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

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

University of Virginia Study: Hand Hygiene, including use of Proper Hand Sanitizer Reduces Cold& Flu Symptoms By Up to 50%

Scientists at the University of Virginia, long known for its virology research, tested surfaces in the homes of people with colds and reported the results Tuesday at the nation’s premier conference on infectious diseases.

For the new study, researchers started with 30 adults showing early symptoms of colds. Sixteen tested positive for rhinovirus, which causes about half of all colds. They were asked to name 10 places in their homes they had touched in the preceding 18 hours, and researchers used DNA tests to hunt for rhinovirus.

“We found that commonly touched areas like refrigerator doors and handles were positive about 40 percent of the time” for cold germs, Winther said.

In a separate study, the university’s Drs. Diane Pappas and Owen Hendley went germ-hunting on toys in the offices of five pediatricians in Fairfax, Va., three times during last year’s cold and flu season.

Tests showed fragments of cold viruses on 20 percent of all toys tested — 20 percent of those in the “sick child” waiting room, 17 percent in the “well child” waiting room, and 30 percent in a sack of toys that kids are allowed to choose from after being good for a shot.

“Mamas know this,” Hendley said. “They say, `We go to a doctor for a well-child checkup, the kids play with the toys and two days later they have a cold.’”

Doctors have long advised frequent hand-washing to avoid spreading germs. Wearing surgical masks and using hand sanitizers also can help, a novel University of Michigan study found.

About 1,000 students who live in dorms tested these measures for six weeks during the 2006-07 flu season. They were divided into three groups: those who wore masks, those who wore masks and used an alcohol free hand sanitizer, and those who did neither.

The two groups who used masks reported 10 percent to 50 percent fewer cold symptoms — cough, fever, chills — than the group who used no prevention measures.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

US Congressman Convicted of DUI: Attorney Attributes It To Alcohol In Purell Hand Sanitizer

Excerpt from Oct 18 2008 Washington Post:
"...After a nearly eight-hour trial in Alexandria traffic court, Rep. Vito Fossella of New York was found guilty last night of driving under the influence, but the judge did not decide whether the Republican congressman was so drunk he should go to jail.
...During breaks on the floor, Fossella said, he sometimes repaired to a side office and cleaned his hands with Purell, a hand sanitizer that is more than 60 percent ethyl alcohol, according to its manufacturer. His attorneys said the alcohol in the Purell contributed to the elevated blood-alcohol reading many hours later..."

One can simply go to and search key words "alcohol hand sanitizer" to discover how easy it is to make a 120 proof cocktail by mixing Purell into club soda.
Just another reason why we're becoming ever so popular for promoting the use of alcohol-free hand sanitizers

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

UN Celebrates Global Hand Washing Day -BBC News Reports 1:4 Subway Riders Pose Risk to Commuters

And at the same time, this news report from BBC-

Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine swabbed 409 people at bus and train stations in five major cities in England and Wales.More than one in four commuters has bacteria from faeces on their hands, an investigation suggests.

The further north they went, the more often they found commuters with faecal bacteria on their hands - men in Newcastle were the worst offenders.

Experts stressed the importance of hand hygiene for preventing illness.

The bacteria found suggested people were not washing their hands properly after using the toilet, said the researchers.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hand Hygiene and The Bottom Line Impact to Budgets

For those that are focusing on how to manage their budgets in this time of unprecedented economic constraints, here's a simple economic and financial fact:

Proactive, and responsible hand hygiene protocols, whether within schools, healthcare venues, and/or the workplace can save tens of thousands of dollars in the course of re-evaluating budgets and spending.

How? Its real simple; it all comes down to the cost of absenteeism.

Consider what it costs when an employee is out sick for the day. A lost sale, a delayed shipment, a delay in processing an order or a receivable, a delay in training a customer service representative, a class that has to be rescheduled. When there is a one-day or an extended absence due to common illness, i.e. a bug, the flu, a cold, a stomach virus, you not only lose productivity, but temporary workers need to be brought when there is an extended absence of a full-time worker.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that many low-level illnesses can be easily avoided by steps as simple as washing hands frequently--and especially after coming into contact with any 'foreign object'--keyboards, door handles, desktops, shaking hands with someone, etc etc. A message that any healthcare professional will acknowledge. And its a message that hand sanitizer makers have promoted--"when washing with soap and water isn't convenient....."

Here's the rub-not all hand sanitizer products make sense. Alcohol-based gel products kill germs on contact-and they also kill the protective skin cells that shield against germs, bacteria and viruses. From a cost-efficiency standpoint, alcohol-based hand sanitizer formulas burn through your budget as quickly as the flames that result when you put a match to the alcohol in that bottle of gel on your desk.

On the other hand, alcohol-free, foaming applications require less "per shot" application, they provide extended persistency (meaning they continue to protect against germs long after applied), and, unlike alcohol gels--which introduce added cost when considering the damage they inflict on floors, walls,etc. NON-ALCOHOL, rinse free foaming hand sanitizers provide 2x-3x greater cost efficiency..End users consume less than half as much product over the course of a month or a year when compared to historical usage of alcohol-based gels. There are several alcohol-free, foam format brands--however they do range in price--and some manufacturers have made the mistake of pricing their product at a level that mitigates cost efficiences..Products such as Soapopular, Hy5, some HandClens products are priced comparable to alcohol-based products--which means these brands deliver the cost savings that consumers and institutional users can benefit from--and save upwards of 50% on their annual hand sanitizer purchases.