Germicidal Wipes Can Spread Bacteria
It's All in How You Swipe, Says Study Examining Antibacterial Products
WebMD News Archive
Wipes Can Spread Bacteria continued...
While most of the wipes tested did remove large numbers of bacteria from
contaminated surfaces, they also commonly transferred live bacteria to
uncontaminated surfaces when used in more than one place. Even some wipes that
claimed to kill bacteria were found to transfer live bacteria from one surface
to another, the researchers report.
"Many of the wipes were effective, but the message is that they have to
be used properly," Williams says.
That means using one swipe per wipe on a single surface, Maillard tells
Targeting Germs in the Classroom
and stomach bugs result in millions of lost school days each year.
Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of
infectious illness, but new research suggests that commercially available hand
sanitizers and disinfecting wipes can also help reduce the spread of infectious
disease in schools.
Researchers from Children's Hospital Boston conducted a randomized,
controlled trial at an Ohio elementary school in which the wipes and sanitizers
were used in some classrooms, but not in others.
For eight weeks, teachers in the intervention classrooms used the wipes to
disinfect each student's desk once a day after lunch, and the students were
told to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer several times a day. The classes
without hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes followed usual cleaning
procedures and hand hygiene practices.
There was no difference in the absentee rate due to respiratory illness
between the intervention and non-intervention classes over the course of the
study, but the extra sanitation did seem to reduce the incidence of GI
Twenty-four percent of students in the classes that did not use the wipes
and hand sanitizers were absent from school during the study because of
gastrointestinal illness, compared to 16% of students in the intervention
The study was funded by The Clorox Company, which manufactures the
disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer used by the researchers.
"Hand washing is really the best way to prevent the spread of infection,
but this study suggests that hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes can also
play a role," researcher Thomas J. Sandora, MD, MPH, tells WebMD. "This
is a relatively low cost and simple way for schools to help keep kids