Home' Inclean : INCLEAN May-Jun 2017 Contents 36 INCLEAN May/June 2017
to constantly remind
consumers about the
importance of good
By Bronwyn Capanna*
With new innovations being unveiled
every day, it can be hard to keep track
of the latest, safest way to stay healthy.
We therefore all need to be armed
with reliable tools and information to
demystify misconceptions and improve
education and training on hygiene and
Good hygiene helps prevent the spread of
organisms that can cause disease. This helps
decrease illness in society, as well as the
consequences of illness such as suffering,
lost productivity and lost income.
Improvements in hygiene can be linked
to increased life expectancy, decreased
infant mortality and decreased incidence
of infectious disease.
Maintaining good personal hygiene and
living in clean surroundings can help you
feel good about yourself and about life
Effective commercial and consumer
hygiene products and practices are essential
to maintaining good standards of personal,
home, public and industrial hygiene.
This is why Accord has developed
a range of targeted websites aimed at
providing manufacturers, markets and
consumers with useable and accessible
information. Some examples include:
• The Hygiene for Health website
provides comprehensive, evidence-based
information on the vital role of the
cleaning and hygiene products industry
in preventing the spread of infection and
illness throughout our community. It
covers all key aspects of hygiene in personal
care, households, public spaces, hospitality,
healthcare, industry and agriculture.
• The Furphies website addresses
unfounded public alarm arising from
common myths and misconceptions to do
with the safety of the industry’s products,
covering issues relating to cleaning
products, personal care products, specific
chemical ingredients, and chemical
categories such as nanomaterials and
preservatives. It also provides information
The importance of up-to-date infor mation and
ongoing training in hygiene and healthcare
on general issues relating to chemicals,
health and product safety.
• And while aimed specifically at
consumers, the WashWise website
provides a wealth of information on
sustainable laundry practices – while also
assisting to use laundry products correctly.
All cleaning and hygiene products in
Australia are regulated by a stringent
and complex system of controls spanning
federal, state and territory and local
jurisdictions – regulations specifically
designed to protect public worker and
Take for example GHS, the newly
implemented international system of
classification and labelling of workplace
products (INCLEAN readers may have
seen Accord’s article on this topic in the
last edition. Catherine Oh, author of the
article, will also be presenting on GHS
at the forthcoming ISSA Cleaning &
Hygiene Expo in Melbourne).
On the Accord website we have
developed a specific ‘Frequently asked
Questions’ on the topic.
These have been compiled over time
from questions raised by the industry
since the start of GHS implementation in
Australia in 2012.
The answers have been compiled with
input from relevant stakeholders and
experts in the area, and refer to the relevant
regulation in the Model Work Health and
Safety Regulations where possible.
And it’s not just cleaning and hygiene
professionals that can have difficulty
keeping abreast of new issues.
The media too can have a difficult job
when reporting on hygiene and chemical
issues. The vast and complex fields
of science, medicine, toxicology and
chemical regulations are all relevant to the
understanding of chemical risks, so that
even someone who has expertise in one
aspect of chemicals may not know much
It is even harder for journalists, who
most likely do not have the above
expertise, and who are required to
translate the findings of a scientific study
into a short, attention-grabbing TV
broadcast or newspaper article. This can
lead to oversimplification, and potentially
Take for example the reporting of the
US Food and Drug Administration’s
recent changes to the rules for marketing
consumer antiseptic wash products
containing certain active ingredients.
This announcement regrettably led to all
sorts of erroneous claims, exaggeration
and fear mongering, irrelevant to the
Australian situation and regulatory system.
It is vital that we are all able to
understand and therefore remain
confident in the role of Australia’s strong,
independent, science-based system of public
health and environmental regulation.
Hence the need for ongoing training and
this is again where Accord has stepped
up – we are currently running company
training sessions on Regulatory Basics.
This complements the previous industry
training sessions we’ve hosted of the
chemical scheduling system, as well as
dangerous goods legislation.
Bronwyn Capanna is executive director
of Accord Australasia.
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