New Yorkers have to be extra vigilant about the disinfectant they use in their homes, according to a study released Thursday by the state Department of Health.
The study, which surveyed 1,000 New Yorkers over a four-year period, found that most households didn’t use a surface disinfection solution for their personal use.
About one-third of respondents said they had never used one.
And half of those who did use a solution said they hadn’t done so in years.
The report, titled “Waste, Not a Solution: How the New York State Dose-Based Personal Hygiene Program Helps the City Achieve Its Mission of Improving Health and Well-Being,” was published by the Center for Health and the Environment at New York University.
The report comes at a time when the city is trying to cut back on its use of surface disinfecting solutions.
Last year, the city launched a new program that provides personal hygiene products at all of its community health centers, and the program is expected to grow as more residents come into contact with contaminated surfaces.
The new program is in place to give residents a choice about how to use their personal hygiene product.
But the study found that only about 20 percent of respondents actually tested their personal cleaning products in a lab before purchasing them.
That’s in contrast to more than half of respondents who tested their products at home, according the report.
“Surface disinfectant is a simple, inexpensive and effective solution to prevent microbial contamination in public settings,” said Dr. Thomas Gershenfeld, an assistant professor of health sciences at New Jersey Institute of Technology and lead author of the report, in a statement.
“But it has been underutilized.”
The report recommends the city implement a program that gives residents the option to purchase disinfectant at all community health center locations.
“The public health benefit of disinfectant use can be significant, especially when the product is used in conjunction with a personal care product,” Gershefeld said.
“There’s not a lot of data on the long-term health effects of disinfection, but we need to know the results before we can take action,” he added.