To maintain a hand hygiene has been established as a crucial thing for reducing the spread of corona virus. Compliance with hand hygiene is considered to have played a significant role in reducing the risk of respiratory infections. Strict hand hygiene is very important for health care worker as unclean hands may lead to unhealthy transmission of microorganisms from one patient to another.
Various studies suggest that hand sanitization significantly reduces the transmission of healthcare associated pathogens. Despite the continuous emphasis on health hygiene, recent studies reflect poor health hygiene in medical settings. Nowadays, alcohol based hand sanitizers are increasingly being used in place of soap and water for hand hygiene in medical setup.
Some of the popular alcohol based hand sanitizers available at Unique Safety supplies are as follows:
- Brooklyn Textiles 4 oz hand sanitizer with 80% alcohol with no residue
- Crayola – 2 oz gel hand sanitizer – 4 bottles suitable for kids with 75% alcohol
- Wave liquid – 1 gallon – hand sanitizer with 80% alcohol – no residue – fragrance free
- Rhinestone Gel based hand sanitizer – 1 gallon – 75% alcohol – made in USA – FDA registered – no residue – fragrance free
- Purell 12 OZ gel based sanitizer with pump
- Moxe 4 oz gel hand sanitizer – FDA approved – no residue.
- Sanzidrum – 8 oz Hand sanitizer – FDA approved – made in USA – no residue – free shipping
- Rhinestone foam refill hand sanitizer – 1 gallon – 66% alcohol – FDA registered – no residue – fragrance free.
Alcohol based hand sanitizers have increased availability and have proven their effectiveness and are gaining popularity.
However, it is important to keep in mind that alcohol based hand sanitizers are dependent upon the type of alcohol, quantity applied, technique used, and the consistency of usage. There are some places where some products are not ideal to be used, for example during the prevention of the spread of certain alcohol-based infections or when hands are significantly dirty and the bacterial load is quite high.
Ethanol is one the most important alcohol ingredient which appears to be most effective alcohol against different viruses, whereas, propanol is considered to be a better bacterial alcohol. The combination of alcohols may also have a tremendous effect. The concentration of alcohol in hand sanitizers also changes its effectiveness, according to a study demonstrating that a hand rub with 85% ethanol content is significantly better at reducing the bacterial proportions compared to preparations of 55% to 62% of ethanol. None of the above-mentioned alcohol based hand sanitizers have shown a potential for acquired bacterial resistance and therefore are considered very effective for repeated use in healthcare sector.
Difference in the amount sanitizer's ingredients is one of the important factor which might explain the difference between results. Depending upon the active agents, there are two main types of sanitizer: alcohol-based hand sanitizers that usually contain ethanol or isopropanol and non-alcohol-based sanitizers, where the active ingredient is often a disinfectant like benzalkonium chloride. The latter works against some germs, but not viruses like Corona Virus.
The best way a sanitizer can be delivered also influences whether it's efficient enough to kill the SARS – COV2. Sanitizers generally come in the form of liquid, foam or gel. The results are clear: the modes of delivery aren't always effective.
At a concentration of 60%, ethanol might work against most germs effectively, but not corona viruses specifically. Various studies showed that 80% is effective against targetted viruses within 30 seconds, which means that at lower concentrations (such as 43%) it might take longer. Can be a minute, during that time the alcohol might have been evaporated from the skin before it could have the desirable effect. People tend to spray a few drops of sanitizer into the palm of one hand and then rub their hands together for a few seconds and 60% ethanol wouldn't be effective enough over a span of time.
But ultimately it’s upto to the public to weigh-up the factors that affect a sanitizer's efficacy. In certain settings (a healthcare setting) you need the rapid and reliable protection provided by an 80% liquid, for example, whereas a lower concentration may be good enough in daily scenarios.
Washing the hands with soap and water is definitely the best way to help prevent virus transmission. Though in most cases, using something is better than nothing.