PERSONAL HEALTH

Bringing Good Hygiene Home

The Hygiene Barrier

A “hygiene barrier” gives us the freedom to experience our lives and do so without the impediments of debilitating diseases or the tragedy of premature death. It is a direct result of the innovations brought about by the health and sanitary revolutions that have swept regions of the world.

Through the combined benefits of improved food and water quality and home and personal cleaning practices, the hygienic quality of our environment dramatically reduces routine exposures to pathogenic microorganisms. This reduction in pathogen exposure results in dramatic reductions in infectious diseases and premature death.

As is the case with most societal breakthroughs, many people in developed countries have grown to accept reduced rates of illness as the norm, and outbreaks that once would have been accepted as an unavoidable part of life are now viewed as crises of public health requiring swift and decisive interventions. Along with the reductions in pathogen exposure and illness, susceptibility to many disease-causing organisms has increased. Therefore, it is important to continually look for ways of improving and maintaining the high levels of hygiene.

The barrier provided by sanitation and medical advances is not perfect – it can be easily compromised. Even in the developed world, where public health standards are high, infectious diseases are still a part of everyday life. Exposure to disease-causing microorganisms can occur as a result of contact with an infected individual, consumption of contaminated food or water, contact with contaminated objects or surfaces, or inadequate personal care habits, all of which compromise the barrier.

Understanding and implementing good hygienic cleaning in the home can help reduce the risk of illness by maintaining a “hygiene barrier” that reduces these exposures. Practical knowledge about when and where to clean or use antimicrobial products is equally as important as what product to purchase and how to use it to achieve the best results.