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Liquid soap 'risk in healthcare'

Tuesday 3rd May 2011
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Individuals who wash their hands with contaminated soap could be playing a part in the transmission of bacteria, research has revealed.

A study, published in journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, revealed that the washing of hands with contaminated soap contained in bulk soap-refillable dispensers can increase the number of disease-causing microbes on their hands.

The study referred to the dispensers into which soap is poured, putting it at risk of contamination, rather than sealed-soap dispensers which use new bags or cartridges.

Lead researcher Carrie Zapka from GOJO Industries in Akron Ohio said: "Hand washing with soap and water is a universally accepted practice for reducing the transmission of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. However, liquid soap can become contaminated with bacteria and poses a recognised health risk in healthcare settings."

Meanwhile, long and short sleeves carry the same number of bacteria, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Research revealed there to be no difference in the amount of bacteria carried on the cuffs or wrists of doctors wearing long sleeves compared to those opting for short.

Written by Angela Newbury

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