National center for infection control professionals, healthcare experts, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and consumers focused on best practices in hand hygiene and hand sanitizer products

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hotels and Hygiene. Real Scary!

Click on the link to this story courtesy of FOX News affiliate in Atlanta ..You'll want to check this out before you check in to another hotel room---and you'll definitely want to have something in hand to prepare yourself

Schools Up in Flames Thanks to Alcohol Hand Sanitizers

Courtesy of the Ontario Office of The Fire Marshal
First paragraph reads:

It has come to the attention of the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) that students in some schools are misusing alcohol-based hand sanitizers. In one incident, students placed a small quantity of an alcohol-based gel sanitizer on the floor, turned off the lights and then lit it on fire. It is not known whether the product was obtained through the school or was brought in by the students.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What Purell Says about Ability to Kill MRSA

In a call from the owner of a jan/san company in NC, I was told that he was told that Purell nor any other alcohol-based hand sanitizer actually kills MRSA---and he wanted to know more about alcohol-free products. I was admittedly a bit stumped, as the content on Purell's website SEEMS to suggest that it does. On a downloaded .pdf from the Purell website--the FAQ includes the following:

What types of hand sanitizers are effective against MRSA?
The CDC and other public health organizations state very clearly to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

I was intrigued about the wording of the answer..after all-its otherwise passing the buck to the CDC's generic and 12-year old comment that had nothing to do with the question about MRSA specifically. So I phoned Johnson&Johnson's Purell subsidiary and spoke to a nice fellow named Dave Hicks.

I specifically asked if Purell kills MRSA. He said "well, the CDC says..." and then I stopped him and said..."Just tell me if there is documentation that says Purell (GOJO) tested for the ability to kill MRSA."
His response? "Well, we're regulated by the FDA and the CDC, and there are certain things we can't say...but I'm going to send you our corporate policy comment and that should answer your question." David then sent me a document that displayed a 2001 independent lab study that listed a few dozen pathogens, including staphylococcus aureus (methilin resistant) or MRSA. According to David, "the interpretation of the report is that Purell can protect against MRSA, but it doesn't kill MRSA."

So this means that if you apply it, and come into contact with MRSA before the Purell dries in your hand, it will act as a defensive shield. He reminded me that Purell dries in a matter of seconds, and then its no longer active in killing germs.

Alcohol Hand Sanitizers : They Don't Kill MRSA

According to a Wall Street analyst...and publisher of a newsletter called ChangeWave. Click on the link

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Michigan Jail fighting MRSA with Alcohol-Free Hand Santizers

Excerpt from Adrian Daily Telegram (Adrian, Michigan)

Jail fighting MRSA

ADRIAN — Responding to several recent cases of inmates infected with MRSA, an antibiotic- resistant bacteria, the Lenawee County Jail is installing 18 dispensers of hand sanitizers.

“It’s our attempt to be proactive in this MRSA outbreak,” jail commander Dennis Steenrod told county commissioners Thursday during a committee meeting. “I’m confident it will help solve the problem.”

The dispensers are free, but the criminal justice committee was asked to approve $1,700 for a year’s supply of an alcohol-free sanitizer that will be available to inmates as well as corrections officers. Steenrod said inmates who are diagnosed with MRSA infections are being isolated from other prisoners and their cells sanitized.

Sheriff Larry Richardson told the committee that a greater effort is being made to disinfect prisoners being brought into jail before they are placed in cellblocks.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

FDA Science Board: Our Flaws Put Lives at Risk

We've been shouting that both FDA and CDC insights are perversely outdated--and insofar as hand sanitizing products, which are now used by 1 in 4 people, both agencies remain in the stone age as they continue to fail to recognize that alcohol-free products, which have been coming to market for the past 3-5 years, are safer and certainly as effective.

Alcohol hand sanitizers like Purell do kill germs, but they also kill industrial floor wax. Wow. If the government agencies don't "get it", at least consumers do, --a message that has resonated with several national retailers, including Target, that are systematically introducing alcohol-free hand sanitizer products

From Dec 1 NY Times..

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 — The nation’s food supply is at risk, its drugs are potentially dangerous and its citizens’ lives are at stake because the Food and Drug Administration is desperately short of money and poorly organized, according to an alarming report by agency advisers.

The report, made public on Friday, is the latest and perhaps most far-reaching in a string of outside assessments that have concluded that the F.D.A. is poorly equipped to protect the public health.

It was written by three members of the F.D.A. Science Board, an advisory panel that reports directly to the agency’s commissioner, Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach. The three authors in turn had 30 scientific advisers.

The report concludes that over the last two decades, the agency’s public health responsibilities have soared while its appropriations have barely budged. The result is that the F.D.A. is falling farther and farther behind in carrying out its responsibilities and understanding the science it needs to do its many jobs.

“F.D.A.’s inability to keep up with scientific advances means that American lives are at risk,” the report stated.

Barbara J. McNeil, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and one of the report’s authors, said she was stunned at the agency’s sorry state.

The agency often misses significant product arrivals because its computers are so poor that they cannot distinguish between shipments of road salt and those of table salt, the report said.

Experts Say : Stay away from fragrance hand sanitizers

Exerpted from 2003 study by Kovach and Associates:

"...Some manufacturers add fragrance to their hand sanitizer formulation. Their logic is that the formulation is more appealing to caregivers and patients. However, a review of advantages and disadvantages listed in Kovach & Associates' annual survey of 120 directors of nursing across the United States would suggest otherwise....Fragrance becomes a problem due to the potential among caregivers and patients for allergic reactions to different fragrances. Directors of nursing cited fragrance as a factor in causing nausea in both patients and caregivers. A fragrance-free product is preferable. Similar survey comments regarding fragrance in the healthcare environment were seen in quotes associated with healthcare personnel hand washes, lotions and liquid body soaps..... so high fragrance levels can become a problem for caregivers and patients.

We have also heard some objections to the use of dyes in some formulations. These can leave stains or residue on caregiver and patient hands and clothes. It would be best to use a product that has no color additives or dyes in its formulation to avoid staining and possible skin irritation...."

British hospitals are being urged to "lock up" their hand sanitizers

November 30, 2007


British hospitals are being urged to "lock up" their hand sanitizers because a growing number of patients have become sick from drinking the alcohol-based solutions.

In today's issue of the British Medical Journal, toxicologists report there has been a spike in poisoning cases after hospitals started placing hand-sanitizer dispensers at bedsides and near ward entrances as a way to reduce common infections.

In some cases children or confused adults downed the noxious fluid, mistaking it for water. In other cases it was intentionally consumed by substance abusers trying to get high.