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A recent study conducted at Cardiff University in Wales evaluated the efficacy of disinfectant laden wipes in the potentially bacterial infestedenvironment of an ICU of a hospital. These wipes are commonly used in households todayto clean kitchen counters, bathrooms, sinks, and the user’s hands.

The study found that the wipes were very effective in killing bacterias upon contact, but that drug-resistant bacterias, such as MRSAs (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus), could be left on the wipe surfaces. When the wipes were utilized more than once, these drug-resistant bacterias would transfer onto the newly “cleaned” objects. Thus, the MRSA which may have been confined to a small area could be spread to contaminate the entire suite.

Concern has been increasing in recent years that the overuse of these wipes may actually create more drug resistant bacterias. This study does not reach this issue.

Concerns have also been raised as to the effect that discarded wipes may have on killing helpful bacterias in the environment, or causing the spawn of new antibacterial resistant strains of bacteria that grow directly upon the discarded wipe.

Many more studies on these new products need to be conducted to determine what environmental and health impacts they utimatelywill have. We applaud the efforts of the team of researchsfrom Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy in their recent study.

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