Hygiene: A particularly large number of pathogens are transmitted during these household activities

Hygiene: A particularly large number of pathogens are transmitted during these household activities

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Many people underestimate the importance of hygiene

When it comes to hygiene in our homes, there is general confusion about the importance of keeping existing surfaces clean at all times. A current report now informs which specific key areas in the household should absolutely be kept clean.

A report by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) explains that many people do not pay enough attention to hygiene in their households, which can lead to illnesses and health problems.

Many people find hygiene in the household not so important

Most people did not really understand how important hygiene and cleanliness are in our households, the researchers report. The importance of hygiene is generally underestimated, especially when it comes to special times and areas where cleanliness is particularly important. The report describes it as very worrying that almost a quarter of people do not think home hygiene is so important because they believe children should be exposed to dirt to boost their immune systems.

Key areas must be kept clean

The Royal Society for Public Health advises a new cleaning approach called Targeted Hygiene, which focuses on hygiene in places and at times that are particularly important. The authors outlined key areas and situations in which more attention should be paid to hygiene. The researchers said that men are less likely to pay less attention to hygiene than women. Men are generally more likely to believe that unsanitary behavior poses little or no health risk.

When is hygiene particularly important?

People should maintain particularly high hygiene standards when preparing food, disposing of rubbish, staying in the loo, playing with pets, caring for sick people and coughing or sneezing. When preparing raw foods such as meat and poultry or before preparing ready-to-eat foods such as sandwiches and snacks, the hygienic cleaning of surfaces that come into contact with food is of crucial importance, the report says. Hygiene when handling cleaning cloths and other cleaning utensils is particularly important after they have been used to clean a contaminated surface. Contaminated clothing, toilets, sinks and surfaces in the bathroom can contribute to the formation of an infection chain. Situations where germs are most likely to spread are: while handling food, eating with fingers, using the toilet, handling dirty clothes, caring for pets, handling and disposing of waste, and caring for a sick person Family member.

Disinfectants are sometimes necessary

There have been increasing concerns about the use of disinfectants and antibiotics since the 1990s, since their use can contribute to antibiotic resistance. Disinfectants are sometimes necessary to break the chain of infection, and this avoids the need for antibiotic treatments. According to the researchers, people have to understand the difference between hygiene and cleanliness in order to reduce the pressure on the health system. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Too clean or not too clean ?; Royal Society for Public Health (query: 26.06.2019), RSPH

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