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Disinfection and the prevention of infectious disease

      Abstract

      This article reviews published literature to determine the role environmental disinfection plays in the prevention of infectious disease. Health benefits from disinfection have been established through studies of applications such as critical instrument sterilization, water treatment, and food production. Guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene acknowledge the incidence of disease due to insufficient disinfection and that one of the means for prevention of disease is through proper disinfection. Studies conducted in day care centers, long-term care facilities, and laboratories show that disinfectants containing a variety of active ingredients demonstrated efficacy against a broad spectrum of pathogens and interrupted microbial transmission and that the use of disinfectants results in public health benefits. (Am J Infect Control 2003;31:243-54.)
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