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A Brief History Of Hygiene With Lemon

Whilst hygiene is not suddenly more important now – it’s never notbeen important, after all – as a societal issue, it’s certainly being more keenly focused on now than ever before. Hand-washing isn’t suddenly more or less effective now there’s a global pandemic, it’s simply that we’ve been reminded of the fundamental importance of what is, at the end of the day, pretty basic hygiene measures. As a PPE supplier, Lemonspends a lot of its time around hygiene supplies of various sorts, and that got us to thinking, do most people know when exactly hygiene entered the scientific and medical discourse? Well, buckle up for a quick history lesson, because that’s exactly what we’re covering today!

The Difference Between Cleanliness And Hygiene

Now, it’s first worth determining what exactly we’re going to be deeming as ‘hygiene’. Because for thousands of years now, humans have taken a keen interest in the idea of cleanliness, with many ancient civilizations having engaged in daily bathing rituals of one form or another. What we’re more interested in here at Lemon, however, is the initial microbiological forays into the discipline - the discovery of germ theory, for instance. Because it’s that which is so pressing today, that’s led to our hand sanitizers, and our understanding of modern infectious diseases.

My Hygiene Isn’t Your Hygiene

It’s also important to note at this point that this is by no means an exclusive definition of the term; some scientists, for instance, deem ‘hygiene’ simply to be the demonstration by an organism of disease avoidance behaviours. Using those parameters, the first instances of ‘hygiene’ would’ve been displayed when life itself first came to exist!

Science Hasn’t Always Been… Science

Until the latter part of the last millennium, ‘science’ was a changeable, and more often than not baselesspractice, which hinged as much on the whims of a few influential names as did on evidence-based fact. In other words, what might have been deemed clean and healthy in one era, from a scientific perspective, wasn’t sometime else.

The Development Of Germ Theory

The Discovery Of Microbes

Microbes (tiny living things of which bacteria and viruses are both types) were actually first discovered as far back as the late 17thcentury, where Dutchman Antonie van Leeuwenhoek(now widely accepted as being the ‘Father of Microbiology”) examined ‘small animals’ through his microscope lens. These small animals turned out to be unicellular organisms, which are amongst the most basic life forms on planet Earth. So, when you’re next purchasing your hand sanitizer from our PPE supplier, think that you’ve got a Dutchman from hundreds of years ago to thank for keeping you safe!

Germ Theory – Three Of The Greats:

Louis Pasteur

Even with the ground-breaking (yet largely rejected) scientific advances made by scientists such as Ignaz Semmelweis and John Snow(no,notthe Game of Thrones one) it was not until the mid 1860s and the work of famed Frenchman, Louis Pasteur, that more formal experiments were carried out to further establish the link between germ and disease. It’s thanks to Pasteur that we have ‘pasteurised’ milk (no points for guessing where the name for the term comes from…)

Robert Koch

Similarly influential in the development of modern germ theory was German scientist Robert Koch. The thing that really put this physician on the map was his ability to demonstrate that a disease is caused by a certain organism. In terms of scientific developments, it doesn’t really get more ‘watershed moment’ than that.

Joseph Lister

If you, like me, enjoy the feeling of a burning mouth before you go to sleep for the night, then you’ll probably be using Listerine mouthwash (other brands are, of course, available…). Until Joseph Lister came along, germ theory was still largely theoretical, in nature. That all changed, however, when Lister started to apply these principles in medical settings, through his use of antiseptic chemicals to clean surgical instruments, and thereby reduce the mortality rate in hospital settings.

The reason that there are even PPE suppliers such as ourselves, in the first place, that there’s an industry centred around developing ever-greater levels of hygiene and that we’re able to handle viruses in the way which we’re now able, is all thanks to the work of these pioneering scientists in the nineteenth century.

The Future Of Hygiene

The basic and widespread adoption of hygiene principles (such as regular hand-washing) is invariably the best thing we can do, at present, given the current circumstances regarding COVID-19. However, it’s also worth briefly examining where the discipline might be headed in the short to medium-term future. What we’ve got at the minute, in practical terms, is actually pretty good.

The change we’re most likely to see, therefore, is going to be more social and political – an increase in the number of public sanitizing stations, more regular hygiene inspections (across all sectors) and a real governmental drive to sustaining this renewed adoption of good personal hygiene standards. It’s not an untruth to point out that many people, whether simply fatigued by the situation or in thinking that the virus is no longer a problem, have let their personal hygiene slip to pre-virus standards.

Lemon’s Hygiene Offering

Here at Lemon, we offer a whole range of hygiene items to help keep you clean and safe during the pandemic, and beyond. These include:

· OXYL-PRO Hand & Surface Disinfectant.