The validity of domestic hygiene indicators in the scope of social and technological changes

P.M.J. Terpstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Home hygiene plays a significant role in well-being and health of consumers. It is linked with the nature and quality of household practices and of the household technical system. At the same time the impact of the level of home hygiene on well-being and human health is related to demographic parameters such as percentage of elderly and family organisation and composition. In this paper the impact of some demographic, social and technological changes on the level of home hygiene is discussed. In conjunction the interaction between housekeeping and the achievement of home hygiene is elaborated. If the level of home hygiene alters, a household will try to adjust their practices such that a desired level of hygiene is regained. For that correction process a household needs reliable information about the actual hygiene situation. It is discussed how the validity of the traditional hygiene indicators is fading away and how this may affect public health. Key conclusions: Demographic changes in the upcoming decades will lead to an increasing number of people with a greater propensity for infection. Changes in the micro-social system, housekeeping, will lead to a decrease in housekeeping hygiene and therefore to an increased exposure to micro-organisms. Innovative, sustainable technology in housekeeping will lead in some circumstances to a lower level of hygiene in housekeeping. The traditional hygiene-indicators in housekeeping lose their validity when housekeeping cannot anticipate the changes in the level of hygiene. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-238
JournalInternational Biodeterioration and Biodegradation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • disease

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The validity of domestic hygiene indicators in the scope of social and technological changes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this