The most common and often underrated cause of the spread of illness is poor hand hygiene. Despite the commonly known mantras for advice many have heard growing up, like ‘wash your hands before you eat’, ‘wash your hands after using the lavatory’, etc. the startling fact is that a large percentage of people forgo this advice all together.
According to Suze Orman, ‘Cleanliness is a state of purity, clarity and precision.’ Human hands are used in almost all interpersonal interactions, be it to shake someone’s hand, to give them a hug or even simply a touch of the arm, a pat on the back or a hand placed on someone’s phone, desk or computer. If proper hand hygiene is not adhered to, all these exchanges become opportunities for the interchanging and spreading of dangerous germs and bacteria, ultimately increasing and spreading diseases.
For the effective prevention of spreading of disease through proper hand hygiene, the recommended times to wash hands are as follows: before, during and after preparing food; before eating; before, during and after caring for someone who is sick or entering health care facilities such as hospitals; before and after treating a wound; before and after using the toilet; before and after changing a diaper or cleaning a child who has used the toilet; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; after touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste; after handling pet food or pet treats; after touching refuse; and when your hands are soiled in anyway.
Furthermore, research has indicated that simply washing your hands is not enough. A quick hand wash simply is not effective in killing off a large percentage of bacteria. Duration is key. ‘From our research it has become apparent that the optimal amount of time needed to effectively kill the vast majority of disease spreading germs and bacteria is at least 20 seconds (the same amount of time it takes to hum the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice). Anything less than that won’t really do you any good. It is also important to ensure that you get the back of your hands, in between the fingers and under the nails,’ explains John J Coetzee of Green Worx Cleaning Solutions.
The importance of hand hygiene has increasingly become an important topic of research and development. New innovations such as Green Worx Cleaning Solutions’ Bio Tech Liquid Hand Soaps (gel and foam) have been developed to aid in the successful killing of bacteria to reduce the spreading of disease.
The Bio Tech Foam Hand Soap utilises innovative bio-enzyme technology and has a built-in timer to ensure effective handwashing. The soap’s green foam turns white and transparent to indicate that at least 20 seconds of washing has been achieved. This foam colour changing innovation is the first of its kind within the African hand cleaning market.
‘The use of bio-enzyme technology ensures that immediately upon application of the bio-enzyme, non-pathogenic bacteria will colonise the hands and prevent pathogenic bacteria, yeast and molds from multiplying and spreading for up to five hours. This happens because the bio-enzyme outperforms these harmful organisms that compete for the same food source,’ concludes Coetzee.