This report aims to provide a common understanding by experts on ‘good hygiene practice’ by European consumers aimed at preventing the spread of infections. It is based on common definitions and science-based advice centred around the concept of ‘Targeted Hygiene’ at the core of the guidance. Ultimately, this report aims to promote appropriate and correct use of cleaning and/or disinfectant products to enable good hygiene practices as a routine part of daily life under normal circumstances, as well as during a public health crisis.
The report also shares an analysis of perceptions and habits reported by European consumers in 2020 – and how they were affected during the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This report is intended for all stakeholders involved in the domain of health, hygiene and infection prevention, such as health authorities, medical practitioners, consumer organisations, health scientists, environmental groups, the media and interested consumers. It provides a reference document for company members involved in the development and/or placing on the market products within the scope of this document.
In conclusion, the report sets out a number of actions that need to be taken in order to maximise the effectiveness of hygiene whilst at the same time addressing sustainability matters.
In the context of this report, the key vocabulary is defined as follows:
- Cleaning is the mechanical or chemical removal of dirt and soil from the human body, an inanimate object or an area. Normally, cleaning with soap or detergent followed by rinsing with water is adequate to remove visible dirt and allergens. Cleaning, especially cleaning followed by rinsing also reduces the number of microbes on hands, surfaces and fabrics.
- Disinfection is the targeted use of a disinfectant to help prevent the spread of infection in situations where there is high risk of transmission of harmful microbes (e.g. when someone is infected or is vulnerable to infection). These products prevent the spread of infection by deactivating or killing harmful organisms.
- Hygiene is the practice through which people maintain or promote good health by breaking the chain of infection. Practices to make themselves and their surroundings (e.g. surfaces, hands, surroundings and items of personal use) clean by cleaning and – when needed – disinfecting all contribute to hygiene.
- Targeted Hygiene means focusing hygiene practices at the times (moments) and in the places that matter to break the chain of infection and reduce the risk of exposure to harmful microbes.
Material to download
For the media
- Download a media zip file containing the Hygiene Report, press release and a selection of visual and infographic assets
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