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

Monday, November 23, 2009

De-bunking the Norovirus claims made by makers of alcohol hand sanitizer makers

More than a few makers of alcohol-based hand sanitizers are claiming that their products are effective against Norovirus (a/k/a Norwalk Virus).

Per a recent academic study conducted by a team experts from the Center for Global Safe Water, Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, and Department of Food Science, North Carolina State University:

"..Despite the promise of alcohol-based sanitizers for the control of pathogen transmission, they are relatively ineffective against the HuNoV, reinforcing the need to develop and evaluate new products against this important group of viruses.."

Friday, November 20, 2009

H.E.B. Stores Introduces Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer to Texans

One of the reason that H-E-B Stores is so popular is because of their reputation for innovation and community service. Now they're even more popular thanks to introducing the alcohol-free hand sanitizer brand "Soapopular"

H-E-B, with sales of more than $15 billion, operates more than 300 stores in Texas and Mexico. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs more than 70,000 Partners and serves millions of customers in more than 150 communities.

Read the press release by clicking here

Putting Booze into Kids Hands: Alcohol Hand Sanitizer

Story below is courtesy of the AlaskaDispatch reporter Jill Burke

Purell markets itself as ‘Mother Nature's disinfectant'. But while they kill germs, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are apparently no match for some aspects of human nature. Curiosity and compulsion have led some people, including children, to sniff or drink the cleansing goo for a cheap high.

"The best way to drink hand sanitizer is straight, like whiskey, and down it ‘like a shot,'" a 15-year-old student in Toronto recently told Maclean's magazine. "Undiluted, the alcohol-based liquid tastes a little like ‘vodka and bug spray,'" Maclean's reported.

At 62 percent ethyl alcohol, Purell is more than 120 proof -- the equivalent of a strong rum or whiskey. To effectively kill germs, alcohol content must be at least 60 percent; stronger hand sanitizers may contain as much as 85 percent.

Yet for addicts desperate for an alcohol fix, hand sanitizer is accessible, cheap, and gets the job done. And its abuse is something that crosses state and national boundaries.

In the village of Selawik, located in northwest Alaska, several people are accused of stealing several large bottles of the gel last month from a convenience store's back room and getting drunk off of it. In Canada, shipments to fight flu were delayed to some First Nations communities where alcohol abuse is prevalent over fears people would drink it. Last month in Britain, prison inmates drank enough of the stuff to get drunk and start a brawl, leading to a ban on hand gel.

Wells says sniffing and drinking hand sanitizers is also a risk for children, teens and young adults who may find it easier to access than liquor, or who may be experimenting with intoxicants in general. When a teacher in Canada noticed her 8- and 9-year old students "acting strange and giggling" during a recent walk, her detective work got them to confess they had swallowed hand sanitizer at school just before the walk, according to Macleans.
Far more potent than beer, wine and many liquors, Wells sees a high potential for abuse in communities that ban alcohol, and suspects hand sanitizers may have "a tremendous potential for homebrew."

"The bottom line," she said, "is that anything that contains ethanol or isopropyl alcohol can have the potential for being abused and we just need to be aware."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Alcohol Hand Sanitizers: Would you give a bottle of Vodka to your kid?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Poisoning Doubles on Staten Island, NY

Courtesy of

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- It's become a common tool in a parent's arsenal against swine flu and the common cold -- a bottle of alcohol hand sanitizer.

   But as an increasing number of parents citywide have learned, it's got an alcohol content higher than most hard liquors.

   Hand sanitizers typically contain 62 percent ethyl alcohol -- the same type of alcohol in beverages, but processed and concentrated differently.

   The city's poison-control centers have seen 25 hand sanitizer ingestion cases over the past month -- more than double the 10 to 12 per month they typically see, according to officials with the city Health Department.

   "Exposure is among children, and generally from hand to mouth," Health Department officials said in an e-mailed statement.


Friday, November 6, 2009

North Carolina Facing Increased Problems With Alcohol Hand Sanitizers

More people are taking extra precautions to avoid getting the H1N1 flu virus.
But one germ-killing product is raising its own health concerns.
A North Carolina mother claims her 2-year-old son had a strange reaction to [alcohol] hand sanitizer.
Angie Dameron says she applied [alcohol] foam sanitizer to her toddler’s hands just before he ate his meal.
She says a half-hour later, her son could barely walk, and was acting funny.
After speaking with a nurse, Dameron says they came to the conclusion that the sanitizer was to blame.
A health official at Morehead Memorial Hospital says you shouldn’t over look the dangers of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
“Sometimes we take for granted that this is a powerful and toxic substance to small children especially,” said Annie Mills, RN. “The alcohol hand sanitizer products are made up of 62% ethyl alcohol roughly and that is equivalent of 120 proof alcohol.“

A spokesperson for the Carolinas Poision Center says an estimated 300 calls have come in this year from parents concerned about kids getting into alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

University of Minnesota Expert: Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizers Effective Way to Kill Flu Virus

"..All hand sanitizers depend on you using them correctly, but they would easily be able to kill the influenza virus. Alcohol-free hand sanitizers that use Benzalkonium Chloride is an effective way to kill the flu virus..."
Dr. Pat Schlievert, Department of Microbiology, University of Minnesota Medical School