“Kills all the germs on the spot!” – Promises another advertisement for disinfectants. Microbes and bacteria, thanks to the efforts of marketers, have long turned into scary monsters that haunt us everywhere and which must be fought hourly. About when this fight can harm us and why disinfection is a philosophical question, We discussed these things below
“ If our parents had one or two cleaners in the house, then modern housewives need a separate shelf for all these bottles.” Why do we pay so much attention to disinfection today?
– In the modern market, it is important to maintain diversity, so there are more funds. It is difficult for me to assess whether this quantity is sufficient or excessive, but disinfection at any time was important and always will be.
This is almost a philosophical problem. A person does not live in a limited space – he interacts with the environment, and the environment towards us can be aggressive or, conversely, contribute to our development. We optimize this relationship with the environment.
It is not a matter of creating a sterile environment around a person; this environment should be neutral if not optimal for a person.
We kill some microorganisms, freeing one niche, and others come in their place. True, it is not a fact that new ones will be harmless to humans – they may turn out to be more dangerous.
Sustainability is a completely natural reaction of any living organism to an external negative impact. And when we introduce chemistry into the habitat of micro and microorganisms, they naturally respond with some kind of protective mechanisms. Either those that are available, or new countermeasures are being formed.
Now almost nobody has bugs at home, but everyone remembers the stories of their parents who could not sleep from the bites of these insects. At one time, we fought well with them; good chemical compounds appeared that were effective against bugs. But the bugs adapted perfectly to them, for example, now there is a huge wave from North America, Europe. According to some reports, more than 50% of houses in Europe are infected with bedbugs. And this all spreads precisely due to the fact that increased resistance.
– And you don’t give up because you just found a means of combating these micro and microorganisms, but they have already adapted to it?
– No, this is just no reason to give up. This is an occasion to put forward scientific hypotheses and on this basis to propose new measures.
No one talks about exterminating the same bed bugs as a species. They lived and will live, but they can carry infectious diseases. It is already known that in the body of bedbugs the pathogens of about 30 infectious diseases perfectly survive, and they stand out with saliva, with the feces of these bugs. Our task is to find out whether this can harm human health, to prevent possible diseases.
– Are there more sources of infection?
– In general, the amount does not change much. It is possible to get rid of some diseases (today we do not face an epidemic of plague or smallpox), but others are replacing.
According to WHO statistics, the current generation has faced almost 40 new infectious diseases that the previous did not know.
Everyone has heard bird flu, swine flu, HIV infection. The development of a new vaccine usually takes a very long time. The number of infectious diseases is an order of magnitude greater than the vaccines against them. Today, about 30 vaccines are used to prevent infectious diseases. In the national vaccination calendar, just over 10 are required.
Moreover, today there are almost 600 diseases that are caused by viruses, bacteria, protozoa, etc.
And in this sense, the only effective way of prevention is nonspecific prevention. Since we cannot vaccinate a specific person, it means that we must prevent the infectious disease from entering the body, that is, interrupt this chain from the source of infection to the person.
– Where in the city are the most risks of contracting an infectious disease?
– In any place of mass concentration of people. Therefore, if they say that during the period of epidemiological recovery you need to wear a mask, you need to wear a mask – it significantly reduces the risk of illness. The same thing when we are ill ourselves.
In Moscow, a lot of people ride the subway. Therefore, large preventive measures are carried out there – both disinfection of air and cars, and disinfection of critical surfaces, such as subway railings and handrails. Processing cars is carried out at night, the air is constantly processed – there is a huge and very complex ventilation system. The same railings are constantly processed. Cleaning is carried out without fail with the use of disinfectants.
– What to look for when buying disinfectants for the home?
– Pay attention to whether a disinfecting effect is stated on the label and whether this product is registered as a disinfectant.
The detergent does not need to be registered, and on the disinfectant it should be written that it has passed the state registration procedure.
The label needs to be read, no matter how finely it is written. On some napkins, for example, they honestly write that they are for cleaning hands, and they do not have the word “disinfection” on them. Just mechanical cleaning of the hands also reduces the level of microbes well: no one says that if I washed my hands with ordinary baby soap, they did not become cleaner. But the disinfectant destroys microorganisms by 99.9%, and ordinary soap – by 50-70%.
If you buy a disinfectant for a child, then the label should clearly indicate at what age it can be used. Most products are intended for children from 3 years. There are very few remedies for young children, so it is better not to take risks and use proven disinfectants.
Carefully read the instructions on how to use the tool – many have their own precautions. For example, mosquito records cannot be used in a room with a child or adults, although many do.
All fumigators (liquid or plates) must be put on for some specific time, after which the room must be ventilated. It is not necessary to stay indoors while the fumigator is running.
Those who sleep in a room with a working fumigator either do not read the instructions, or waved a hand.
– How safe are disinfectants? What checks do they go through before they go on sale?
– Any disinfectant is, by definition, a toxic substance, otherwise it would not be used. In order, roughly speaking, to kill a microbe, you need to use some kind of poison.
Here I am talking about disinfection in general: disinsection (the fight against insects and arthropods), and disinfestation (rodents), and sterilization mainly in medical organizations (complete release of objects from any microorganisms).
All disinfectants go through 3 stages of research.
The first is the chemical composition. We are sure to see what this or that disinfectant consists of. Relatively speaking, someone synthesized a new chemical compound and suggests using it as a disinfectant. First he must examine it and say whether it is toxic or not. If toxic, to what extent, describe other characteristics.
The second stage is toxicology. That is, how much this substance is safe in those modes that are offered by the manufacturer. And if it is dangerous, then what measures should be taken when using this disinfectant. Wear a respirator, gloves, outdoors, etc.
And the third is its target effectiveness, that is, how much this tool reaches the desired goal. Whether it is sterilizing, disinfecting or effective against arthropods. If during the study the tool was ineffective, the manufacturer usually asks for help in its development. And if this tool has been tested at our institute, then this is a guarantee for the consumer.
– Tell us in more detail how you check the toxicity of a substance?
– For this, we have an appropriate laboratory, vivarium, insectarium, which contains both animals and arthropods.
For example, repellents (mosquito repellents) that are applied to the skin are tested on volunteers. If it is possible for a substance to enter the body, for example, it is used indoors, in a hospital room, and a person can inhale vapors, animals are inoculated according to a certain method, and after this inoculation, this animal is examined, the state of internal organs, and it is concluded that dangerous substance, safe or some personal protective measures are needed during its use. We conduct research on products intended for children on appropriate animals — not adults, but suckers and weaners.
There are methods that involve volunteers for a number of studies. For example, skin antiseptics. A lot of work begins in the coming days: about 10 volunteers will use a certain skin antiseptic to check if it is convenient to use and if it will cause irritation on the skin.
We also have volunteers researching insect repellents. In the experiment, repellent is applied to the hand and the hand is lowered into the chamber where normal live mosquitoes fly. And they look to see if the number of mosquitoes that have sat down and started drinking blood really decreases with the use of this remedy.
– If rats, cockroaches appeared in the house, do you need to contact a special service or is it enough to buy a good remedy?
– In such cases, this applies to rodents, and cockroaches, and bugs, the effect is given by systemic work. It is impossible to get rid of cockroaches in one apartment, they will find moves and come. It’s best to either agree with the neighbors about some kind of joint processing, or invite an organization that will do this processing more than once, conduct it in all rooms, and most importantly, check the effectiveness of its work.
Disinfection organizations often save on verifying the effectiveness of their work.
Before any work, it is necessary to assess the state of population, carry out processing depending on this assessment and after a certain time check how effective it was. But even after that you need to repeat such treatments periodically with a preventive purpose, and then you are guaranteed to get a good result.
Also, if you encounter such a problem, you can contact the management company. See the contract with the management company and the structure of the rent you are presented with.
– In which areas of the house is it necessary to disinfect?
– The first place is the toilet. The second place is the kitchen, this is also a rather critical place. A bath is unlikely only if you have small children. And more thorough cleaning is required if you bath small children in this bathroom. When a sick person appears in the apartment (be it a viral or intestinal infection), disinfectant products should be used both for cleaning and personal hygiene (for washing hands, for washing dishes). But it is important to approach disinfection without fanaticism. The main thing is not to pull dirt and lead a rational lifestyle.
We live surrounded by micro – and macroorganisms, and this is very good. Useful microorganisms compete with pathogens, and more often than not in favor of pathogens.
And if we enable useful or neutral microorganisms to populate our home, they serve as some kind of watchman. Even if pathogens get involved, they displace it. There is no need to invent anything but the basic hygiene rules that we all know. Just behave responsibly in relation to yourself and to others