Essay by beach_bunnyHigh School, 11th gradeA, August 2006

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1.0 Introduction

With the word bacteria follows the initial thoughts of illness, disease and disgusting growths. In most cases bad bacteria is the cause of serious illness, but the human body is inhabited by lots of good bacteria that act as a protective barrier to the outside world, and play an important part in good health and wellbeing.

Bacteria are single-celled prokaryotes, they're numbers are that great that the total number of bacterium found on the human body out numbers the total number of human cells 10 to 1(Live Science).

Microbes found on the skin on ones hands, is contracted from anything and everything, from opening doors, patting pets, shaking hands and going to the bathroom. Making it essential to routinely wash ones hands, even if the hands appear to be relatively clean, its appearance deceives as millions of microscopic bacterium are present on ones palms.

Prevention of illness and elimination of bad bacteria has been practised for many generations.

The practise of hand washing is considered one of the most effective and easiest means of personal hygiene (MMWR). From the moment of birth to only a few hours after, we are deemed completely sterile (free of bacteria), however after this period of time we become colonized by millions of bacterium, never to be fully clean and sterile ever again (Trudy M. Wassenaar).

Good bacteria play many roles, the bacteria used to ferment milk and yogurt, generates beneficial nutritional assistances and maintains food quality, which intern minimizes spoilage. Whilst bacteria such as Diplococcus (pneumonia) can cause colds and serious illness.

These days there are many products promoting the need for hand hygiene, but what are these products claiming to do? And which ones are in fact more effective in destroying traces of bad bacteria? Alcohol-based hand rubs, antiseptic hand washes,