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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Some Doctors-Including Pediatricians, Still Don't Know About Hand Sanitizers

We were obliged to share the following letter--sent to ""

After noticing recent posting at re: extending your recommendation to use alcohol based hand sanitizers, I was compelled to reach out.
I'll preface by acknowledging that I'm not an MD.

My knowledge with regard to the topic of hand sanitizers (alcohol vs. non-alcohol alternatives) is merely limited to two years of intensive research, including discussions with the leading experts in the field of infection control, HCW's, and independent labs. That research led myself and several business associates to come to the conclusion that alcohol based hand sanitizers are the last thing that anyone should be putting into their kids' hands. Or into anyone else's hands.

We weren't influenced by the 2006 report published by the US Association of Poison Control Centers (the one that was profiled by no less than a dozen leading news media platforms) which disclosed alcohol-based hand sanitizers were the direct cause of upwards of 12,000 cases of alcohol poisoning in kids 6 and under.

Nor were we influenced when we discovered that tens of dozens of schools throughout the country have been systematically banning alcohol-based hand sanitizers due to concerns i.e. toxicity and flash point risk.

Our eyebrows were raised when we noticed a 2004 mandate issued by the New York State Department of Education that prohibited alcohol based hand sanitizers unless a physician or parent authorized it.

We became much more focused on the topic after three separate discussions with CDC spokesperson Kathleen Stewart--who told us that CDC does not actually recommend alcohol-based hand gels when washing with soap and water is not available. She pointed out that CDC certainly does not recommend the use of this product for children.

What intrigued us was discovering that [unlike legacy, alcohol based formulas], alternative, rinse free hand sanitizer formulas (e.g. BAC-based products, there are several including brands Soapopular, Hy5, and others) do not destroy protective skin cells, do no cause dry/irritated skin (leading to risk of infection), provide greater persistency, and are otherwise equally effective i.e. broad spectrum of commonly-transmitted pathogens. These newer products are also effective when applied to soiled/dirty skin, they are non-flammable, and otherwise non-toxic.

Yes. The research conducted over the past 40 years with regard to BAC within sanitizer/antiseptic products indicates that some pathogens might become resistant to excessive exposure to BAC. If this were as significant a finding as some would claim, one would think that Bactine would have been taken off of the market, that J&J would not spend tens of millions promoting its BandAid foaming antiseptic, and that the makers of various spermicidal foams would have opted for a different active ingredient decades ago.

We'd be more than happy to send you samples of our products, independent lab studies, and testimonials from amongst others, the President of the Infection Control Nurse Association of a major east coast state, and a senior civilian employee at the US Naval Dept of Surface Warfare--he's a Ph.D. on the topic of chemical formulations and contacted us unsolicited in effort to implement our BAC-based hand sanitizers throughout the HQ of that government facility.

Without appearing to endorse any single manufacturer, we defer to blog visitors to do what the CDC actually recommends i.e. 'perform your own research when it comes to hand sanitizer products.."

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