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Quantifying the impact of hygiene product interventions Using quantitative microbial risk assessment


*Corresponding author
1. Department of Community, Environment and Policy,
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.
2. Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center, University of Arizona,
2959 W. Calle Agua Nueva, Tucson, AZ   85745


Quantitative microbial risk assessment offers the opportunity to quantify the impact of hygiene interventions involving products in terms of reducing the spread of pathogens in indoor environments and probability of infection. Several studies have shown that hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes can have a significant impact on reducing the risk of infection from viruses that cause respiratory and diarrheal illness.

The impact of products and habits designed to reduce the spread of infection is difficult to quantify. Traditionally, quantification has depended upon epidemiological studies which are both costly and require a significant amount of time, especially when dealing with common infections with multiple routes of pathogen exposure potentials. Large population sizes are usually needed and confounding factors are often numerous resulting in a lack of study precision. Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) is a process that was originally developed to quantify the risk of infection from waterborne pathogens via recreational and drinking water exposure (1) and guidelines have been developed by various government and international agencies for use in the development of drinking water treatment guidelines (United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Netherlands, World Health Organization). In more recent years, approaches have been used to evaluate the success of hygiene products to reduce the risk and spread of infectious organisms in indoor environments.

QMRA can be used to answer questions concerning the spread of organisms and the likely success in reduction in th ...

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