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Removal of Microorganisms - As Important as Disinfection
"Disinfectant/detergent formulations registered by EPA are used for environmental surface cleaning, but the actual physical removal of microorganisms and soil by wiping or scrubbing is probably as important, if not more so, than any antimicrobial effect of the cleaning agent used."
Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) "Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities."
Cleaning contaminated equipment and surfaces with detergent-based cleaners or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectants is effective at removing MRSA from the environment.
Because cleaners and disinfectants can be irritating and exposure has been associated with health problems such as asthma, it is important to read the instruction labels on all cleaners to make sure they are used safely and appropriately. Where disinfection is concerned, more is not necessarily better. Additional information on appropriate use of cleaners and disinfectants can be found in the Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E) 10 Step Guide to Green Cleaning Implementation. Environmental cleaners and disinfectants should not be used to treat infections.
The EPA provides a list of EPA-registered products effective against MRSA: http://epa.gov/oppad001/chemregindex.htm.
Q: What should I do if I suspect that my uniform, clothing ... has become contaminated with MRSA?
A: Wash uniforms, clothing, sheets and towels that become soiled with water and laundry detergent. Drying clothes in a hot dryer, rather than air-drying, also helps kill bacteria in clothes. Use a dryer to dry clothes completely.
The Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) is a 501.c.3 not-for-profit scientific, educational and research organization that applies science to the practice and improvement of cleaning and maintenance.
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