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, April 28, 2009

Infectious Disease Society of America Hand Sanitizers & Swine Flu

We were asked to post the following open letter. Perhaps it should have also been written to elected officials?

Open Letter:

April 27, 2009

To: Board of Directors

Infectious Disease Society of America

RE: Swine Flu/Hand Sanitizer Clarification


Anne Gershon, MD, FIDSA, President
Columbia University College of Physicians
New York, New York

Richard J. Whitley, MD, FIDSA, President-Elect
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama

James M. Hughes, MD, FIDSA, Vice President
Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia

Dear Board Members:

We've been contacted by several government agencies seeking to procure our alcohol-free formula--as those specific agencies (including The US General Services Administration and US Dept of Transportation) have specifically acknowledged their own internal analysis that has found non-alcohol based formulas (those containing benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient)are not only equally if not more effective against the broad spectrum of pathogens when compared to alcohol products, but the BAC-based products provide greater persistency, are non-irritating to the skin, are non-flammable and non-toxic.

Several agencies seeking 'emergency fulfillment' of orders today have advised informally that CDC is actually providing misinformation on this topic, as their recommendations are limited to 'alcohol-based gels'...and taken from a manual initially written in 1996. And,that many federal agencies are prohibiting alcohol-based gels in favor of alcohol-free alternatives in connection with safety concerns.

In the midst of this 'crisis', it could prove critical if ISDA were able to issue their own position on the topic and provide their opinion for public information purposes.


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

Monday, April 27, 2009

Baltimore Man Charged With Using Alcohol-Hand Sanitizer to Set Fire To Child

A Westminster woman said an ex-boyfriend held her and her kids at bay for several hours while beating and burning them.The man, 19-year-old Samuel Kline, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault, child abuse and arson.Kline was arrested Tuesday night on Charles Street in Westminster.

Police said he assaulted Amber Sickle and her three children before setting fire to her apartment at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.According to police reports, he tried to set a 5-year-old girl on fire using a hand sanitizer. When Sickle stepped in to help, she said Kline lunged at her.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Obama Shouts Out Alert Re: Swine Flu & Hand Hygiene--Alcohol-FREE Hand Sanitizers

We don't believe in panics, and notwithstanding the news media's alarmist alarms, even President Obama is expressing concerns.

Fact: Swine flu, like many other airborne pathogens are difficult to defend against.

Fact: One of the best ways to protect against 'catching' these types of viruses is to obviously stay clear of those that display flu symptoms, but to practice good hand hygiene protocols.

This means washing with soap and water frequently--especially after touching or coming into contact with any type of foreign object. Door knobs, key boards, chairs, subway straps, escalator handles, telephones, the list goes on and on.

The MOST IMPORTANT FACT: Many of the thousands of 'officials' that are publishing "what to do to protect against...swine flu.." statements are erroneously 'recommending' alcohol hand sanitizers.

These are the 'officials' that have no idea, no education on the topic of hand sanitizers, and don't realize that there are numerous alcohol-free hand sanitizer products that provide better protection against swine flu, are safer to the skin, are non-toxic and non-flammable.

The scary part isn't the potential 'pandemic'..but the fact that many 'public officials' have been provided no training, no education, and have no idea that what they've been told to 'recommend' is information from 12 years ago, and that the 'source' for information--the US Centers For Disease Control, has warned against alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Alcohol-free hand sanitizer brands to evaluate: Soapopular, Hy5, Hand2go... Or simply google search to educate yourself!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Swine Flu Outbreak-Hand Sanitizers..WebMD has it all wrong!

While the most recent 'alarm bells' ringing in connection with recent reports of swine flu spreading across the border between Mexico and US are scary enough as it is, the really scary news is that state and local government agencies and health care officials are once again pulling out 15 year old CDC 'hand hygiene recommendations' that promote alcohol-based hand sanitizers

--despite the fact that since 2007, CDC has repeatedly said they (i) they don't recommend anything other than washing with soap and water, (ii) that the 15-year old "recommendation" was intended solely for hospital workers and written prior to the advancement and commercialization of alcohol-free alternatives a, (iii) that the recommendation document incorporated numerous warnings and cautionary statements against the use of alcohol-based sanitizers.

So let's try and ask any "educated" or trained 'professional' whether they even know that alcohol-free hand sanitizers are readily available and are being sought after by infection control experts and peers within health care facilities, schools, government venues and corporate offices throughout the US and Canada.

Why are alcohol-free hand sanitizers the preferred choice by real experts that have actually researched the topic?? (Without the influence of GOJO, Purell and other marketers of alcohol-based products..)

1. Alcohol-free products, particularly those that incorporate benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient--the same used in Bactine antiseptic) are independently proven to be equally if not more effective i.e. broad spectrum of bacteria and viruses when compared legacy alcohol gels, the latter of which are not only flammable, but potentially toxic.

2. These alcohol-free hand sanitizers do not cause dry/irritated skin. Their legacy alcohol counterparts are infamous for destroying skin cells, and causing irritations.

3. Alcohol-free hand sanitizers provide extended persistency, which means their protective and germ killing elements last longer. On the other hand, alcohol-based hand sanitizers dry immediately after application, and stop working within seconds.

4. Alcohol hand sanitizers have NO EFFECTIVENESS when applied to dirty/soiled skin. Don't believe us, ask the people that make Purell, or simply read the instructions "wash hands thoroughly before applying.."

Why would you apply ANY type of hand sanitizer if you've just washed your hands thoroughly?? You wouldn't. It makes no sense.

OK, the cynic would say.."sounds like you're promoting a product"...and more importantly, "if you were right about using alcohol-free products insteand of the mass market products, why and how is it that all of the recommendations coming out today say "use alcohol hand sanitizer.."?

One might answer.. "Gee, ever wonder why and how government agencies helped promote the idea of consumers taking out mortgages that they couldn't afford?" Maybe the answer is because all of those people are (i) uninformed (ii) uneducated (iii) too lazy to question what someone else is telling them to say.

Yes--there are several competing manufacturers of alcohol free hand sanitizers. We recommend researching each, comparing ingredients, comparing prices and comparing claims. Start with the Soapopular product, and search the internet for others.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Alcohol-Awareness Month--And Hand Sanitizers

April is the National Alcohol Awareness Month...and in observance, we were made aware that the State of Ohio Department of Health has been citing senior care facilities for violating new regs with respect to soap products available within common areas.

It seems that Ohio's DOH has figured out that most liquid soaps contain glycerine, and that glycerine is not only highly flammable, but when combining with friction activity-i.e. rubbing hands together with the soap, the combination results in CHO by-product. CHO is a form of alcohol.

Based on concerns specific to senior care facility residents (exposure of alcohol-based products to those with dementia) the State has sought fit to prohibit the use of glycerine based liquid soaps in certain state-licensed facilities. Bravo.

On another front-we read about a brouhaha in Pennsylvania, where the Department of Public Welfare recently made note of widespread concerns relating to the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers within state-licensed senior care and nursing facilities. Understandably, the Department of Public Welfare pointed out that alcohol-based hand sanitizers were not only flammably, but potentially dangerous to residents of these facilities, and that facility operators need to take special precautionary steps with regard to accessibility of these products and their use.

Immediately thereafter, PANPHA, an advocacy group of some type, expressed frustration with the State and unbeknownst to them, there are numerous alcohol-free hand sanitizer products that are proven to be not only equally effective, but are necessarily more cost-efficient. Adding insult to injury, the advocacy group contacted Rep. John Bear, who sits on the House Aging & Older Adult Services Committee, said welfare officials have begun issue citations against facilities that don't keep hand sanitizer behind lock and key.

According to a statement that defies common sense to anyone that has researched the topic, and has not received campaign contributions from those that might be profiting from the sale of alcohol-based products:

"This defies common sense," said Bear, whose district includes the second- largest number of retirement homes of any legislator's. "It also goes against the best practices outlined by the Centers for Disease Control on how to best get rid of germs.

One manufacturer clasped their hands and then sent this note off to PANPHA, and cc'd Rep. Bear, who was "unavailable to comment" after receipt of the message

Dear Mr. Barth-
After reading a recent article re: apparent confusion about hand sanitizer products, I was compelled to reach out directly.
It would appear that comments attributed to your staff lead some to believe that your organization might be unaware of the fact that there are more than several manufacturers of alcohol-free hand sanitizer products that are well-documented to be equally, if not more effective when compared to the legacy toxic/flammable alcohol-based hand sanitizer products.
Its almost frightening that awareness about this issue has yet to reach some organizations, especially when considering that tens of dozens of federal agencies, state and local governments, school systems and numerous health care venues--particularly senior care facilities-- have all made the determination that alcohol-free alternatives, specifically those whose active ingredient is benzalknonium chloride, are 'hands down', a much more appropriate alternative when washing hands with soap (non-glycerine and non-antimicrobial) and water is not readily available.
All of these facilities, from the US Naval Dept of Surface Warfare, to dozens of senior care facilities, have banned the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer products for the obvious reasons:
1. destroy protection skin cells
2. non effective when applied to dirty/soiled hands
3. flash point risk
4. toxicity
5. no persistency. alcohol-based products dry within seconds after applying and are no longer effective
The fact that alcohol-based gel products are 2x-3x MORE expensive when compared to foam formatted, alcohol-free products such as those that we manufacture, should certainly inspire your organization to review the attached--or better still, to do your own independent research, ideally without the influence of vendors that have been providing alcohol-based products.
As just one example of experts that have researched this topic, its worth nothing that our company's products have been endorsed by the State of Connectict Infection Control Nurse Association.
Finally--US Center For Disease Control senior spokesperson Nancy Stewart has repeatedly stated that contrary to a now 13 year old document which has since become the 'bible' for many, the CDC DOES NOT recommend alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and in point of fact, the 2002 CDC "hand hygiene recommendation statement", originally written in 1996, contains numerous disclaimers and warnings with respect to alcohol-based gel sanitizers.
We'd necessarily be more than happy to provide your organization with extensive lab reports--including those from other manufacturers, along with product samples for your expert staff to evaluate accordingly.

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