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Anti-microbial resistance and the dangers of trying to make our buildings bacteria free
Gary Fage C.Env.Cln, managing director of Janitorial Express & current Master of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners, writes…
“Did you know that we spend over 90% of our time indoors? Those indoor environments are filled with toxins that get trapped, putting your health at risk. While most petrochemical based cleaners and sanitising products kill 99.99% of harmful pathogens, they also create dead zones where the few remaining pathogens can thrive and multiply to billions within just minutes, making antibiotic resistance to disinfectants stronger than ever before.
Wiping out good bacteria along with the bad has also been linked to chronic health problems. Use of these products are particularly worrisome in schools, where it is believed children are principally at risk from inhaling VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).
So how can we fight back? First, we have to reverse the trends and stop assuming that toxic chemicals are the only way to make our workspaces clean. Second, we have to learn what good bacteria are, where they live in our bodies, and how important they are to our health. And finally, we have to make it easy for ourselves to take control over our own health by using microbe-friendly probiotic cleaning products.
There is a serious risk that attempts to sterilise our surroundings can kill off bacteria critical for human health - or, even worse, inadvertently help the survival and evolution of more dangerous bugs, including antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
After taking a course of antibiotics, you're encouraged to eat yogurt to replenish your gut with probiotics. In the same way using probiotic cleaning agents can help to replace friendly bacteria in recently sanitised buildings - especially modern buildings in which windows are permanently sealed.
In a hospital in the US Prof Jack Gilbert is investigating whether adding harmless bacillus bacteria into medical facilities reduces the prevalence of pathogens, including multidrug-resistant bacteria and viruses.
Whilst research on artificially reintroducing natural bacteria and outdoor microbes into office buildings continues, in the short term the use of probiotic cleaning agents could go some way to restoring the balance, many companies have already made the change. I am happy to assist with various options without obligation.”
17th February 2022