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

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hand Sanitizers Causing a Buzz-

From Kentucky news station WBKO:

"...WBKO contacted the makers of both "Purell" and "Dial" hand sanitizers and received no response regarding the alcohol in their product. Spiller said warning signs someone may be abusing hand sanitizer are bottles that suddenly go missing or become empty.

So far, Spiller said they've had several hundred calls here in Ky. about people drinking sanitizer, but in only one case did a person exhibit symptoms of intoxication.

"....the concern over intoxication from alcohol-based hand sanitizer is very real.

F.O. Moxley Community Center Assistant, Jeff Young, said when the kids at the summer fun camp get their hands dirty, they don't turn to hand sanitizer.

"Basically, we just use our first preventative methods and that's good old soap and water," Young said.

So, camp officials aren't worried about any of their campers getting intoxicated from using the hand cleanser.

Henry Spiller of the Ky. Regional Poison Control Center said you can get drunk by consuming large amounts of hand sanitizer because most sanitizers contain ethyl alcohol, or ethanol.

"It's the same type of alcohol you find in a beer or a bottle of wine. The only difference is that there's more alcohol in hand sanitizers than in an alcoholic beverage," Spiller explained.

According to, most beers are only five-percent alcohol. Wine tops out at about twelve-percent. However, a nearly seven-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer contains 62-percent alcohol. That means a child around two or three-years-old could easily be affected.

"It wouldn't take them a large amount. Maybe a one-ounce container would contain enough for a very small child," Spiller assured.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Purdue University: Alcohol Sanitizers DO NOT prevent infections that make people sick.

Nothing new--but we tripped over below article from EMagazine only after it was re-published in a community newspaper.... Once again--emphasizing that for those that embrace hand sanitizers, the alcohol-based products introduce more negatives than positives--exactly why alcohol-free formulations are being embraced.....(By the way--congrats to the folks at Soapopular and to Wal-Mart--Soapopular's alc free, rinse free, fragrance free and dye free product is now available at 300+ Wal-Mart locations)

A 2005 study by the Children’s Hospital in Boston compared illness rates across a study group of 292 families—half of them got hand sanitizers while the other half were given literature advising them of the benefits of frequent hand washing. The findings revealed that those families who used hand sanitizers experienced a 59 percent reduction in gastrointestinal illnesses and that the increased use of sanitizers correlated to a decreased spread of contagions in general.

Another study conducted at Colorado State University yielded similar conclusions, that hand sanitizers were as much as twice as effective as either regular soap or antibacterial soap at reducing germs on human hands. A Purdue University study, however, concluded that while alcohol-based hand sanitizers may kill more germs than plain or triclosan-based soaps, they do not prevent more infections that make people sick. Instead they may kill the human body’s own beneficial bacteria by stripping the skin of its outer layer of oil.

The down side of the gel/alcohol products is their danger as poison, especially for young children who may ingest the gel by licking it off their hands or eating it directly out of dispensers. Purell and Germ-X, two of the leading brands, each contain 62 percent ethyl alcohol. While this alcohol is what gives the products their germ-busting power, it also puts kids at risk of alcohol poisoning. A few squirts of the hand sanitizer—which is equivalent to124 proof booze—is enough to make a kid’s blood alcohol level .10, which is the equivalent of being legally drunk in most states.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Flu Strains --Vaccine Didn't Work..

According to a report from the CDC, during this year’s February peak, flu-related symptoms were the reason behind 5.9% of all doctor visits in the US, a rate higher than in the previous 13 consecutive weeks.

The death toll seems to have peaked in March, however, with 9.1% of all causes of death associated with flu or pneumonia. Healthcare officials consider 6.9% to be an unusually high rate.

Sixty-five children aged 1 month to 18 years have died so far in this year’ flu season. The median age at death among childrern has been 4.5 years. In the three previous years, between 46 and 75 children died each year.

Dr. Dan Jernigan, deputy director of the CDC’s influenza division, identifies a more virulent form of virus that has predominated this year’s flu season. This one, A(H3N2), was first identified in 2007 in Brisbane, Australia. There are numerous variants of this virus but this particular strain was not identified in time to be included in this year’s batch of influenza vaccines although a variant of it was included.

Jernigan cites another reason for such a fierce flu season this year. We’re seeing the presence of an influenza B virus but it was not included in the vaccine formulations used last fall. The vaccines are completely ineffective against this form of virus.

What a surprise...How about washing with good old soap and water???? Duh. And, courtesy of email sent to me yesterday from the senior health care official at a midwest school system (11 schools in total) "..When soap isn't available-make sure you have a bottle of Soapopular handy.." (uses the same active ingredient as Bacteine antiseptic..)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Study Says: Benzalkonium Chloride: Most effective effective against Salmonella

Ceska Slov Farm, 2003 May, 52(3), 141 - 7
{Effect of disinfectants on surface hydrophobicity and mobility in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium DT104}; Majtanova L et al.; The paper evaluated antibacterial efficacy of 12 disinfectants on the basis of quaternary ammonium compounds (KAZ) on the isolates of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium of the definitive phage type 104 (DT104) . One isolate--5551/99--represented the multiresistant phenotype, resistant to ampicillin (A), chloramphenicol (C), streptomycin (S), and tetracycline (T) . The second isolate--577/99--was sensitive to all antibiotics tested . The present study further examined the capability of sub-MIC concentrations of disinfectants to intervene into surface hydrophobicity and motility of the strains tested . The results showed that all disinfectants under study exhibited high antibacterial activity . ..The most effective substances against strain 577/99 (S-type) were Benzalkonium chloride...

Click here for suggested hand sanitizer product re: Salmonella

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hand Hygiene for Schools and Kids: Great Tools from Henry The Hand

The folks at Soapopular were kind enough to point out a website for parents and school teachers that provides great tools for helping to teach youngsters the basics of hand on the link ! Henry the Hand!! (Soapopular folks reminded us that schools receive 20% online discount at when purchasing on any of their alcohol free, fragrance free and dye free hand sanitizers...merely need to enter Schools20off in the very last step of the shopping cart process...)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Popular Blogs Profiling Alcohol Free/Rinse Free

The word on the topic of alcohol free hand sanitizers continues to spread almost as quickly as the speed in which germs can be killed by using the right alcohol-free hand sanitizer product...Click on the link!