shower curtains awash with potentially harmful bacteria : around
80% belonged to sphingomonads and methylobacteria. Each time you take a
shower you are engulfed by an aerosol of bacteria : in most cases, that
will not be dangerous but if you have an unprotected cut, or your immune
system is suppressed, it could be a different story with species that are
opportunistic pathogens. The bacteria probably feed on volatile organic
chemicals shed from human bodies (when you cough, belch or fart, you're
putting a lot of organic chemistry in there) and plasticizers (chemicals
which make shower curtains more flexible) rather than on soap. Other studies
have found that the air just above water level in a typical Jacuzzi, or
hot tub, is packed with bacteria that can cause lung infections.
detergent-free cleaning is being developed by researchers in Australia.
Oil and grease can be washed away with nothing but pure water. Oily dirt
does not normally dissolve in water. But water is much better at dispersing
oily substances if any air dissolved in it is removed, in a process called
degassing. Water can be degassed cheaply and efficiently by using several
cycles of freezing and vacuum pumping through a porous membrane and then
sprayed on to surfaces and fabrics. Industrially, other methods may be
more appropriate, such as passing the water through a membrane made from
hydrophobic material, which would absorb dissolved gas. This could reduce
our use of detergents, which create environmental problems when they are
washed into the water system: detergents can fertilize algal growth so
much that animals in swamps and lakes are harmed. Normal water contains
tiny nitrogen and oxygen bubbles. These accumulate on the surface of water-repellent,
or hydrophobic, materials that are in contact with the water. This layer
of gas molecules causes larger bubbles to form between hydrophobic surfaces.
And the surface tension of any bubble bridging 2 surfaces pulls the particles
together. In effect, air bubbles act like a glue that prevents oily substances
from breaking up. This makes it harder for an oil droplet to detach from
a greasy stain and become dispersed in water. But if the tiny bubbles are
removed, that happens more easily. Conventional detergents surround grease
droplets with a layer of detergent molecules, giving them a water-soluble
coating. The team removes gas from water samples using several cycles of
freezing and vacuum pumping. Degassed water reabsorbs gases when exposed
to the air, but the this would happen so slowly that it would not harm
the cleaning power of freshly degassed water sprayed on dirty material.
In fact, as air seeps into the used water, it could cause dirt particles
in the water to stick together, making them easy to filter outref.
cotton clothes are coated with 20-nm titanium dioxide particles (catalysts
that help to produce free-radical oxygen, a powerful oxidizing agent that
can break down carbon-based molecules into smaller particles such as CO2
and water and require only Sun UV rays to trigger the reaction. Because
the catalyst does not get used up, it can keep on working as long as it
is exposed to sunlight) arranged in an 'anatase' crystal structure (which
boosts the particles' catalytic power) by dipping cotton patches into a
liquid slurry of titanium dioxide for just half a minute before removing
them, padding them dry, and heating them to 97 °C in an oven for 15'.
3 hours in boiling water completed the coating process. Self-cleaning materials
are particularly popular in the Far East, and a quarter of all toilet bowls
coming on to the market in Taiwan, for example, now come with self-cleaning
nano-coatings. So clothes may be the next stepref.
keyboards and keyboard covers of computers : some potentially harmful
bacteria can survive for prolonged periods of time. The problem is especially
important in hospitals and other healthcare environments where patients
are at risk of contracting bacterial infections from healthcare providers
who use computers. VRE and MRSA were capable of prolonged survival, with
growths of the bacteria evident 24 hours after contamination. Pseudomonas
aeruginosa, on the other hand could be recovered only up to 1 hour
on the keyboard and 5 minutes on the keyboard cover. The more contact with
the contaminated keyboards, the more the likelihood of transmitting bacteria
to the hands. The most effective quaternary ammonium disinfectant was one
in which the solution remains on the cleaned surface for 10 minutes before
it is wiped off. Another, with a recommend exposure to the surface of 5
minutes effectively disinfected keyboards, but not keyboard covers.
liquid carbon dioxide (CO2),
which forms when the gas is compressed to > 100 times atmospheric pressure,
is increasingly used as an environmentally friendly solvent to remove undesirable
chemicals: for example, it is used to extract caffeine from coffee. It
is a greener alternative to the ozone-depleting carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)
found in standard dry cleaning fluids.
pressurized washing machine to clean lab coats contaminated with Co and
Sr using water and supercritical carbon dioxide CO2 - a liquid
form of the gas. Any radioactive metals become trapped inside tiny water
bubbles and a surfactant stabilizes the tiny bubbles suspended inside the
CO2 : then, when the pressure is released, the contaminated
water can be removed and the clean CO2 reused. The surfactant
may be too costly to allow immediate commercialization of the process,
but many scientists are developing new CO2-soluble surfactants,
which will inevitably get cheaper. The radioactive materials could be turned
into a solid for easier storage. The technique uses 100 times less water
(currently discharged directly into sewage systems) than conventional laundry
methods, and > 90% of the contamination is removed after just one hour
of washing at 40°C
disinfection : the act of free from pathogenic
organisms, or to render them inert, especially as applied to the treatment
of inanimate materials to reduce or eliminate infectious organisms
concurrent disinfection : immediate disinfection and disposal of discharges
and infective matter all through the course of a disease.
terminal disinfection : disinfection
of a sick room and its contents at the termination of a disease.
disinfestation : the extermination
or destruction of insects, rodents, or other animal forms, especially those
present on a person, an animal, or clothing
sterilization : 1. the complete
destruction or elimination of all living microorganisms, accomplished
by physical methods (dry or moist heat), chemical agents (ethylene oxide,
formaldehyde, alcohol), radiation (ultraviolet, cathode), or mechanical
methods (filtration). 2. any procedure by which an individual is
made incapable of reproduction, as by castration, vasectomy, or salpingectomy.
eugenic sterilization : the
process of rendering a person incapable of reproduction because the offspring
would probably be undesirable types or because the parent is incapable
of rearing the child responsibly.
intermittent sterilization : destruction of microbial viability by
successive application of the procedure at intervals, to allow spores to
develop into vegetative forms, which are more easily destroyed.
asepsis / sterility : freedom from infection
or prevention of contact with microorganisms
aseptic or sterile technique : any procedure designed to keep a
surgical field as nearly aseptic as possible, e.g., gloving of the surgeon
and aides, draping of the patient, autoclaving of instruments, and proper
disposal of waste
asepticism : the principles and practices of aseptic techniques.
aseptic-antiseptic : both aseptic and antiseptic
Antisepsis : the prevention of sepsis by
antiseptic means. Any procedure that reduces to a significant degree
the microbial flora of skin or mucous membranes. It is a topic -static
or -cidal effect, harmless enough to be applied to the skin and mucous
membrane; antiseptical should not be taken internally (i.e. systemically).
and antiseptics are distinguished on the basis of whether they are safe
for application to mucous membranes : often, safety depends on the concentration
of the compound (e.g., sodium hypochlorite (chlorine), as added to water
is safe for drinking, but "chlorox" an excellent disinfectant, is
hardly safe to drink). Antiseptical don't affect spores.
iodine-based topical (cutaneous) antisepticals
: iodine inactivates sulphydryl groups in enzymes. They are very effective
against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria, aand have intermediate
effectiveness against mycobacteria, spores, fungi and viruses. They are
also used for disinfection of objects and surfaces.
iodine tincture : a preparation of
2% iodine and sodium iodide in diluted 70% alcohol, used as an anti-infective
on the skin
iodoquinol / diiodohydroxyquin : an amebicide,
used in the treatment of intestinal amebiasis, administered orally, and
in Trichomonas vaginalis vaginitis, administered intravaginally.
It has also been used topically in fungal and bacterial skin infections
and in seborrheic dermatitis
iodochlorhydroxyquin / clioquinol
: an antibacterial and antifungal agent with antieczematic and antipruritic
properties, used as a local anti-infective in a wide range of dermatoses,
including all types of eczema, and in vaginitis due to Trichomonas vaginalis,
albicans, Trichophyton, or mixed bacteria; administered topically
or intravaginally. It was formerly administered orally in the treatment
of amebic dysentery; this use has been discontinued because of associated
iodoform : chemical name: triiodomethane.
A greenish yellow powder or crystals, CHI3, having a strong,
penetrating odor, containing about 96% of iodine, and soluble in chloroform
and ether and somewhat in alcohol and water: used as a topical anti-infective,
applied to the skin
povidone-iodine (PVP-I) (Betadine®)
: a complex produced by reacting iodine with the polymer povidone, which
slowly releases iodine; it occurs as a yellowish brown, amorphous powder
and is used as a topical anti-infective
iodophores : any of various compounds of
iodine with carriers such as polyvinylpyrrolidone; used as surgical scrubs,
surface disinfectants, and veterinary medicine skin disinfectants, acting
at acidic pH
mercury chloride (HgCl2) inactivates proteins by reacting
with sulfide groups. Disinfectant, although occasionally used as an antiseptic
nitromersol : a mercurial compound used as a local anti-infective;
applied in solution topically to the skin and mucous membranes. It is also
used to disinfect surgical and dental instruments
thimerosal / thiomersal / thiomersalate / ethyl
mercury / timerfonate / sodium mercuthiolate / merthiolate / ethylmercurithiosalicylate
is actively antifungal and bacteriostatic for many nonsporulating bacteria;
used as a topical anti-infective and as a preservative in pharmaceutical
silver nitrate (AgNO3) precipitates proteins : general
antiseptic and used in the eyes of newborns.
alcohols denature (coagulate) proteins and
solubilize lipids. They have intermediate effectiveness against both gram
positive and gram negative bacteria, poor effectiveness against spores,
fungi and most viruses, and are not effective against Mycobacterium
: used on skin, they are effective against HBV
and most likely against HCV
as well. However, it is important to ensure adequate contact between the
disinfectant and the viruses on contaminated surfaces. This may not always
occur by simple wiping with alcohol.
phenolic compounds at low concentrations disrupt cell membranes
and at high concentrations denature proteins. They have variable activity
according to compounds and are also used for disinfection of objects and
dental, mouth or oral hygiene : the personal
maintenance of cleanliness and hygiene of the teeth and oral structures
by toothbrushing, tissue stimulation, gum massage, hydrotherapy, and other
procedures recommended by the dentist or dental hygienist for the preservation
of dental and oral health. Common toothpastes (e.g. Dentosan®)
usually contain :
chlorhexidine : an antibacterial, very
effective against a wide variety of gram-positive bacteria, intermediately
effective against gram-negative bacteria, poorly effective against fungi,
and not effective against mycobacteria and spores
chlorhexidine acetate : the diacetate salt of chlorhexidine, having
the same actions as the base; used mainly as a preservative for eye drops
chlorhexidine gluconate (Corsodyl®) : the digluconate
salt of chlorhexidine, used as a topical anti-infective for the skin and
chlorhexidine hydrochloride : the dihydrochloride salt of chlorhexidine,
having the same actions as the base; used as a topical anti-infective for
the skin and mucous membranes.
sodium lauryl sulfate
Salvia officinalis extract
hand hygiene (HH) : general term
that applies to handwashing, antiseptic
handwash, antiseptic hand rub, or
surgical hand antisepsis. Many studies have shown that the bacteria that
cause nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections
are most frequently spread from one patient to another on the hands of
healthcare workers. A scientific study performed in a hospital nursery
found that babies acquired staphylococci more frequently when cared for
by nurses who didn't wash their hands than babies cared for by nurses who
washed their hands between patient contacts with an anti-microbial soap.
Numerous studies show that proper HH reduces the spread of bacteria in
various healthcare settings. Nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers
can contaminate their hands by doing simple tasks, including:
assisting patients with mobility (pulling patients up in bed)
taking a patientís blood pressure or pulse;
touching the patientís hand
rolling patients over in bed
touching the patientís gown or bed sheets
touching equipment, including bedside rails, over-bed tables, IV pumps.
Resistant bacteria on the skin or in the gastrointestinal tract of patients
can often be found on common items and healthcare workers can contaminate
their hands by touching environmental surfaces near affected patients.
The frequency of environmental contamination of surfaces in the rooms of
patients with methicillin-resistant
patients is :
costs of treatment: $4.5 Billion per year in the U.S.
hand washing compliance rates are unacceptable (average 40%)
Patients often carry resistant bacteria on their skin. Patients with resistant
bacteria like methicillin-resistant
or vancomycin-resistant enterococci
often carry the organism on many areas of their skin, even when they donít
have any wounds or broken skin. Patients often carry the MRSA organism
on the skin under their arms (13-25%; where temperature is usually measured),
on their hands or wrists (40%), or in the groin area (30-39%).
In 34 studies of hand washing, workers washed their hands only 40%
of the time. There are a variety of reasons for such a poor compliance
with recommended hand washing guidelines including
heavy workloads (too busy) . a recent study showed that the busier healthcare
workers are, the less likely they are to wash their hands when recommended.
Nursing shortages have caused nurses to be busier than ever before
sinks used for handwashing are often installed in inconvenient locations.
Personnel may fail to wash their hands when indicated because it
is too much trouble to get to the sinks provided
skin irritation and dryness caused by frequent exposure to soap and water.
In the winter months, some personnel may even develop cracks in their skin
that cause bleeding
hands don't look dirty
handwashing takes too long
Since washing hands frequently with soap and water is inconvenient, time-consuming,
and often causes skin irritation and dryness experts have suggested that
hospitals, extended care facilities, and home health agencies develop new
strategies for improving hand hygiene among healthcare workers. We need
to make it easier for you to clean your hands quickly, with a minimum of
effort and skin irritation. One way to accomplish these goals is to clean
your hands with an alcohol-based
hand rub (ABH). One study found it took ICU nurses an average of
62 seconds to go to a sink, wash and dry their hands, and return to patient
care activities. However, in the same hospital, it was estimated that if
an ABH was available at each patient's bedside, it would take nurses about
15 seconds to clean their hands. Hand hygiene compliance by ICU personnel
before (25%) and after alcohol dispensers were installed next to every
4th bed (42%) and next to every bed (49%).
When compared to traditional soap and water handwashing, ABH have the
following advantages :
take less time to use
can be made more accessible than sinks
cause less skin irritation and dryness
are more effective in reducing the number of bacteria on hands
makes ABH readily available to personnel
has led to improved HH practices
Wash your hands with plain soap and water; or with antimicrobial soap and
water if :
your hands are visibly soiled (dirty)
hands are visibly contaminated with blood or body fluids
after using the restroom
How to wash your hands effectively :
wet hands first with water (avoid HOT water)
apply 3 to 5 ml of soap to hands
rub hands together for at least 15 seconds
cover all surfaces of the hands and fingers
rinse hands with water and dry thoroughly
use paper towel to turn off water faucet
New guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) and infection-control organizations recommend that healthcare workers
use an alcohol-based
hand rub (ABH) (an alcohol-containing gel, rinse or foam designed for
application to the hands to reduce the number of microorganisms on the
hands. In the United States, such preparations usually contain 60-95% ethanol
or isopropanol) to routinely clean their hands between patient contacts,
as long as hands are not dirty. Use an ABH for routinely cleaning your
hands if your hands are not visibly soiled or contaminated with blood or
body fluids :
before having direct contact with patients;
after having direct contact with a patientís skin;
after having contact with body fluids, wounds or broken skin;
after touching equipment or furniture near the patient; and
after removing gloves.
DO NOT OPT FOR AN ALCOHOL-BASED HAND-RUB WHEN HANDS ARE VISIBLY SOILED
OR CONTAMINATED WITH BLOOD OR BODY FLUIDS!
How to use an alcohol-based hand rub :
apply 1.5 to 3 ml (about the size of quarter) of an alcohol gel or rinse
to the palm of one hand, and rub hands together;
cover all surfaces of your hands and fingers, including areas around/under
continue rubbing hands together until alcohol dries (about 15-25 seconds).
Make sure your hands are completely dry prior to putting on gloves. Wash
your hands with soap and water when you feel a ďbuild-upĒ of emollients
on your hands (after cleaning 5 to 10 times). Both washing and wiping must
be done in a distal => proximal manner. If you clean your hands with an
ABH before putting on gloves, make sure the alcohol has dried completely
before putting on gloves. > 20 published studies prove alcohol-based hand
rubs are more effective than soap in reducing the number of bacteria on
hands. Several studies show that nurses who routinely cleaned their hands
between patients by using an alcohol-based hand rub had less skin irritation
and dryness than nurses who washed their hands with soap and water. Alcohol-based
hand rubs contain skin conditioners (emollients) that help prevent the
drying effects of alcohol.
handwashing : washing hands with plain
(non-antimicrobial) soap and water (reduces permanent microflora).
hand antisepsis : refers to either ....
antiseptic handwash : washing
hands with water and soap or other detergents containing an antiseptic
antiseptic hand rub : applying
an antiseptic hand rub product to all surfaces of the hands to reduce the
number of microorganisms present.
surgical hand antisepsis : antiseptic handwash or antiseptic hand
rub performed preoperatively by surgical personnel to eliminate transient
bacteria and reduce resident hand flora. Antiseptic detergent preparations
often have persistent antimicrobial activity.
decontaminate hands : reducing bacterial counts on hands by performing
antiseptic hand rub or antiseptic handwash.
cumulative effect : a progressive decrease in the numbers of microorganisms
recovered following repeated applications of a test material.
substantivity : an attribute of some active ingredients that adhere
to the stratum corneum, remaining on the skin after rinsing or drying,
to provide an inhibitory effect on the growth of bacteria remaining on
visibly soiled hands : hands showing visible dirt or visibly contaminated
with proteinaceous body substances (e.g., blood, fecal material, urine).
soap : any compound of one or more fatty acids, or their equivalents,
with an alkali. Soap is detergent and is much employed in liniments, enemas,
and in making pills. It is also a mild aperient, antacid, and antiseptic.
plain soap : detergents that do not contain
antimicrobial agents, or contain very low concentrations of antimicrobial
agents that are effective solely as preservatives.
antimicrobial soap : soap (detergent)
containing an antiseptic agent.
antiseptic agent : antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that
are applied to the skin to reduce the number of microbial flora. Examples
include alcohols, chlorhexidine, chlorine, hexachlorophene, iodophors,
chloroxylenol (PCMX), quaternary ammonium compounds, and triclosan.
carbolic soap : a disinfectant soap containing 10% of phenol.
curd soap / sapo domesticus.
potash or soft soap / sapo mollis : a liquid soap made from potash
and some oil
medicinal soft or green soap / potash soap / sapo mollis medicinalis
: a potassium soap made by the saponification of vegetable oils, excluding
coconut oil and palm kernel oil, without the removal of glycerin. It is
the chief ingredient of green soap tincture
hexachlorophene liquid soap : a solution of hexachlorophene in a
10-13% solution of potassium soap, used as a topical anti-infective and
superfatted soap : a soap having an excess of fat over that necessary
to neutralize all the alkali.
zinc soap : a soap containing zinc oxide or zinc sulfate; for use
as an ointment or plaster.
Healthcare workers (HCW) should wash their own hands every 6' on
average (!). Simples soaps usually contain :
triclosan : an antibacterial effective against
gram-positive and most gram-negative organisms and exhibiting slight activity
against yeasts and fungi; used as a detergent in surgical scrubs, soaps,
PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil
sine adipe lac
antiseptical cleaning (reduces both permanent and transient skin
microflora): antiseptical liquid soap (e.g. : chlorhexidine-based,
iodine-based or alcohol-based
handrubs (ABH)); lathering for 1', expecially under nails and in
interdigital spaces. It is necessary before inserting urinary or peripheral
venous catheters, or before contact with individuals colonized by multi-drug
cleaning for surgeons (eliminates transient microflora and reduces
permanent microflora) : use filtered water or let it flow for 1' ; antiseptical
liquid soap (see above) ; lathering a first time and washing ; lathering
a second time and brushing (30" per hand) ; lathering a third time (1'
per hand, 30" per forearm). Wiping with a sterile towel. Dressing : mask
=> cloak => sterile gloves (lower borders are folded out to allow handling
: they must be stretched by inserting the sterile glove on the other hand
in the fold (not on the refolded surface !)). It is necessary before surgical
operations, insertion of central catheter, drainings, hemodynamic explorations
or extracorporeal circulation.
pedicures : consumers can avoid painful
skin infections on their legs by following these recommendations :
do not shave legs or have any open wounds on legs or feet before the pedicure.
ask whether foot spas, or foot bath units, have been cleaned and disinfected
after each use.
manicurists/pedicurists should wash their hands with soap and water before
touching a client's hands or feet.
make sure the technician is washing the instruments in hot soapy water,
and, that disinfectant is applied to the instruments. Soiled instruments
must be stored separately from clean instruments.
emery boards that are not approved for disinfection should be discarded
after use to prevent transmission of yeast or bacterial infections.
instruments and supplies that cannot be disinfected, such as orange sticks
and the sponges placed between the toes, should be discarded after use.
drill bits should be cleaned after each client.
leave the salon if you have any doubts about its cleanliness.
a person who may have acquired an infection from a salon or spa should
contact a physician for immediate treatment. Manicures and pedicures should
not be painful; they shouldn't make your cuticles bloody and swollen.