an important role in illness prevention.
Antimicrobial – activity against a wide variety of microorganisms
Antibacterial – refers to activity against bacteria.


What Are the Benefits of Properly Disinfecting Surfaces?

Regular cleaning products do a good job of removing soil, but only disinfectants or disinfectant cleaners (antibacterial cleaners) kill the germs that can cause many illnesses. Unsoiled bacteria-contaminated surfaces such as kitchen and bathroom counters, door knobs, toilet seats and children’s toys may not be visible. Dirty cleaning cloths and sponges can spread germs to other surfaces as well. Products certified to kill germs must meet efficacy requirements and guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The products must be registered with EPA and carry an EPA registration number on their label. To effectively disinfect surfaces, the instructions on the product labels must be followed carefully.

Why Is It Important to Kill Germs?

Germs are most often spread by hands through person-to-person contact and can be transferred from inanimate surfaces to hands and vice-versa. Germs can also enter our bodies through the mouth, nose, and eyes and break into the skin without even knowing we have been infected. Some germs can live on dry surfaces (such as toys) for several hours and on moist surfaces (like bathroom sinks) for up to three days. Poor personal hygiene by food handlers is the second leading cause of foodborne illness. Salmonella can survive freezing and can survive on dry surfaces for at least 24 hours. The average kitchen dishcloth can contain 4 billion living germs. Americans spend about $5 billion each year on their colds – about $3 billion on doctors’ visits and $2 billion on treatments. An estimated 60 million days of school and 50 million days of work are lost annually because of the common cold. Some 5.5 million visits to doctor’s offices each year are due to skin infections.

FAQ

  1. What microorganisms will disinfectant or antibacterial cleaners kill on household surfaces?
    A. Depending on the active ingredient(s) and the product formulation, they kill bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli (which cause intestinal illness), Staphylococcus (which causes skin infections), fungus that causes athlete’s foot, viruses such as COVID-19, Herpes simplex, Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV), Rhinovirus (which is the leading cause of the common cold), and Rotavirus (the major cause of diarrhea in young children.) Always read the product label to find out specifically which germs it kills.
  2. How can I tell if a household cleaning product kills germs?
    A. Look for the words “disinfect,” “disinfectant,” “antibacterial” or “sanitize” on the label, as well as an EPA registration number; this ensures that the product has met EPA requirements for killing germs.

The training and education of staff is a priority at PROimage Facility Services. Our staff is knowledgeable and adhere to proper disinfectant cleaning protocols when using disinfectant cleaners at all the sites we clean. They wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent disease transmission which aligns with HAI (Healthcare Associated Infection) procedures.                                                        

Source: cleaninginstitute.org

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