In addition to keeping people well within and well kept, we also want to help them live in healthier surroundings.
Our interest in promoting public health dates back more than a century to our founding in 1913. In our early days as a company, Clorox® bleach was — and still is — used in places where killing germs is critical, such as schools, public buildings and hospitals. Before the widespread use of penicillin, the disinfecting properties of bleach helped treat wounded soldiers during World War II. And during the 1960s, when the first Apollo flights were heading into space, NASA used bleach to decontaminate the capsules returning from orbit.
Since then, we’ve extended our reach around the globe — not only through our products, but also through ongoing infection prevention initiatives and disaster-relief efforts.
The 2014 HAI Prevalence Study estimated that there were 722,000 healthcare-associated infections in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011, and about 75,000 patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, research shows that rates of some HAIs could decrease by up to 70 percent through preventive measures. With only half of surfaces at many healthcare facilities properly disinfected,1 we see the central role we can play in these settings.
The fast-acting, EPA-registered products that are part of Clorox Healthcare's portfolio are used by hospital personnel on surfaces and medical equipment to help reduce the spread of pathogens that cause HAIs like C. difficile and MRSA. Through innovation, we’ve expanded beyond surface disinfection to offer UV technology that complements manual surface disinfection to ensure thorough coverage, especially on areas that may be missed during manual cleaning. Today, we’re one of the leading providers of bleach disinfectant solutions to acute care facilities in the United States, with a presence in more than 80 percent of hospitals nationwide.
But infections aren’t limited to hospitals — in fact, most occur within the general community. So our professional products can also be found in long-term care facilities, gyms, hotels and other places that can be breeding grounds for germs.
Our consumer products play a similar role in killing germs that make people sick. From eliminating the viruses that cause colds and flu to reducing allergens, our Clorox®-branded sprays, liquids and wipes — bleach and nonbleach products alike — make it easier for consumers to keep their homes healthy. The brand also offers tips and tools such as the recently launched Clorox® Cold & Flu Pulse, a social media conversation tracker that’s a predictor of flu outbreaks, to provide valuable information on prevention.
Bleach is one of the most widely available, affordable disinfectants on earth, with the ability to control the spread of germs that can cause infections and other health threats. For this reason, it’s one of the first lines of defense after a natural disaster.
During the humanitarian crises that follow many earthquakes, hurricanes and floods, The Clorox Company acts swiftly with donations of Clorox® bleach and other needed products, such as Glad® trash bags. But natural disasters can also take the form of virus outbreaks, and the company has responded to these as well, making bleach donations to help battle Ebola in West Africa and the chikungunya, dengue and Zika outbreaks in the Americas, and also supporting public education efforts on mosquito protection.
1 Bhalla A, Pultz NJ, Gries DM, et al. “Acquisition of Nosocomial Pathogens on Hands After Contact With Environmental Surfaces Near Hospitalized Patients.” Infection Control Hospital Epidemiology. 2004 Feb;25(2):164–7.
...rates of some HAIs could decrease by up to 70 percent through preventive measures.
From our beginnings a century ago, we’ve evolved from disinfection to also focus on nutrition, access to safe water and personal care. With bleach as our foundation, our company and our products will continue to play a critical role in helping to make a difference in the health and wellness of consumers around the world.