DOI: 10.3390/healthcare12060646 ISSN: 2227-9032

Prospective Study on the Influence of Occupational Hand Protection Products on the Efficacy of Hand Disinfection

Magdalena Metzger, Stefan Manhartseder, Leonie Krausgruber, Carina Wagner, Sara Frank, Rosmarie Reisner, Monika Ehling-Schulz, Johannes Grillari, Roswitha Hosemann, Peter Dungel
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership and Management

Background: To prevent occupational skin diseases, employees are instructed to periodically apply hand protection products as a barrier to protect their hands from water, cleaning agents or other irritants. The aim of this work was to investigate whether bacteria present on the skin at the time of protection product application are enclosed underneath this protective layer, if they can be transferred to other surfaces and if a standard isopropanol-based skin disinfectant can nonetheless reduce the bacterial burden. Methods: This prospective study was conducted in human volunteers based on the European Standard (EN 1500) to assess the burden of microorganisms before and after the application of various protection product formulations and subsequent hand disinfection. Results: All protection products, with the exception of alcohol-based gels, enclosed bacteria underneath a lipid layer which could be transferred onto other surfaces. Still, the hand disinfectant efficiently reduced the bacteria burden. Discussion: In occupations where proper hand hygiene is vital, alcohol-based gels might be the best option for the protection of the skin barrier as well as for reducing the contamination risk. Conclusion: An alcohol-based disinfection agent can dissolve the lipid film of protection products following the standard protocol for hygienic hand disinfection.

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