With the growth of antibiotics after World War II attitudes toward hygiene slackened since antibiotics had dramatically reduced the risk of infection. But with the evolution of new pathogens in recent years, some quite serious, there has been renewed attention to the issue of hygienic home cleaning.
The International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene, a consortium of public health scientists that has investigated the issue, believes that with changes in the microbe environment as well as certain lifestyle changes, attention to hygiene is now warranted. The most important activity they recommend is hand washing. But hygienic cleaning of surfaces that we are in most contact with is also an aid to a more infection-resistant home.
This is not, by the way, an all out endorsement by the scientific community for using disinfectants in the home. In fact, these scientists have shown an admirably nuanced awareness of the problems that disinfectants introduce into our environment. More on that in another post.
see "Why is home hygiene important? -- Hygiene-related disease in the home and community" on the ISFHH website. You can Google it.