Cleaning and disinfection in home care: A comparison of 2 commercial products with potentially different consequences for respiratory health

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Background:Home care aides perform personal care and homemaking services in client homes, including cleaning and disinfection (C&D). Although C&D are performed to remove soil and dust, they are increasingly performed for infection prevention. Many C&D products contain respiratory irritants. The objective of this study was to evaluate 2 commercial products for C&D effectiveness on common household surfaces in seniors' homes.Methods:Two C&D visits were conducted in 46 seniors' homes. One visit applied a bleach-containing cleaning product and the other applied an environmentally preferable product. Before and after C&D, the study team performed organic soil bioluminometer measurements on surfaces and collected cotton swab and wipe samples for total bacteria count, Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium difficile identification.Results:Both products removed microorganisms from tested surfaces. S aureus was found in 7 households, 1 strain of which was methicillin-resistant. Both products removed S aureus from all surfaces. Bleach-containing products removed somewhat more soil than environmentally preferable products, although results were statistically significant for only 1 surface.Conclusions:The study showed similar, not identical, C&D performance for 2 cleaning products with potentially different consequences for respiratory health. Additional research is needed to develop robust recommendations for safe, effective C&D in home care.

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