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Anastasia Swearingen
Red Lifebuoy Near Public Swimming Pool

The spread of dangerous microorganisms is one of the greatest risks to human health. Pathogens can spread through an insect bite, causing deadly diseases like malaria. They can contaminate food or drinking water with bacteria like E. coli and legionella. The spread is easier in areas where there is great person-to-person contact, such as medical facilities, swimming pools, cruise ships, and hotels. To control these pathogens, the public relies on a variety of antimicrobial products.

Public Spaces

Any environment that places many people close together poses a great risk for the spread of infections. Anywhere there are a lot of people, there are a lot of germs. Schools, daycare facilities, nursing homes, and workplaces are breeding grounds for germs and thus the spread of infections. These public spaces need to be clean and safe and those shared spaces and public health are better protected with biocides.

Public transportation, such as airplanes, trains, ships and buses, rely on sanitizers and disinfectants to maintain cleanliness and safety. Cruise ships pose a particular public health challenge—when ill or infectious passengers are aboard a ship, they endanger an isolated, dense population of travelers. To protect passengers, the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program establishes high sanitation standards for the industry. In order to meet these strict standards, the cruise industry relies on a variety of biocide products.

Frequently Touched Surfaces

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a thorough cleaning and disinfection of sinks, toilets, doorknobs, and other hard surfaces that people frequently touch is the first and most important step in preventing the spread of disease. For this reason, household disinfectants (a type of biocide product) is found in homes, workplaces, and schools and these products are regularly used to kill disease-causing microbes in on kitchen countertops, bathroom sinks and cafeteria and classroom tables.

Water Systems and Legionnaires’ Disease

Aerosol water dispersion from cooling towers, evaporative condensers, and fluid coolers is common; thus it is critical that these waters not contain harmful bacteria that could impact public health. Because of the ambient temperatures in these systems, there is an ideal environment for the growth of microbes, including the Legionnaires’ disease bacteria. Water treatment, with biocides, thus is critical to control the proliferation of Legionella.,

Additionally, the use of biocides provides significant benefits derived from protecting equipment, maintaining recycled water quality, conserving energy and resources, and overall efficiency.

Livestock Health

Animal health is of great public health importance. Livestock farms in the U.S. have grown into large operations with dense livestock populations. While this consolidation into larger and larger operations has significant economic advantages, it also increases the challenge to control disease threats. As farmers have decreased the routine use of antibiotic drug additives in animal feeds, there is a greater need to disinfect equipment, buildings and other surroundings to protect animals’ health.

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is considered the most economically devastating of contagious diseases among livestock because of the variety of species potentially involved, its rapid spread, and the difficulty in controlling outbreaks. A FMD outbreak in the U.S. would result in an estimated $14 billion loss of farm income, or 9.5 percent of the total annual U.S. farm income.

Antimicrobial provide a crucial role in maintaining the safety, viability, and value of livestock production in the U.S. for disinfection of processing materials and facilities.