This report reviews 3 decades of media coverage about a possible relationship between exposure of domestic microbes to disinfectants/antibacterials used for hygiene, and development of antibiotic resistance. In all, 23 media articles published between 1997 and 2017 were analyzed together with consumer feedback.  The review illustrates the considerable amount of inaccurate or misleading reporting of this issue and suggests it is a cause of public misunderstanding and mistrust about hygiene. It also shows how inconsistent understanding of the term “antibacterial” has contributed to the confusion.

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