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, August 20, 2011

#Triclosan Danger: FDA In the Pocket of Manufacturers :NYT Report

Once again, media reports about the dangers of Triclosan and efforts by both consumer groups and health care advocates to block the use of this chemical in hand hygiene, facial washes and toothpaste products are being impeded by the FDA.

According to this NYT report, the US FDA has for years repeatedly deferred from making any comments as to the potential dangers of triclosan, and ignored repeated scientific findings which have found this chemical leads to resistance against various bacteria, despite findings reached by among others, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which found that triclosan in high concentration is a carcinogen.

Why would the FDA repeatedly ignore multiple and unrelated demands to block this product from use in consumer healthcare products?

Perhaps its the same reason why the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has a similar and long history of ignoring complaints against major banks; both of these agencies have a long history of deferring to their most significant constituents; the companies that profit the most from selling the products that are supposed to be 'regulated' by these inept federal employees, many of whom bide their time in cubicles until they get rewarded with high-paying private sector jobs from the companies they've been 'regulating' for years. 

The responsible alcohol-free hand sanitizer makers use benzalkonium chloride as the anti-bacterial agent in their products, and leading health care venues have already prohibited triclosan-based soaps and sanitizers.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

#Alcohol-Hand Sanitizers increase #norovirus risk: study says

A survey of 161 long-term care facilities in the United States presented at an American College of Preventative Medicine meeting in February revealed an association between the preferential use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers for routine hand hygiene with an increased risk for outbreaks of norovirus, the highly infectious virus that causes most cases of acute gastroenteritis

Of the 45 facilities that reported preferential use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in a recent survey, 53% experienced a confirmed outbreak of norovirus, compared with 18% of the 17 facilities that used hand sanitizers less often than soap and water.

"...these findings indicate that alcohol-based hand sanitizers might be “suboptimal in controlling the spread of noroviruses,” said Dr. David Blaney of the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Other studies have demonstrated that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are often ineffective against nonenveloped viruses, including norovirus, suggesting their use may not be appropriate in settings that frequently experience outbreaks, such as long-term care facilities..

for the full story: