The majority of hand sanitizers used today are gel products with a moisturizing element. Purell was the first brand to have this when it was released in the late 90s. Prior to then, other versions were runny and didn’t moisturize hands. When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published their research on alcohol-based hand sanitizer, Purell became the product to use in hospitals and offices in the early 2000s.
Healthcare Solutions provides high-quality items to ensure the health and safety of Canadians. Our experts strive to assist you with any and all questions and concerns about our items.
What Is Hand Sanitizer?
When you can’t wash your hands with soap and hot water, hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% ethyl alcohol (also known as ethanol) and isopropyl alcohol is a good substitute because it will prevent the spread of germs to others. In fact, products with 60% to 95% alcohol, such as Purell hand sanitizer, eliminate a vast majority of bacteria, instead of merely reducing their growth.
It is essential to remember that hand sanitizer does not eliminate all germs like soap and hot water do. People may not use enough hand sanitizer or may wipe off the product too soon. Some germs can resist the effects of hand sanitizer, such as:
Cryptosporidium: This parasite causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis, and it commonly spreads by way of water.
Norovirus: It causes vomiting and diarrhea. It can be transmitted from contaminated food, water, or unwashed hands that came in contact with the germ.
Escherichia coli or E. coli: Like norovirus, E.coli can be found on raw vegetables and ground beef that’s not thoroughly cooked. It causes diarrhea, cramps, and vomiting.
Clostridium difficile: It is a germ that results from taking antibiotics. It can cause life-threatening diarrhea.
Sanitizers for hands are considered over-the-counter drugs, and they are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As of 2016, the FDA works in collaboration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada.
Does Hand Sanitizer Work Against COVID-19?
Store-bought hand sanitizers are effective against COVID-19 since they can attack the shell of the virus, which is called the envelope glycoprotein. Without its shell, the virus won’t survive for very long. But to ensure that you do not have any germs remaining on your hands, always choose hot water and soap when it is available to you.
When to Use It
Hand sanitizer is effective when your hands do not have any visible signs of dirt or other substances. Activities, such as food handling, gardening, and playing sports, require soap and water. If you have handled harmful chemicals, it is best to use hot water and soap to kill the germs. By using hand sanitizer after you’ve handled a chemical, like pesticides, you will have high levels of the chemical in your body.
Homemade Hand Sanitizers Have Risks
The COVID-19 pandemic initiated panic-buying of hand sanitizers around the world. With the product out of stock, people are deciding to make their own. There are multiple problems with this:
There is no quality control present.
People can make mistakes while measuring.
People can accidentally introduce bacteria into the product if their instruments are not sterile.
Adding essential oils can cause allergic reactions.
By making the hand sanitizer at home, the product or ingredients may be accidentally ingested by children or animals.
The final product will not be as effective as real sanitizer for hands or soap and water.
Health Canada has provided an extensive list of hand sanitizers that meet their standards of quality, health, and safety.
Make Hand Sanitizer Your Plan B
It’s handy to have some when you need something in a pinch, but it’s not a miracle product that guarantees your total protection against all illnesses. Soap and hot water are your best friend, but if you’re in a situation when it’s not possible to get any, using hand sanitizers is a good backup plan.
At Healthcare Solutions, we work hard to ensure our clients and medical professionals have access to health and safety products while offering reduced prices. We offer different sanitizers, including gels, wipes, and sprays.