Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Disinfectant Wipes Spread Superbugs

First came word that popular antibacterial hand soaps are not only unnecessary (old fashioned soap and water is the best way to keep germs from spreading) but the chemicals in them can harm your health and environment. Now a new study says instead of killing potentially dangerous infections, disinfectant wipes may actually spread drug-resistant and sometimes deadly bacteria.

The research, recently presented at the American Society of Microbiology's General Meeting in Boston, zeroed in on bacteria that included the dreaded "superbugs" -- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. MRSA infections range from so-called "flesh eating" disfiguring skin infections to life-threatening and difficult to treat infections of the bloodstream, lungs and surgical wounds. The majority of cases are associated with hospitals, nursing homes or other health care facilities –- exactly the places where wipes are frequently used to try to prevent infections.

While the new study covered bacteria in hospitals, the information is also pertinent to the use of wipes in the home. You can't assume that by wiping down a cutting board, sink and counter top with a so-called disinfectant wipe that you have killed all potentially dangerous bacteria especially that associated with raw eggs and meat.

The best line of defense against infection? Wash your hands and surfaces with hot water and soap. Natural soaps and detergents with no added antibacterial agents zap the numbers of potentially troublesome bacteria adequately and quickly.

Read the entire article.

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