Are We Really Benefitting?


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hand.jpgHand sanitizer very few are a stranger to this product which was obsolete no more than two decades ago. This product is said to be quite significant when it comes to keeping a person on the up and up in cleanliness. Hand sanitizer is quite simple to use and less time consuming than soaping your hands and washing them for 20 seconds then proceeding to drying them where you risk dirtying your hands again between acquiring paper towels and turning off the faucet.  Hand sanitizer dries in a mere matter of seconds while rubbing your hands together and supposedly kills 99.99% germs, as I say that .01% is the worst of germs then. However this product sounds like a miraculous investment to myself as well as many other individuals, it is quite affordable anywhere from 99cents for a 2 oz. to 5$ for around 120fl oz. This just seems like a win, win situation but the old saying goes if it's too good to be true then it probably is. So is hand sanitizer really doing anything for our hands and the cleaning process is the big question. According to Deborah Franklin the answer is quite simply on whether or not the brand of sanitizer has enough alcohol deemed necessary to help ward off germs. A minimum of 60% ethyl, ethanol or isopropanol alcohol is said to be needed and sanitizer only seems to be worthy only if the hands aren't visibly dirty. This became evident in a study done with plates by a specialist in infection control when he had students place their hands on plates after either rinsing with water, rinsing with soap and water and using sanitizer. To his surprise visible bacteria could be seen the next day on the sanitized plate which he then realized was only 40% alcohol based, concluding 60% or higher efficiency in a separate study. Even with this evidence which a various amount of people agree on there is still however, some speculation to the sanitizer dilemma. As noted by Regina Bailey the FDA does not want restaurants to replace soap and water with soap and water which makes perfect sense. She is on the side that they don't work; as mentioned before it obviously won't work on heavily soiled hands because of the simple fact that there isn't a steady flow to wash all the residue off which is the only reason present that they won't always work. There is also a video by CBS speaking upon how long handsanitizer's lasting effect on the hands and avoidance of germs. To put it quite frankly I think that is stupid to do such a thing! No matter what you use soap, water, combine both, sanitizer you will be immediately contaminated again. As soon as you touch something whether it be a door or a sink. On the same page there is a Dr. that states "it is an important two minutes." The main priority of the sanitizer is to reduce risk to infection on the go.

 

2 Comments

This article was interesting to me because I'm not a big fan of hand sanitizer. Therefore, I wanted to see if it was actually worth using. It makes sense that for hand sanitizer to wok it has to have an alcohol content higher than 60%. My question is, how much more effective is hand sanitizer than washing your hands normally. If i wash my hands after I use the bathroom, before I eat, and after I touch something dirty, am i equally as protected as using hand sanitizer all of those times? Why is hand sanitizer more preferred now? Is it the idea that you can use hand sanitizer anywhere? Is it really necessary that we use hand sanitizer every time it crosses our mind? Also, are all the germs that hand sanitizers kill too much for our immune system to handle? Maybe some research should be done on the likelihood of someone getting sick who uses hand sanitizer compared to someone who doesn't use it.

I agree with you that the main purpose of hand sanitizer is to use on the go. In my opinion, hot water and soap is the way to go to get the majority of the germs off your hands. Not only do my hands feel cleaner after using the old fashioned method, they feel cleaner longer. After using hand sanitzer, my hands still feel 'sticky' or 'clammy' or just not clean. It is really bizarre to me that companies claim sanitzer kills 99.9% of germs when my hands still feel dirty after using it. I found out that when testing the sanitizer they only test it on certain surfaces. Hands are not one of those surfaces. The companies are using tests and data that produce results in their favor in order to sell the product. In reality, these sanitizers are only killing about 46-60% of germs. My recommendation is to use hand sanitizers when you sit down in class, after you use a community computer, quickly before you eat if you can't access a sink, after you cough into your hand, or after you touch your eyes or something of minor nature. However, since it is only killing 60% of actual germs at maximum, I am not willing to let hand sanitizer be even close to my pain protection against bacteria.

http://boingboing.net/2009/12/18/what-kills-999-of-ge.html

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