Hygiene refers to practices associated with ensuring good health and cleanliness. Such practices vary widely and what is considered acceptable in one culture may be unacceptable in another. In medical contexts, the term "hygiene" refers to the maintenance of health and healthy living. The term appears in phrases such as personal hygiene, domestic hygiene, dental hygiene, and occupational hygiene and is frequently used in connection with public health. The term "hygiene" is derived from Hygieia, the Greek goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation. Hygiene is also a science that deals with the promotion and preservation of health, also called hygienics.

Food and cooking hygiene

The purposes of food and cooking hygiene are to prevent food contamination, the transmission of disease, and to prevent food poisoning. Food and cooking hygiene protocols specify safe ways to handle and prepare food, and safe methods of serving and eating it. Such protocols include

* Cleaning of food-preparation areas and equipment (for example using designated cutting boards for preparing raw meats and vegetables). (Cleaning may involve use of chlorine bleach for sterilization.)
* Careful avoidance of meats contaminated by trichina worms, salmonella, and other pathogens; or thorough cooking of questionable meats.
* Extreme care in preparing raw foods, such as sushi and sashimi.
* Institutional dish sanitizing by washing with soap and clean water.
* Washing of hands after touching uncooked food when preparing meals.
* Not using the same utensils to prepare different foods.
* Not sharing cutlery when eating.
* Not licking fingers or hands while or after eating.
* Not reusing serving utensils that have been licked.
* Proper storage of food so as to prevent contamination by vermin.
* Refrigeration of foods (and avoidance of specific foods in environments where refrigeration is or was not feasible).
* Labeling food to indicate when it was produced (or, as food manufacturers prefer, to indicate its "best before" date).
* Proper disposal of uneaten food and packaging.

Medical hygiene

* Proper bandaging and dressing of injuries.
* Use of protective clothing, such as masks, gowns, caps, eyewear and gloves.
* Sterilization of instruments used in surgical procedures.
* Safe disposal of medical waste.

Most of these practices were developed in the 19th century and were well established by the mid-20th century. Some procedures (such as disposal of medical waste) were tightened up as a result of late-20th century disease outbreaks, notably AIDS and Ebola.

Personal service / served hygiene

* Sterilization of instruments used by hairdressers.
* Sterilization by autoclave of instruments used in body piercing and tattoo marking
* Cleaning hands before eating in food outlets, such as using soap to wash or wet wipe to mop up

Excessive hygiene

Excessive hygiene practices may cause allergic diseases. Some parts of the body, e.g. the ear canal, or inside of the vagina are mostly better left alone for the body's own cleaning systems. Also, excessive application of soaps, creams, and ointments can adversely affect certain of the body's natural processes. For examples, soaps and ointments can deplete the skin of natural protective oils, and some substances can be absorbed and, even in trace amounts, disturb natural hormonal balances.

Hygiene hypothesis

In medicine, the hygiene hypothesis states that a lack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents, and later a lack of exposure to helminths as adults, increases susceptibility to allergic diseases [Strachan DP. Family size, infection and atopy: the first decade of the "hygiene hypothesis". Thorax 55 Suppl 1:S2-10.: S2-10, 2000.] .

External ear canals

The ear canals have a perfectly functioning cleaning system of their own, and don't normally need assistance. In fact, attempts to clean the ear canals may only do the opposite, since earwax, carrying debris and other material towards to opening, is pushed back inwards.


The skin has a natural layer of fat, which protects the skin from e.g. drought. When washing, unless using aqueous creams, etc., with compensatory mechanisms, this layer is removed, leaving the skin unprotected. By this mechanism, excessive washing may eventually trigger eczema.Fact|date=May 2008

History of hygienic practices

Elaborate codes of hygiene can be found in several Hindu texts such as the Manusmriti and the Vishnu Purana. [ [http://www.sulabhtoiletmuseum.org/fact.htm Sulabh International Museum of Toilets ] ] Bathing is one of the five Nitya karmas (daily duties) in Sikhism, not performing which leads to sin according to some scriptures. These codes were based on the notion of ritual purity and were not informed by an understanding of the causes of diseases and their means of transmission. However, some of the ritual-purity codes did improve hygiene, from an epidemiological point of view, more or less by accident.

Regular bathing was a hallmark of Roman civilization. [ [http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/T/timeteam/snapshot_rom_bath.html Roman bath houses] ] Elaborate baths were constructed in urban areas to serve the public, who typically demanded the infrastructure to maintain personal cleanliness. The complexes usually consisted of large, swimming pool-like baths, smaller cold and hot pools, saunas, and spa-like facilities where individuals could be depilated, oiled, and massaged. Water was constantly changed by an aqueduct-fed flow. Bathing outside of urban centers involved smaller, less elaborate bathing facilities, or simply the use of clean bodies of water. Roman cities also had large sewers, such as Rome's Cloaca Maxima, into which public and private latrines drained. Romans didn't have demand-flush toilets but did have some toilets with a continuous flow of water under them. (Similar toilets are seen in Acre Prison in the film "Exodus.")

Until the late 19th Century, only the elite in Western cities typically possessed indoor facilities for relieving bodily functions. The poorer majority used communal facilities built above cesspools in backyards and courtyards. This changed after Dr. John Snow discovered that cholera was transmitted by the fecal contamination of water. Though it took decades for his findings to gain wide acceptance, governments and sanitary reformers were eventually convinced of the health benefits of using sewers to keep human waste from contaminating water. This encouraged the widespread adoption of both the flush toilet and the moral imperative that bathrooms should be indoors and as private as possible. [" [http://www.amazon.com/dp/193259521X Poop Culture: How America is Shaped by its Grossest National Product] ", ISBN 1-932-59521-X]

Islamic world

Since the 7th century, Islam has always placed a strong emphasis on hygiene. Other than the need to be ritually clean in time for the daily prayer (Arabic: "Salah") through Wudu and Ghusl, there are a large number of other hygiene-related rules governing the lives of Muslims. Other issues include the Islamic dietary laws. In general, the Qur'an advises Muslims to uphold high standards of physical hygiene and to be ritually clean whenever possible.


Contrary to popular belief [ [http://historymedren.about.com/od/dailylifesociety/a/bod_weddings.htm The Bad Old Days — Weddings & Hygiene] ] and although the Early Christian leaders condemned bathing as unspiritual, [ [http://www.wordinfo.info/words/index/info/view_unit/2701 Ablutions or Bathing, Historical Perspectives + (Latin: "abluere", to wash away) ] ] bathing and sanitation were not lost in Europe with the collapse of the Roman Empire. [ [http://www.vlib.us/medieval/lectures/black_death.html The Great Famine (1315-1317) and the Black Death (1346-1351)] ] [ [http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/middle-ages-hygiene.htm Middle Ages Hygiene] ] As a matter of fact, soapmaking first became an established trade during the so-called "Dark Ages." The Romans used scented oils (mostly from Egypt), among other alternatives. Also, contrary to myth, chamber pots were not emptied out the window and into streets in the European Middle Ages—this was instead a Roman practice. Bathing in fact did not fall out of fashion in Europe until shortly after the Renaissance, replaced by the heavy use of sweat-bathing and perfume, as it was thought in Europe that water could carry disease into the body through the skin. (Water, in fact, does carry disease, but more often if it is drunk than if one bathes in it; and water only carries disease if it is contaminated by pathogens.) Modern sanitation as we know it was not widely adopted until the 19th and 20th centuries. According to medieval historian Lynn Thorndike, people in Medieval Europe probably bathed more than people did in the 19th century. [ [http://www.godecookery.com/mtales/mtales08.htm Tales of the Middle Ages - Daily Life ] ]

Academic resources

* International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, ISSN: 1438-4639, Elsevier

ee also

* Carl Rogers Darnall
* Clean Living Movements
* Cleanliness
*Contamination control
* Dental hygiene
* Feminine hygiene
* Hand washing
* Hygiene hypothesis
* Hygiene program
* Islamic hygienical jurisprudence
* occupational hygiene, the practice of controlling workplace exposure to harmful agents.
* Personal care
* Public health
* Public hygiene
* Sleep hygiene
* Social hygiene movement
* Typhoid Mary
* Toiletry


External links

* [http://www.tufts.edu/med/apua/Patients/handwashing.html Alliance for Prudent Use of Antibiotics on hand washing]
* [http://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/ Centers for Disease Control on hand hygiene in healthcare settings]
* [http://www.educationusa.state.gov/life/culture/customs.htm#personal U.S. State Department information on hygiene customs in the United States] .

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hygiene — Hygiene …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • HYGIÈNE — L’hygiène est classiquement la science qui enseigne les mesures propres à conserver la santé, et elle a été pratiquée par tous les peuples, qu’il s’agisse des civilisations primitives ou encore des civilisations dites modernes; pourtant, il y a… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Hygiene — Hygiène L apprentissage de la toilette est un des éléments de l éducation à l hygiène …   Wikipédia en Français

  • hygiene — hy‧giene [ˈhaɪdʒiːn] noun [uncountable] the practice of preventing illness or stopping it from spreading by keeping things clean: • The layout of the kitchen does not conform to food hygiene regulations. inˌdustrial ˈhygiene HUMAN RESOURCES the… …   Financial and business terms

  • Hygiene — Sf erw. fach. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Zuerst im Französischen aus gr. hygieiná Gesundheit entlehnt, n. Pl. des Adjektivs gr. hygieinós heilsam, der Gesundheit dienlich , dieses ist eine Ableitung von gr. hygieía Gesundheit , zu gr. hygiḗs gesund,… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Hygiene. — Hygiene.   Unter dem Begriff Hygiene fasst man alle privaten und öffentlichen Maßnahmen zusammen, die der Aufrechterhaltung der körperlichen und der seelisch geistigen Gesundheit und ihrer natürlichen und gesellschaftlichen Voraussetzungen dienen …   Universal-Lexikon

  • hygiene — [hī′jēn΄, hī jēn′] n. [Fr hygiène < Gr hygieinē ( technē), (art) of health < hygiēs, healthy, sound < IE * su gwiyēs, living well < base * su , well ( > Sans su , well) + base * gwei , to live > Gr bios, life, L vivus, living] 1 …   English World dictionary

  • hygiene — 1670s, from Fr. hygiène, ultimately from Gk. hygieine techne the healthful art, from hygies healthy, lit. living well (personified as the goddess Hygieia), from PIE *eyu gwie es having a vigorous life. The Greek adjective was used by Aristotle as …   Etymology dictionary

  • Hygiene — Hy gi*ene, n. [F. hygi[ e]ne. See {Hygeia}.] That department of sanitary science which treats of the preservation of health, esp. of households and communities; a system of principles or rules designated for the promotion of health. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hygiēne — (Hygieine, griech.), soviel wie Gesundheitspflege (s. d.) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”