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

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.

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