Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Making the Most of Alcohol Hand Sanitizers

Alcohol hand sanitizers have been in use in the U.S. since the mid-1990s. Beginning with the food industry they have trickled down to being cleanroom supplies and for use in pharmaceutical applications. Further, a large number of businesses in most sectors are making generous use of the product to protect their employees and cleanroom equipment alike. However, just because you've used a sanitizer it doesn't mean that you're completely free of germs.

Alcohol sanitizers, available as hand rubs, gels or rinse sanitizers, foams, atomizing sprays, etc are disinfectants comprising at least 60 per cent alcohol. Though washing hands with warm water and soap does remove dirt and reduces germs on your hands, alcohol sanitizers can serve as an additional agent to kill germs further or when it's not possible to wash hands with soap and water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers alcohol hand sanitizers as an acceptable alternative to soap and water for hand hygiene.

Making the most of sanitizers, when used as clean room products entail at least some technique.

The following are tips to keep in mind while you prepare to enter a cleanroom facility.
  • Clean grime and dirt from your hands by soap, as sanitizers only deactivate viruses and kill bacteria. They're not meant to clean dirt.
  • Get the sanitizer to all the areas of your hands where the transient flora resides. Don't neglect the nails and cuticles at the cost of just palms.
  • Also, in cleanroom environments and applications, sanitizers should be coupled with a gamma radiation treatment, as alcohol doesn't destroy bacterial spores.
In the beginning the medical and the health care industry in the US lagged behind in implementing handwashing programs using alcohol hand sanitizers, for the most part due to the fear that it may lead to a fall in handwashing compliance, incrasing the risk of nosocomial infections. But later, evidence from Europe and Japan showed that including sanitizers actually helped the cause, that's when alcohol sanitizers became a commonplace for use in cleanrooms by the cleanroom staff as well as companies engaged in cleanroom services


DrStu said...

Respectuflly suggest that most people that have researched the dangers inherent to alcohol-based hand sanitizers--are embracing alcohol-free alternatives that provide the exact same germ-killing efficacy, without the dangerous side-effects of alcohol-based products.

Aside from the widely documented 2007 report published by the US Association of Poison Control Centers, which found close to 12,000 cases of alcohol poisoning in kids 6 and under directly attributed to alcohol-based hand sanitizers (the marketing genuises at Purell have packaged their product with cute bottles and intoxicating fragrances that inspire little ones to lick the gel off of their hands), alcohol-based hand sanitizers are notorious for destroying protective skin cells, causing dry/irritated skin, which in turn increases risk of exposure to bacteria and germs, have no efficacy when applied to dirty/soiled hands, and lose their effectiveness within seconds after applying.

Alcohol-free, rinse free, fragrance free products (brands include Soapopular, Hy5, and others) use the same active ingredient found in Bactine antiseptic, J&J BandAid brand foaming antiseptic, and dozens of other health care products--all of which are widely-acknowledged to be equally effective when compared to Purell or other alcohol-based products, but the alcohol-free alternatives are safer to the skin, safer for kids and are non-flammable and non-toxic.

Schools, day care centers and health care venues throughout the country have been systematically banning Purell and similar products, and contrary to popular belief, the US Centers for Disease Control does NOT recommend alcohol-based hand sanitizers..at least that is what Kathleen Stewart, a senior spokesperson from CDC has repeatedly stated
A good blog on the topic is : http://www.handhygienefacts.blogspot.com

Jay Berkman
Mata Global Solutions,Inc.
d/b/a MGS Brands
d/b/a MGS Soapopular
2490 Black Rock Turnpike
Fairfield, Connecticut 06825
Tel: 203.255.0034
US Distributor of Soapopular: The Consumer Market's Most Popular Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer
Global License: Hy5

Fred said...

Thanks for your valuable comment. And for suggesting alcohol-free sanitizers as a safer alternative - especially for home use. :-)