SOURCE: The Soap and Detergent Association

January 30, 2008 10:00 ET

SDA Unveils, Hosts New Book Detailing Public Health Benefits of Cleaning and Hygiene

"Against Disease: The Impact of Hygiene and Cleanliness on Health" Available for Download at No Cost; Authors Include University of Michigan's Allison Aiello, Columbia University's Elaine Larson, SDA's Richard Sedlak

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - January 30, 2008) - The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) has unveiled, which houses a new publication that describes the historic and present-day impact of hygiene and cleaning on public health.

"Against Disease: The Impact of Hygiene and Cleanliness on Health" is an update of the 1984 SDA publication, "Cleanliness and the Health Revolution." The new book is authored by Dr. Allison Aiello of the University of Michigan School of Public Health; Dr. Elaine Larson of Columbia University; and Richard Sedlak, SDA Senior Vice President, Technical & International Affairs.

"Against Disease" examines the historical scientific record on the role of sanitation, medical advances, and personal hygiene and cleanliness in reducing the incidence of disease-related morbidity and mortality.

"Too often, the positive contributions of hygiene and cleaning to public health are downplayed or forgotten. To help spread the word about the connection between hygiene and health, SDA is making 'Against Disease' available for download at no cost on," said SDA's Rich Sedlak.

A hardbound version of the book will be available for purchase on at a later date.

"Against Disease" recounts that a substantial, but overlooked component of the health revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was a socio-cultural transformation in personal hygiene and cleanliness. The book examines records of soap production and consumption, bathing and hygiene habits, epidemiological data, and morbidity and mortality data from not only the United States and England, but also other areas of the world to support this hypothesis.

"Today, the health revolution is still ongoing in the form of personal hygiene and household cleanliness -- two important disease prevention strategies," the authors write. "This book includes an examination of the effectiveness of handwashing and household cleaning and disinfecting practices today in removing and killing microbes.

"This fact is clear: good personal and household hygiene practices, although often overlooked in the past, remain vital contributors to good health."

The launch of was unveiled at SDA's Issues Briefing, held during the Association's 82nd Annual Meeting & Industry Convention in Boca Raton, Florida.

More about the authors:

Allison E. Aiello, PhD, MS, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Elaine L. Larson, RN, PhD, FAAN, CIC, Professor of Pharmaceutical and Therapeutic Research, Associate Dean of Research, School of Nursing; Professor of Epidemiology, Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health; Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.

Richard Sedlak, MSE, Senior Vice President, Technical & International Affairs, The Soap and Detergent Association, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.

The Soap and Detergent Association (, the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry(SM), is the non-profit trade association representing manufacturers of household, industrial, and institutional cleaning products, their ingredients and finished packaging; oleochemical producers; and chemical distributors to the cleaning product industry. SDA members produce more than 90 percent of the cleaning products marketed in the U.S. The SDA is located at 1500 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005.

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