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

Saturday, December 19, 2009

US Dept of Health Inspector General Report: CDC 's "Expert Advisory Panels" are "Wrought with Financial Conflicts of Interest"

According to a report published Friday, Dec 18 by the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services, 64 percent of the advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were found to have "serious financial conflicts of interest" as CDC either failed to recognize, or those consultants failed to disclose that they maintain financial relationships with manufacturers of vaccines and medicines (including alcohol hand sanitizer products)  that these same "consultants" have influenced the CDC to recommend to the general public.

Let's have some fun--and count the number of direct or indirect "expert consultants" to the CDC or "CDC advisory panel members" that have ties to GOJO Industries...the country's largest manufacturer of alcohol-based hand sanitizer (Purell); the product that CDC has repeatedly recommended for use in the battle against swine flu.
All despite the fact that alcohol is notorious for destroying protective skin cells, and otherwise increasing the risk of exposure to pathogens after repeated application.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wall St. Journal Profiles Soapopular Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

In a Dec 16 WSJ article profiling claims made by manufacturers of hand sanitizer and other "H1N1-related products", a popular maker of alcohol-free hand sanitizer products received attribution for providing clarity and transparency on the topic of effectiveness claims.

Taking a stand that most marketers would rather not, Soapopular spokesperson made it clear that FDA prohibits advertising specific effectiveness claims, even if the company has secured independent lab studies demonstrating effectiveness against a broad spectrum of pathogens,

The spokesperson further stated "Proper hand hygiene is all about common sense steps--and however much lab tests can deliver very compelling results, the real-world fact is that nobody can guarantee that individuals won't be exposed to virus-causing germs..We just believe that non-alcohol products make more sense when compared to alcohol."

Kudos to Soapopular for their integrity, transparency and logic!

S. Carolina School Teacher Charged With Abuse: Rubbed Alcohol-Hand Sanitizer in Student Faces and Mouths

A former Bishopville teacher is under investigation for reportedly abusing children by rubbing alcohol hand sanitizer in their faces and mouths..

We couldn't make this stuff up; click on title link to this posting for the ABC News update.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

NYS Dept Of Health [Cautions] Use of Alcohol Hand Sanitizers: Wash Hands BEFORE Applying

In a recent publication re: "hand hygiene antiseptic agents in hospital settings", the New York State Department of Health provides the completely ironic recommendation for users of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and states: "wash hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds before applying alcohol hand sanitizer."

A fifth grade student asks: "Why would I apply alcohol to my hands if I've just washed them with soap and water???" 

NYS Dept of Health answers: "Because alcohol is not a cleaning agent, and it does not penetrate dirty/soiled skin.." 

In the same document, the NYS Dept of Health cautions that "alcohol-based hand sanitizers are NON-PERSISTENT and have "NO RESIDUAL ACTIVITY"

This means that alcohol sanitizers have NO EFFECTIVENESS within seconds after  product application, as alcohol dries within seconds.

NYS Dept of Health infers in the same document that alcohol sanitizers are completely ineffective against non-enveloped viruses and lose their effectiveness with repeated use. The latter "feature" means that the more frequently alcohol is applied to the skin, they have absolutely no efficacy against germs/bacteria.

The fifth grade student that posed the above questions remains utterly confused as to why a state agency responsible for providing guidance on health-related issues would recommend using alcohol on the hands, when there are non-alcohol, rinse-free products that do not require washing before applying, have extended persistency (which means they continue to be effective long after applying), and these non-alcohol products deliver IMPROVED effectiveness over repeated applications.

NYS Dept of Health says: "The document in question is intended for health care workers within a hospital setting.." 

We know that GOJO Industries, the manufacturer of Purell alcohol hand sanitizer visits this blog daily--so we invite them to dispute the position taken by the NYS Dept of Health. And we invite them to explain why their product makes any sense if repeated use reduces the product effectiveness.

In the interim, we'll continue to join hands with among others, experts at the U.S. Navy, who have determined that applying alcohol to the hands is completely counter-intuitive, and that alternative, non-alcohol hand antiseptic products are safer to the skin, and much more pragmatic from a variety of perspectives.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

CDC: About 1 in 6 Americans have had swine flu

Courtesy of the LA Times, DEC 10 2009 3:05 PM EST

At least 50 million Americans had contracted pandemic H1N1 influenza through Nov. 14, according to the newest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released today -- meaning that about 15% of the entire country has been infected, about one in every six people.

Eye-opening, hair-raising and disconcerting. BUT--Swine Flu, however scary, is, according to many, nothing more than a very aggressive strain of influenza The experts would suggest that solid preventive measures include focused hand hygiene--washing with appropriate soap and water--and when that's not convenient--using an appropriate hand sanitizer.