Editor’s note: This summary article was extracted from an article title “Tough questions about disinfectants Answered,” written by Allen Rathey and originally appeared in Cleaning & Maintenance Magazine.
Due to the mass amounts of contagious illnesses in society today there is a strong desire and need for the use of disinfectants. However, with the use of disinfectants three very alarming questions arise: are disinfectants too toxic to use frequently due to the fact that they are pesticides? Do disinfectants make an antibiotic resistance? What about recent reports stating that disinfectants can make bacteria resistant to treatment?
So let me address the first question which simply states are disinfectants too toxic to use frequently due to the fact that they are pesticides? This is true to an extent. Often we tend to over spray germs. You do not want to completely eliminate the germs. The reason for this is because if we are exposed to a minute amount of germs, then this will help build our immune systems and help prevent us from becoming ill. In addition, overusing disinfectants does pose risks to humans. Instead of using the product frequently, you should consider reverting to using the product where needed to control dangerous bacteria’s. In these areas it is ok to use more of the disinfectant.
Next I will address the second question which is Do disinfectants make an antibiotic resistance? To start let me say that it would be wrong to think that antibacterial products and disinfectants like antibiotics, can routinely produce resistance bacteria that endangers the public. It has been proven that with the use of antibiotics bacterial-resistance can develop. On the other hand antibacterial products have been shown to directly kill germs without a strong possibility of resistance occurring. Many scientist believe that disinfectants work as a sledgehammer and there is no germs left to develop a resistance. If they are properly used you will never see bacterial resistance occur at your facility.
The final question I will touch upon is about recent reports stating that disinfectants can make bacteria resistant to treatment. The report was done by the Society for General Microbiology. The report simply says chemicals that are used to eliminate bacteria could be making them stronger. Small levels of these chemicals called biocides can make the very dangerous bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. This removes toxic chemicals from the bacteria, which in turn helps make the bacteria resistant to some antibiotics. The report goes on to later say that if biocides are used at a high enough level they will kill bacteria. However, too low of level they will help the bacteria build a tolerance to them.
As we all may already know good hygienic practices are essential to every business. One of the main things to help with this are disinfectants. However, you must purchase the proper one. This article was provided to educate the reader some of the most common questions regarding disinfectants, and in turn help you purchase the right one. If you follow what was set forth, then there should be no issues with this.