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Study Raises Questions

April 11, 2006

KENYA: Popular products used to disinfect lab and hospital surfaces are not strong enough to kill the disease-causing bacteria, according to a new study.
The study by Dr. Willie Githui of the Kenya Medical Research Institute found that to effectively disinfect labs and other surfaces coming into contact with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria, it is necessary to introduce bleaches with higher concentrations of chlorine than those found in domestic disinfectants.
In her study, now awaiting patenting, Dr Githui reports that ordinarily, the 3.5% chlorine concentration in bleaches on the market, which are meant for domestic use, is not strong enough to kill the TB-causing bacteria, mycobacterium tuberculosis. According to lab consultant Peter Karanja, common brands are usually the product of choice when it comes to disinfecting labs because they are readily available and are much cheaper than stronger alternatives.
“Some of them do not even know where they can find alternative disinfectants or how to prepare powerful solutions for purposes of killing the TB bacteria,” said Mr. Karanja.

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