Alcohol based hand sanitisers have been widely used, but are alcohol based hand sanitisers the best solution to fighting germs commonly found on hands? 

Alcohol based sanitisers are toxic, flammable, can irritate skin and pose a risk when used around children. The effectiveness of alcohol based sanitisers is dependent upon alcohol content, quantity applied and allowing the sanitiser to fully dry.

About alcohol based sanitisers:

  1. High % Alcohol: To be effective, alcohol sanitisers should contain at least 60% alcohol (ethyl or isopropyl alcohol), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or a mix of both in a concentration of 60% to 95%.
  2. Toxic: The high level of alcohol required results in the sanitiser being a toxic substance.
  3. Effectiveness: The CDC writes: “Although alcohol-based hand sanitizers can inactivate many types of microbes very effectively when used correctly, people may not use a large enough volume of the sanitizers or may wipe it off before it has dried”
  4. Irritation: Alcohol will sting cuts or broken skin and can irritate sensitive skin
  5. Flammable: All alcohol based products are potentially flammable and should be stored away from high temperatures and flames
  6. Skin irritation: Contact dermatitis- with symptoms including dryness, irritation, itching and cracking- has resulted following use of alcohol based hand sanitisers; in an attempt to combat dry and irritated skin, ‘softeners’ have been added.

Using alcohol hand sanitisers around children should be carefully considered, should children be handled by someone that has applied a toxic, flammable substance to their hands?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) wrote this regarding the potential danger posed by alcohol based hand sanitisers: “Ethyl alcohol (ethanol)-based hand sanitisers are safe when used as directed, but they can cause alcohol poisoning if a person swallows more than a couple of mouthfuls. From 2011 – 2015, U.S. poison control centers received nearly 85,000 calls about hand sanitiser exposures among children. Children may be particularly likely to swallow hand sanitisers that are scented, brightly coloured, or attractively packaged.” 

There are numerous non-toxic methods for sanitising the hands, objects and surfaces, all BioCair products are non-alcohol, non-toxic, non-irritant to the eyes and skin, and tested to be safe for inhalation and ingestion. 

Click here to find out more about the safety and efficacy of BioCair.

References:

Center for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html

World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/gpsc/tools/faqs/abhr2/en/

Skin Reaction to Hand Hygiene: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144008/